On Wednesday, Israel said it had broken up an Iranian spy ring that recruited women to photograph certain locations, gather information and urge their sons to join Israeli military intelligence.

“We are seeing espionage attempts inside Israel by approaching Israeli women, supposedly innocently, and convincing them to maintain ongoing relationships,” Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service said, adding that targets of the ring had been arrested and would face “severe charges,” according to The Associated Press

The women were reportedly recruited via social media, with a man identified on Facebook as Rambod Namdar, who is a purported Iranian intelligence operative, seeming to target Israelis of Iranian descent for the scheme, the AP reported.

“Despite the suspects’ own suspicions that the man was an Iranian intelligence operative they decided to maintain the relationships and perform various assignments for him,” the Shin Bet added, according to the wire service.

Specifically, the Shin Bet said that one of the women involved agreed to take photos of the U.S. Embassy when it was in Tel Aviv as well as other sites, including an Israeli government office and a shopping mall. 

Another woman was allegedly paid $5,000 for various tasks, including creating a club for Israelis of Iranian descent, connecting with members of Israel’s parliament and putting a hidden camera in a “massage room” in her home. Both women also attempted to recruit their sons for military intelligence at the urging of recruiters, the AP noted. 

Tags Iran Israel

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