Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

The Israeli Security Agency (ISA), in cooperation with the Mossad, has uncovered an operation in which Iranian intelligence operatives attempted to lure Israelis to travel to various countries abroad in order to harm or abduct them.

The method is based on the use of fictitious profiles on social networks and making contact with Israelis who are have international commercial contacts and travel abroad.

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Iranian elements created fictitious 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.

These tactics are being carried out 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 utilized by Iran against opponents of the Islamic regime in Europe. Iran is now using similar methods against Israeli citizens who are seeking to develop legitimate commercial ties in the aforementioned countries and regions.

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.

In the context of the foregoing, 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.

According to Or Heller, Channel 10, at least one Israel travelled overseas to meet the Iranian contacts, and dozens of Israelis have been in contact with the Iranian agents online.

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