Turkey recently revealed information gathered from the interrogation of a Turkish National suspected of acting as a Mossad Agent, last May along with 17 others. Selçuk Küçükkaya, a private investigator told the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) officials that he met with members of the Mossad at least 11 times in 10 European cities after he agreed to supply them with information in exchange for payment.
He was tasked with collecting intelligence and at least on one occasion – as correspondence with his handlers showed, he was to indicate weak spots where action could be taken against a Palestinian who arrived in Istanbul from Lebanon.
Turkey claimed Mossad was culpable in forming a spy network in cooperation with security men affiliated with the opposition religious leader Fethullah Gülen who was accused by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of attempting to oust him from power in a 2016 coup. Küçükkaya identified Serkan Özdemirci, a former Turkish military officer as the man who connected him with the Israeli spy agency. Özdemirci, who is wanted by the Turkish authorities, escaped from the country and remains at large.
"He told me a foreign insurance company was looking for a private investigator. I had a few conversations with him and he introduced me to a man he called Jorge. I spoke with Jorge over skype and offered my services and he sent me the names of some restaurants and asked me to look into their businesses. I was asked to provide photos," Küçükkaya said testifying to the contacts beginning in August of 2018 and explained that their communication was via encrypted e-mail.
He later met a man he called Alfonso who was Jorge's superior. "Theט gave me a second assignment. I set up a team," he said. The mission, for which he was paןd in advance during a meeting in Rome, was to follow Iranian and Lebanese nationals and collect intelligence on an electricity company.
"Most of the work was following members of foreign companies. When they asked me to investigate Turkish companies, they told me that they were interested in finding out who their owners were," he told his interrogators.
In December of 2018, Küçükkaya again met his Mossad handlers, this time in Copenhagen. "I received 4,000 euros in cash + expenses. They had a device that looked like a laptop and attached cables to my chest, the tips of my figures and my leg and asked for my name, my profession and if I had worked with the government," he said describing his meeting in a café, that was apparently a polygraph test.
A few weeks later, he met with Alfonso in Belgium where software was put on his computer to allow encrypted mail to be read. He was also given a new mission. "They asked me to work with a money changer in Istanbul and later follow him and identify who he was meeting," he said. For that, he was given between 6,000 and 7,000 euros.
In 2020, his new mission was to follow a Palestinian by the name of Al Mahmoud who arrived from Beirut. The correspondence with his handlers revealed the alleged methods. He was given flight details and asked to follow the man.
"These are the details. He is scheduled to arrive from Beirut at 08:50. Prepare a team and note how much luggage he has, does he have security with him? Are his bodyguards armed? Is he traveling by taxi from the airport or is he being picked up by a private vehicle? What is his route into Istanbul?"
Küçükkaya was told to use different cars. "I recommend using three cars and a motorcycle to avoid detection and not risk losing your subject," he was told in the email. According to the MIT officials, the correspondence ended with "We will use the surveillance to detect weaknesses so that we could later launch an attack."
Of the 17 alleged Mossad agents arrested in May, six remain in custody and all are facing espionage charges that could result in a 15-year jail sentence.