Shin Bet thwarts an attempted spy operation by Iran

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June 20, 2019 18:34
1 minute read.
Shin Bet thwarts an attempted spy operation by Iran

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005. (photo credit: RAHEB HOMAVANDI/REUTERS)

 
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The Shin Bet (Israeli security agency) arrested a Jordanian citizen, originally from Hebron, under the suspicion that he was acting as an Iranian spy.

The 32-year-old Thaar Shafout was arrested and, under interrogation, confessed that he was a Jordanian businessman carrying out missions to promote the establishment of infrastructure in Israel, as well as Judea and Samaria, which would serve clandestine Iranian activities.

Shafout originally met two representatives of Iranian intelligence in Jordan – who acted under the aliases Abu Tsadek and Abu Jaafar – and had several more meetings met with them throughout 2018 in Lebanon and Syria.

Tsadek and Jaafar instructed the Shafout to establish a business infrastructure in Israel as a cover for future Iranian activity, as well as to recruit more spies within the country to assist in gathering intelligence. He was then instructed to make business connections in Israel and in Judea and Samaria.

Shafout made several contacts “in the field” so that they could assist him in his mission. He initiated the creation of a plant in Jordan that would hire Shi’ite workers and serve as an anchor for future Iranian activity over the border in Israel. The Iranian contacts agreed to give an initial investment of $500,000 to create the plant, as well as more later to establish operations in the field. The contacts also gave him encrypted means of communication in order to contact them.

Iranian intelligence, according to Shafout, intended to use him to transfer funds to terrorist contacts throughout Israel. They wished for him – once he finished carrying out all of the tasks for them in Israel – to come to Iran and finish his training as a spy.

The Shin Bet’s capture of Shafout thwarted all of these plans by the Iranian intelligence.

Shafout was indicted in early June by the military prosecution for contact with an enemy, contact with a hostile organization and conspiracy to bring enemy money into the area.

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