Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has provided the Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office with a list of almost 122.000 people identified to have installed and used ByLock, a cryptographic messaging app used by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), on their phones.
MIT has been carrying out a wide range of investigations on ByLock users. The app was used by FETÖ members to ensure secure contact between different ranks of the organization. According to sources, the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office conveyed the list to the Department of Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime (KOM). It has also been transferred to other KOM branches in different cities for further investigation.
The MİT has so far decrypted the content of more than 18 million messages sent via ByLock among FETÖ members. A total of 215,092 members of FETÖ are said to have used ByLock, according to a previous indictment prepared by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.
The indictment further stated that 184,298 of the total ByLock users were identified by intelligence forces. The prosecutors said ByLock was popular among the FETÖ members between 2013 and 2015.
After 2015, the terror cult turned to Eagle IM, which offers "256-bit end-to-end AES encryption," according to the app's description on its Google Play Store page. It also revealed that the group's leader, Fetullah Gülen, used to send out instructions through ByLock. "All members must make calls through ByLock, those who use regular phone communication, might compromise the mission," Gülen reportedly told members of FETÖ, the indictment stated.ByLock users, who worked in the civil services and as bureaucrats were now being investigated for possible links to FETÖ. Several suspects linked to the terror group have already confessed to using ByLock. FETÖ, which posed as a religious group, is implicated in a string of cases, ranging from illegal wiretapping to last year's July 15 coup attempt.
Most of its senior leaders remain at large and abroad, including its leader Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, U.S.
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