Reuters Ankara, Turkey
Apr 19, 2019, 06.35 PM
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.
"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.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2, provoking an international outcry.
The CIA and some Western countries believe the Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, ordered the killing, which Saudi officials deny. The Saudi public prosecutor has indicted 11 unidentified suspects, including five who could face the death penalty on charges of ordering and committing the crime.
'We are investigating whether the primary individual's arrival in Turkey was related to the Jamal Khashoggi murder,' a senior Turkish official said, adding the person has been monitored for the past six months.