Fake Iranian Profile Tried to Recruit Israelis for Intel, Shin Bet Says

Israel's security agency says Tehran used a made-up Jewish businesswoman to convince Israelis to provide information and even carry out attacks, with little to no success

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
The fake Iranian Facebook account under the name "Sara Puppi".
The fake Iranian Facebook account under the name "Sara Puppi".
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

The Shin Bet security service said Monday it had uncovered an Iranian plot to recruit Israelis to gather intelligence and commit terror attacks using fake WhatsApp and Facebook accounts.

According to the agency, the operation – similar to what it said was a recurring method used by Iranian intelligence organizations – was discovered at its very early stages.

Who really calls the shots in Tehran? LISTEN to Israel's top Iran expert

A fake Facebook profile under the name Sara Puppi, who was depicted as a young Jewish woman with businesses in Israel, contacted Israelis, the Shin Bet said in a statement.

“This fake profile accumulated thousands of friends in a short amount of time, mostly from Israel. After the initial contact was made on Facebook, communication moved over to WhatsApp,” the statement said.

The Shin Bet said its agents chatted with the Iranian operator, who asked them – apparently without knowing they are intelligence officers – to gather information on Israeli officials.

He also asked his interlocutors whether they would be willing to harm these Israelis in return for thousands of dollars, which would be sent via bitcoin. “Sometimes he even used emotional and romantic manipulation,” the Shin Bet said.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op