Tags: Iran | Israel | kidnap | instagram

Intel: Iran Tried to Lure Israelis Via Instagram to Kidnap

Intel: Iran Tried to Lure Israelis Via Instagram to Kidnap
(Dreamstime)

Monday, 12 April 2021 06:45 PM

Iranian intelligence has been attempting to lure Israelis out of the country to kidnap or harm them, The Jerusalem Post reports, citing Israeli security agency Shin Bet and the Mossad.

Iran targeted Israeli citizens who travel out of the country often for business using social media platforms such as Instagram with accounts of attractive young women. Many supposedly worked in the tourism industry.

"Security officials call on Israeli citizens who maintain business ties abroad to be aware and vigilant about inquiries on social networks from profiles they do not recognize, and to avoid contact with them," the agencies said, according to The Times of Israel.

The Iranian agents would propose meetings for business or romantic purposes, according to the Post. These would be set up in countries where Iran had assets such as Arab countries, Turkey, Gulf states, Central Asia, Africa and Europe.

Israel has been leading the world in COVID vaccinations, and travel has began to pick up, leading to a warning last month about Iran's continued efforts to harm Israeli travelers.

Iran has used similar methods on Iranian dissidents living in Europe, the Post noted.

Israeli citizens with business ties abroad are now getting calls from security officials warning them about any contacts they receive from people they don't know.

The news comes amid tensions between the two countries as Iran has blamed Israel for an attack on its Natanz nuclear site and vowed revenge. Both countries have also been involved in a "maritime shadow war," according to the Times, with each blaming the other for explosions aboard vessels.

The Israel Defense Forces last year said it foiled a plot by Hamas in which it similarly posed as attractive women on social media trying to glean information and intelligence on the Israeli army. Hundreds of soldiers cellphones were compromised in that plot, according to the Post.

It was the third such strike by Hamas, which keeps upping its game, the IDF says. It is now on Telegram, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp.

Hamas also has found it easier to talk with Israeli soldiers by using slang and hashtags, the IDF said, and has started sending voice messages.

They have identified six main characters Hamas uses, who claim to be new immigrants with hearing or vision problems to explain their lack of fluency in Hebrew.

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Iranian intelligence has been attempting to lure Israelis out of the country to kidnap or harm them, The Jerusalem Post reports, citing Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Mossad.
kidnap, instagram
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2021-45-12
Monday, 12 April 2021 06:45 PM
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