THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.- The MIT discovered the communications channel last winter and began the laborious process of decrypting the messages, which numbered in the millions. The agency eventually identified 40,000 names, including 600 senior military officers, suspected of connections with the group.Más...
None of the ByLock messages referred to a coup plot, senior Turkish intelligence officials said.
U.S. intelligence agencies knew of growing political opposition against Mr. Erdogan. A classified U.S. assessment included Turkey on a list of countries at heightened risk of political instability, but it didn’t predict a coup.
At the time, U.S. intelligence-gathering about Turkey focused on Islamic State and other terror threats, not the Turkish military.
Soon after the MIT gained access to the ByLock messages, operatives of Mr. Gulen’s organization realized the channel had been compromised and switched to a different messaging app that remained impenetrable, senior Turkish intelligence officials said. In early spring, the Turkish spy agency shared the decrypted files with other government ministries. Turkish intelligence officials said that tipped off Mr. Gulen’s group that the messages had been decoded.
Days later, on March 21, Turkish analysts saw a YouTube video that showed Mr. Gulen wearing for the first time a khaki robe the same green hue used by the army.
Analysts at MIT believed he was signaling his followers in the army, but they had no idea what. A person close to the Gulen group said such speculation was unfounded.
Four days before the coup, the Turkish spy agency forwarded the names of the 600 military officers under suspicion to the military’s general staff. The plan was to sideline them during the annual meeting of military leaders in August