Turkey has arrested two alleged intelligence operatives who confessed to spying for the United Arab Emiratis (UAE), a senior Turkish official announced on April 19.
According to Reuters, the arrests were made in Istanbul on April 15 as part of a counter-intelligence investigation. Turkish agents seized an encrypted computer that was hidden in a secret compartment at what the official described as “the spy ring’s base.”
The Turkish authorities are currently probing whether one of the two suspects was involved in the murder of Saudi Washington Post columnists, Jamal Khashoggi. The suspect reportedly arrived in Turkey in October 2018, few days after Khashoggi was murdered inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul.
“We are investigating whether the primary individual’s arrival in Turkey was related to the Jamal Khashoggi murder … It is possible that there was an attempt to collect information about Arabs, including political dissidents, living in Turkey,” Reuters quoted the Turkish official as saying.
Saudi Arabia denied its responsibility for the murder of Khashoggi for weeks, before admitting that the crime was carried out by Saudi intelligence agents in late October of 2018. Since then, the Kingdom’s Public Prosecutor investigated 18 individuals, some of them are currently facing the death penalty.
Unofficial Turkish sources reported that the UAE intelligence may have played a role in the murder of Khashoggi, mainly in the work to hide the crime’s traces. While the arrest of the two suspects in Turkey supports these claims, nothing has been confirmed yet.