An Israeli man accused of planning terrorist attacks was arrested for spying for Iran, the country’s internal security service, Shin Bet, has said.
The man, whose name was not revealed for legal reasons, was charged with “infringement of the security of Israel” following his arrest on 16 March.
Citing Israel’s security service, the Times of Israel reported that the “man’s Iranian handlers asked him to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets, provide information about Israeli defense and strategic sites, recommend ways to sow discord in Israeli society, and locate Arab Israelis who may also be interested in working on behalf of Iran.”
The man is believed to have carried out multiple trips abroad during which “he received funds, training, encryption tools and codes in order to be able to maintain contact with them in an encrypted way after he returned to Israel,” Shin Bet is reported saying.
The alleged spy is thought to have been in contact with a Lebanese national, Khaled Yamani, who is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The group is considered a terrorist organisation by the Israelis.
Commenting on the arrest, Shin Bet said: “This investigation shows again that Iran and its proxies are working to recruit and take advantage of Israelis for the interests of Iran.”
There’s somewhat of hysteria within Israel over Iranians spying on the country. In 2018, former Israeli cabinet minister, Gonen Segev, was arrested on suspicion of spying for the Islamic Republic. He was sentenced a year later to 11 years in prison.
Following Segev’s arrest Israel’s security officials warned that there were more “undetected” spies operating in the country. Iranian officials have played up the fear suggesting that Israeli cabinet ministers were providing Iran with intelligence.