The Shabak has uncovered an Iranian operation to lure Israeli academics and former defense officials to lure them abroad in order to kidnap them.
The plot involved Iranian intelligence agents contacting Israelis while impersonating academics, journalists, businessmen and philanthropists, using the identities of real people who were unaware their names were being used in an intelligence operation.
Contact with the Israeli targets was made by e-mail, using a very similar email address to the real person being impersonated in order to appear authentic, in order to arrange a meeting outside of Israel where the target could be kidnapped or otherwise harmed.
After the initial contact was made with the Israeli target, the target would be asked to move the conversation to WhatsApp with a phone number unfamiliar to them.
The Israelis who received these communications did not respond to the request to move the conversations to WhatsApp and a number of them contacted security forces about the suspicious messages, leading to the uncovering of the plot.