Throughout an 11-year-long espionage profession, Jordanian nationwide Mahmoud Ayesh Al Astal posed as a journalist to acquire details about Turkish home and international politics and handed it on to handlers within the UAE.
TRT World has solely obtained paperwork detailing the actions of a spy engaged on behalf of the UAE.
Mahmoud Ayesh Al Astal, a 45-year-old Jordanian nationwide of Palestinian origin, served the Emiratis for a complete of 11 years, wherein he acquired round $400,000 in funds.
The final seven years of his profession had been based mostly in Turkey, the place he posed as an investigative journalist writing for publications affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
His handlers tasked him with offering details about Muslim Brotherhood members residing in Turkey, in addition to Arab and Emirati dissidents who had fled their nations.
Astal’s extra duties included gathering intelligence about Turkish home politics and its international coverage, and informing his handlers about different journalists and dissidents based mostly in Turkey, who could also be open to working for the UAE.
The operative was capable of talk along with his handlers utilizing customized encrypted messaging software program put in on his pc and telephone by Emirati intelligence officers.
For his companies, the Jordanian acquired $2,700 a month, with extra lump sum funds of $11,000 previous to his transfer to Turkey in 2013 and roughly $50,000 in 2015 for the acquisition of a flat within the Turkish metropolis of Sakarya.
Astal is thought to have related to at the very least 4 handlers within the Emirati intelligence service, who glided by the code names; Abu Rashed, Abu Ali, Abu Suheyl, and Abu Faris.
He’s understood to have met Abu Ali, whose full identify is Saud Abdelaziz Mohamed Bindarwish, in Istanbul in 2016.
Abu Rashed has additionally been recognized by Turkish intelligence companies as Rashed Abdulkhaliq Mohammed al Shara. He’s believed to have first recruited Astal in 2009.
The Jordanian was underneath the purview of the officer often known as Abu Faris on the time of his seize in September.
The Emiratis recruited Astal utilizing a mix of monetary stress and threats to withdraw his proper to work within the UAE.
After preliminary reluctance to work for the Emirati intelligence company, his work visa utility was denied, leaving him unable to work.
Astal is alleged to have relented underneath the stress due to his concern of returning to Jordan, the place he would have discovered it tough to search out employment.
Earlier than he moved to Turkey, he was based mostly within the UAE spying on members of the Muslim Brotherhood, reporting again to his handlers in month-to-month phonecalls.
His cooperation led to him being granted a residency visa to remain within the UAE.
A part of his actions included offering the Emiratis with the ground plans for the Hewar Heart, a assume tank with which the Jordanian was related, in addition to delivering computer systems from the organisation’s places of work to the intelligence officers underneath the pretext of getting them repaired.
When the UAE launched a crackdown on members of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012 and a lot of these affiliated with the group fled to Turkey, Astal was ordered to relocate to the nation, initially renting a spot within the metropolis of Istanbul.
His targets included Brotherhood members, equivalent to Saeed Naser Alteneiji. In conferences with the people, he made recordings of conversations that had been handed on to the Emiratis.
Astal additionally supplied details about Turkey, as and when wanted.
Contact along with his handlers passed off over the telephone, by way of encrypted cellular purposes, and in face-to-face conferences in procuring malls.
Turkish authorities say that the UAE has lengthy been conducting espionage operations within the nation, focusing on each native authorities, in addition to dissidents who’ve fled repressive regimes within the Arab world.
Ankara arrested two men in 2019, who’re believed to have labored for the UAE and had been related to the brutal homicide of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi brokers in Istanbul in October 2018.
The Palestinian terrrorist and UAE agent, Mohammad Dahlan, can also be wished by Turkish authorities for his ties to the failed July 2016 coup plotters.
Supply: TRT World