Israel said on Wednesday it had dismantled an Iranian spy ring that recruited Israeli women through social media. The women agreed to photograph sensitive sites, gather intelligence and, in at least two cases, encourage their sons to join the Israeli military intelligence service.
Israel’s Shin Bet Internal Security Service said a suspected Iranian intelligence agent identified himself as Rambod Namdar on Facebook and claimed to be a Jewish man living in Israel. He appears to have targeted Israelis of Iranian descent.
Israel views Iran as its greatest threat, and the two nations have been waging a shadow war for years. Israel has repeatedly threatened to take military action against Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran denies that it is looking for such weapons and has promised a stern response to any aggression.
He said a 40-year-old Israeli woman had been in contact with him for several years and agreed to photograph the US embassy while in Tel Aviv, as well as an Israeli government office and a center. commercial. The recruiter asked him to encourage his son to join military intelligence for his compulsory service and even spoke to him by phone to assess his Persian skills, he added.
Another woman, 57, had been in contact with the alleged recruiter for four years and was paid a total of $ 5,000 for a number of tasks. She also pressured her son to join military intelligence and sent his military documents to the recruiter.
She created a club for Israelis of Iranian descent to gather information about them and attempted to bond with a member of the Israeli parliament, the Shin Bet said, without naming the lawmaker. She was also asked to install a hidden camera in a “massage room” in her home.
The Shin Bet said the targets of the suspected spy ring have been arrested and face “serious charges.”
“We are witnessing attempts to spy inside Israel by approaching Israeli women, supposedly innocently, and convincing them to maintain an ongoing relationship,” the Shin Bet said.
“Despite the suspects’ suspicion that the man was an Iranian intelligence agent, they decided to maintain relations and carry out various missions for him.”