Turkey arrests Emirati intelligence operatives, probing Khashoggi murder links

Turkey arrests Emirati intelligence operatives, probing possible links to Khashoggi murder
2 min read
19 April, 2019
Turkey arrested two UAE-linked spies Monday and is probing a probable link between one of them and the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Khashoggi in his country's consulate in Istanbul.
Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in his country's consulate in Istanbul [Getty]
Turkey said it had arrested two UAE-linked spies on Monday and is probing a probable link between one of them and the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Khashoggi in his country's consulate in Istanbul in October.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are close allies and both have had strained relations with Turkey in recent years.

The two UAE intelligence operatives "confessed to spying on Arab nationals on behalf of the United Arab Emirates", a senior Turkish official was quoted as saying on Friday, according to Reuters.

The official said that Turkey was investigating whether the arrival of one of those detained had connections to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder in October last year.

"The fact that news of their arrest was made public four days later suggests the suspicions against them are very strong," Dr. Ali Bakeer, a Turkey-based Gulf studies senior researcher with the ORSAM Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies told The New Arab.

"The UAE was one of the destinations used by the Saudi kill team during their extraction," he added.

Khashoggi, a veteran reporter and columnist for the Washington Post,was murdered at the Saudi Embassy in October last year as he went to pick up documents for his upcoming wedding.

His death unleashed a global wave of criticism against the crown prince, despite Saudi officials claiming he had no role in the killing.

Leaked Turkish intelligence and CIA reports concluded the murder was orchestrated by the highest circles of the Saudi royal family, implicating the powerful young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman However the Trump administration has avoided taking any serious action against its close Gulf ally.

A UN investigation also found evidence that Khashoggi's murder was "planned and perpetrated" by Saudi officials.

Saudi Arabia didconcede that Khashoggi was killed by a 15-man team of Saudi agent but maintains it was a “rogue” operation and that the country’s leadership had nothing to do with the incident.

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