MIT and Mossad reportedly foiled two more Iranian attacks against Israelis in Turkey. Mossad official says detainees are Iranian or Turkish nationals
Tel Aviv-based news channel Channel 12 reported on Friday that an unidentified Mossad official claimed that a joint operation with MIT had foiled two planned attacks on Israelis in Istanbul.
While the official did not specify who would be targeted in the attacks, he said they were identified as being in danger in the hotels where they were staying in Istanbul and “were removed at the last second.”
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The Mossad official also said the detainees were Iranian or Turkish nationals.
The intelligence official did not specify when the attack was planned, how many people were detained or the identity of the suspects.
Israeli media reported on June 12 that Iran was targeting Israelis living in Turkey and that MIT, which took action last month with information provided by the Mossad, stopped the attack.
In the said operation, an Israeli couple in Turkey was sent back to their country on the grounds that they would be attacked by Iranian agents.
The Mossad official said that one of the people targeted was Israel’s former consul general in Istanbul, but did not provide further details.
On Thursday, Iranians were detained for allegedly preparing attacks on Israeli citizens. The Istanbul Security Directorate said five Iranians were arrested in the operation, while an Israeli intelligence official said on Friday that 10 people were detained.
Following the reports in the Israeli press, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced on June 13 that Israelis in Turkey should return home as soon as possible. Israel’s National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Unit also raised the level of warning to the highest level regarding the danger of traveling to Turkey.
Tel Aviv had claimed that Tehran’s threat of a “revenge attack” against Israelis had increased following the May 22 assassination of Colonel Hassan Sayad Hudaidi, a senior commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Iran blamed Israel for the assassination and announced that it would retaliate.
On the other hand, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh rejected Israel’s claims of an attack in his statement on Friday, arguing that Tel Aviv was trying to disrupt Ankara-Tehran relations.