The Shabak has in recent months uncovered an Iranian network that worked to locate and recruit Israeli citizens in order to gather information and even harm Israeli targets.
The network worked to create contact through a fictitious Facebook profile under the name "Sara Puppi", who introduced herself as a young Jewish girl, with connections and business in Israel. This fictitious profile gained thousands of followers in a very short time, most of them from Israel. After being established on Facebook, the profile was transferred to the WhatsApp app.
In recent months, the Shabak has identified an increase in the use of the Internet for the purpose of recruiting Israeli citizens to gather intelligence and terrorist activity.
The Iranian operator who used the fictitious "Sara Puppi" profile asked his operatives in Israel, without knowing that the Shabak was working against him, to locate information about Israelis who are of interest to Iranian intelligence. The Iranian operator also asked the alleged Israeli operatives to gather information about Israeli personalities and examined his willingness to harm them, while exerting pressure and securing sums of money in the amount of thousands of dollars, as payment for the operation. Sometimes an attempt was even made to use emotional and romantic manipulations to force the Israeli operatives to carry out the tasks assigned to them.
The Iranian operator used Bitcoin to transfer funds to his operatives in Israel.
The Iranian operator behind the Facebook profile used a cover story of being a businessman to assign various tasks, such as a request for revenge on those who owe him money, a desire to harm personal opponents and even a desire to harm LGBT people.
In addition the Iranian operator also tasks operatives to carry out inciting outdoor advertising against Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the aim of harming Israel-Russia relations in alleged response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Iranian operator also attempted to gather intelligence and harm the representatives of business companies and diplomats of Arab countries operating in Israel.