The Palestinian Lion’s Den terrorist group has been heavily influenced by Iran, Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar said on Tuesday, adding that they represent a new kind of organization, functioning as much on social media as in the physical world.
Speaking at the Tel Aviv Cyber Week Conference, he said: “Behind this group is the long arm of Iran. Iran influences and targets young people online who are likely to move toward terror, incites them, sends them funds and provides them weapons.”
“The Lion’s Den, which was attacked by our forces in the Kasbah, was born on smartphones, and not in a Mosque,” said the Shin Bet chief.
Bar also noted ISIS's influence behind a terror attack carried out in Beersheba in 2022.
The Shin Bet chief’s point was not that these terrorists were necessarily part of Iran or ISIS’ direct chain of command.
Rather, it was that Iran and ISIS are sophisticated enough to cause terror around the world, even if their proxies may not fully understand who is directing them.
Further, Bar talked about the profound role of artificial intelligence in preventing terror going forward.
He said that the maximum positive impact for preventing terror would come about through improved cooperation within the different arms of the defense establishment.
Next, he said that the Shin Bet has the capability to watch terror operations being planned in real time using its mix of cyber and AI surveillance capabilities.