Halil İbrahim V., a senior member of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) on trial in northern Turkey, claimed that he did not use ByLock, an encrypted messaging app exclusively used by the terrorist group. However, digital evidence showed he actually accessed the app 57,000 times.
A former teacher, the suspect who was arrested in the northern Turkish province of Samsun in September, faces a prison term up to 15 years on charges of membership of a terrorist organization. Prosecutors say the suspect was an "imam" - a name given to FETÖ's point men - for the group's infiltrators in law enforcement.
Prior to the coup attempt, Turkish intelligence discovered that FETÖ used ByLock and uncovered millions of messages, from simple greetings from the group's U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen to instructions on how to avoid detection. ByLock is believed to have been devised by developers linked to the terrorist group.
An investigation into the app identified over 92,000 users, officials say. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced recently that a total of 92,702 individual users and 215,092 accounts used by FETÖ members were discovered.