Israel’s Security Agency (Shabak) has exposed an extensive effort by Syrian operatives to recruit residents of Gaza, Judea and Samaria (“Yesha”) and Israel to assist Iranian intelligence to attack Israel.
Israeli security forces today revealed a months-long joint operation carried out by the Shabak and other Israeli security agencies. That operation exposed a large-scale Iranian-directed Syrian recruitment effort for terrorist attacks on Israel.
Those efforts were carried out by a network run by a Syrian operative nicknamed “Abu Jihad.” The name is significant – one of the most bloodthirsty Palestinian Arab terrorists in history went by the nom de guerre Abu Jihad.
The spy network sought recruits through social media, using false Facebook profiles and messaging applications. According to the Shabak, this is a recruitment method known to be used by “terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.”
Recruits were asked by the terrorist handlers “to collect information on military bases, sensitive security installations, VIPs, police stations and hospitals.”
The Abu Jihad network sought the information “to prepare targets for terrorist attacks in Israel at the behest of Iran,” according to the Shabak.
Israel’s intelligence community began this extensive counter-terrorism operation three months ago. The security agencies identified the terrorism recruitment network through monitoring of the handlers abroad and those in Israel and Yesha who cooperated with the services.
The counter-terrorism operation revealed that the activities of the Syrian-based handlers developed to the level of “passing information and directions to carry out terrorist attacks” against “Israeli targets, both civilian and military.”
Israel’s security agencies were at pains to add that “the decisive majority of Israeli citizens refused to cooperate” with Iran’s Syrian terrorism-recruiters.