The Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) and the Mossad have uncovered an operation through which Iranian intelligence operatives attempted to lure Israelis to travel to various countries abroad to harm or abduct them, the Shin Bet revealed Monday.
Iranian intelligence set up fictitious profiles on social networks and made contact with Israelis who have international commercial contacts and who travel abroad.
The fictitious accounts include Instagram profiles of women who were seemingly engaged in business and tourism.
These profiles made contacts with Israeli civilians, coordinated meetings with them abroad and attempted to draw them into romantic or commercial meetings.
Iran is known to carry this kind of activity in various countries with links to Israel and with Israelis, including Arab and Gulf countries, Turkey, and countries in the Caucasus, Europe and Africa.
This pattern of action is well-known and is similar to that previously used by Iran against opponents of the regime in Europe. Iran is currently using similar methods against Israeli citizens seeking to develop legitimate commercial ties in the aforementioned countries and regions, the Shin Bet warned.
“There is genuine concern that such activity by Iranian operatives could lead to attempts to harm or abduct Israelis in those countries in which Iranians are active,” the Shin Bet cautioned.
“The security services call on Israelis with overseas commercial contacts to be alert and aware regarding social media contacts from unknown profiles and to avoid contact with them,” it concluded.