Gov't Warning on Internet Terror

The Prime Minister’s Office has issued a specific, detailed warning to Israelis: Beware of terrorists aiming at unwary victims on the internet.

Hana Levi Julian ,

Internet user
Internet user
Israel News Photo: (illustrative)

A day after Israel National News published an article about the potential for internet terrorism on the Facebook social networking site, the Prime Minister’s Office has issued an unusual warning to Israeli citizens and residents, telling them to beware of terrorists who try to snare unwary users through the internet.

Israelis were strongly urged Tuesday in a detailed, specific warning to be alert to suspicious internet or telephone appeals by unfamiliar people, especially when accompanied by tempting promises of payment or employment abroad.

“Recent reports indicate new trends in terrorist activity on the internet beyond collecting information posted by Israelis,” said the statement released to the media. “These include direct and concrete appeals and proposals to Israeli citizens, especially those active in social networks, to become involved in terrorist activity or pass along classified information in return for payment.”

A number of Israeli citizens and residents have landed in court after being recruited by terrorist organizations and becoming internet operatives, said the PMO. The organizations actively scan Israeli sites as well as other social networks in which Israelis are active. Veterans of classified IDF units are particularly attractive targets, inasmuch as they possess classified information on security targets in the Jewish State.

“Personal information -- such as names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers – that is transferred via the internet for business or private purposes may help terrorist elements locate and contact Israeli citizens both in Israel and abroad,” the PMO warned.

A second, but equal concern focused on the risk of Israeli citizens being lured to meetings abroad with the promise of generous payment for information or other assistance. In this way, they might be kidnapped and moved to hostile Arab countries, the PMO explained.

"Recently, an Israeli citizen complained to the Israel Security Agency that he had been contacted on Facebook by a man purporting to be a Lebanese merchant, who asked him to pass along classified information in return for payment.  He broke off all contacts with his Lebanese interlocutor.  This incident joins many others that have been identified by the security services," the PMO said.