Iranian Attempts Thwarted 

The Shin Bet Thwarted an Iranian Attempt to Recruit Israelis for Terrorism

It was released for publication that the Shin Bet exposed and thwarted attempts by Iranian security officials to recruit Israeli citizens through the network for the benefit of terrorist activity. The attempts were made on social networks and seemed innocent - but in practice they could be used as security missions.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

It was released for publication that the Shin Bet foiled an attack plan from Iran, in which an appeal was made to an Israeli factor under criminal cover. According to them, in recent months, Iranian security officials have been working to recruit and activate Israeli citizens for the purpose of carrying out security missions - while misrepresenting to them that this was an innocent appeal.

According to the Shin Bet, the appeal to Israeli citizens was made through social platforms as well as through websites that offer casual paid jobs, among other things appeals were made on Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (X), in various languages. The Iranian agents used a variety of misrepresentations against those Israelis in order to establish initial contact with them - real estate brokers, parties interested in the marketing and sale of drones, courier services, requests for photo shoots, online dating, contacting private investigators and more.

In accordance with the various misrepresentations, the Israeli citizens were asked to perform various "tasks" for monetary compensation, which are perceived as not apparently related to security aspects, but in reality were "those that definitely have to serve the Iranians and enrich the intelligence they have - taking photographs, finding out addresses, and more." Some of the Israeli citizens who received such suspicious inquiries, avoided responding to them and even alerted security officials in Israel about them.

The General Security Service said that "this is a well-known method of operation of the Iranian security agencies as a platform for the random recruitment of Israeli citizens, for the benefit of carrying out seemingly innocent missions, which have an intelligence motive on the basis of which they can act to promote plans to harm Israeli citizens."

Since the beginning of the war in Gaza, it is evident that the activity efforts of the Iranian security forces have greatly intensified, while the use of the digital space for the purposes of intimidation, conveying messages or promoting disguised terrorist activity is on the rise. Its purpose is to assist Hamas in its war and to damage Israel's national resilience and war effort, sowing demoralization and deepening social divisions. Among other things, platforms impersonating Israeli women have been identified, making cynical and manipulative use of the abductees' issue and even trying to act against families of abductees and bereaved families.

It was also stated that "in the framework of using advanced tools and capabilities for the purpose of detecting and thwarting these attempts, the General Security Service located and monitored many fictitious profiles on social networks used by the Iranian security forces, a lot of information was collected about the identity of those factors behind the activation of the profiles, and steps were taken accordingly."

"The Shin Bet takes very seriously the involvement of Israeli citizens in security activities in Israel directed by Iran and its proxies," it said. "We will continue to carry out all the time, in cooperation with the other security agencies, active steps to monitor and thwart any activity that endangers the security of the State of Israel and its citizens in order to expose and harm the Iranians' efforts to carry out terrorist activities in Israel's territories and will work to bring the parties involved to justice."

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