Turkey has arrested two intelligence operatives who confessed to spying on Arab nationals for the United Arab Emirates, and it is probing whether the arrival in Turkey of one of them was related to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, a senior Turkish official said on Friday, ONA reports citing Reuters.
One of the two men arrived in Turkey in October 2018, days after Khashoggi was murdered inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, the official said, adding the other arrived to help his colleague with the workload.
“We are investigating whether the primary individual’s arrival in Turkey was related to the Jamal Khashoggi murder,” said the official, adding the person has been monitored for the past six months.
“It is possible that there was an attempt to collect information about Arabs, including political dissidents, living in Turkey.”
The arrests were made in Istanbul on Monday as part of a counter-intelligence investigation. Turkish officials seized an encrypted computer located in a hidden compartment at what the official told Reuters was the spy ring’s base.
The official, who requested anonymity, said statements by the detained men suggested their intelligence operation targeted political exiles and students.