Turkey has arrested what it says are two intelligence operatives who confessed to spying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.
Turkey is investigating whether or not there could also be hyperlinks to the homicide final yr of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate, a senior Turkish official informed Reuters.
The CIA believes the Saudi crown prince ordered the killing.
Saudi Arabia claims the homicide was on account of “rogue” operatives.
“We’re investigating whether or not the first particular person’s arrival in Turkey was associated to the Jamal Khashoggi homicide,” mentioned the official, including the particular person had been monitored for six months earlier than the arrests in Istanbul on Monday.
“It’s attainable that there was an try to gather details about Arabs, together with political dissidents, dwelling in Turkey.”
Turkish officers seized an encrypted pc present in what the official mentioned was the spy ring’s base in Istanbul.
The official, who requested anonymity, mentioned statements by the suspected spies advised their intelligence operation had focused political exiles and college students.
“We’ve in depth proof of the people’ covert actions on Turkish soil,” the official mentioned, calling it an “hermetic” case.
“In addition they confessed to have been employed by the UAE’s intelligence companies.”
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Saudi Arabia and the UAE have lengthy been shut allies, collaborating intently through the 2017-18 Qatar diplomatic disaster.
An embargo towards Qatar was launched by 4 international locations – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates – who accused the gas-rich state of supporting terrorism, a cost it strongly denies.
Nevertheless, there was no proof to recommend the UAE was concerned within the homicide of Khashoggi.