Terrorism groups are using Facebook and other social networking sites to recruit Israeli citizens as spies, the Israeli government warned Monday.
Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency, issued a statement warning Israelis about the dangers of trading confidential information for money. “The Shin Bet has gotten many reports about cases where terrorist elements are using the Internet to get in touch with Israelis with proposals to enlist in terror activity or to pass classified information in exchange for payment,” the statement said. Not only could the leaked information hurt Israeli security, citizens traveling to other countries to exchange the information for money “might lead to them being kidnapped by terror organizations,” Shin Bet said. The government did not reveal any examples of Israelis becoming spies through Facebook, but it did describe one attempt. “Lately, an Israeli citizen contacted the Shin Bet and complained about a request in Facebook from a person that presented himself as a Lebanese merchant, who asked him to give him classified information for money,” the statement said. Shin Bet said this was just one example “among many incidents that were identified by the security services.” “It is initiated contacts, concrete and direct to Israeli citizens, with emphasis on the social networks, that offers them to enlist to terror activity or to pass classified information in exchange for payment,” it said. Shin Bet said terror groups are combing Facebook and other networks “for business or personal matters like names, addresses, Internet addresses and phone numbers that are being used to find and contact Israeli citizens in Israel and also abroad.”