Iran attempted to establish spy infrastructure in Israel under the cover of business activity
Cleared for publication: On April 17th the Shin Bet and Israel Police arrested a Muslim terrorist originally from Hevron, who was posing as a Jordanian businessman in order to carry out intelligence missions for Iran.
During his interrogation, it was revealed that the terrorist identified as 32-year-old Thaar Shafout, intended to promote the establishment of infrastructure in Israel that would serve for espionage activities for the Iranians.
“The link between Shafout and Iranian intelligence began in Lebanon when he met two Arab-speaking operators from Iranian intelligence who introduced themselves as Abu Sadek and Abu Jaafar,” the Shin Bet said.
“As part of his contacts with his Iranian handlers, Shafout proposed and even received approval for the establishment of a factory in Jordan that would employ Shi’ite workers for future Iranian activities,” the Shin Bet said.
“The Iranian handlers expressed willingness to invest an initial sum of some half a million dollars and then whatever the funds he required at a later date.”
The Iranian handlers gave Shafout encrypted communications equipment through which information was transferred and meetings arranged. The Iranians wanted to use this equipment to transfer money to terrorists.
“At the end of his activities on their behalf, he was dispatched to Israel, he was expected to travel to Iran to complete his training as an agent and to carry out advanced training in espionage and intelligence,” the Shin Bet said.
He was indicted by the military prosecutor for making contact with the enemy, making contact with a hostile organization, and conspiring to bring enemy funds into the country.
“This affair is another example of Iran’s ongoing attempts to set up an infrastructure for operations against Israel in a variety of ways, by investing considerable efforts and resources,” the Shin Bet said.