Israeli intel shares story of Iranian spy plot

The Shin Bet security agency announced on May 2 that it had uncovered a fake Iranian Facebook profile used to recruit Israelis for intelligence collection and possible violence against targets within Israel. The Iranians reportedly made up a Jewish woman they named Sara Puppi who was said to have business connections in Israel and promised payment in bitcoin.

Two days earlier, in a highly unusual disclosure, the Mossad provided a photo and recording of a man it identified as Mansour Rasouli, 52, said to be an Iranian operative of the Quds Force who admitted to being tasked with assassinating an Israeli diplomat in Istanbul, an American general in Germany and a French journalist. The Mossad said its agents detained the man on Iranian soil, questioned him and released him there. His fate is unknown.

The Shin Bet, the Hebrew acronym for the Israel Security Agency, is tasked with countering espionage within Israel and foiling terrorism. The Mossad is Israel’s equivalent of the CIA, in charge of intelligence operations beyond Israel’s borders. These two agencies have tightened their cooperation on Iran in recent months. Publication of the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate three targets in Turkey and Europe seems timed to follow reports that the United States was reconsidering its intention to remove theIslamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.

“The two developments could well be connected,” a senior former security source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “The Americans, and particularly President [Joe] Biden, may have been persuaded by intelligence presented to them that the Revolutionary Guard is still intent on carrying out terrorism attacks against American and other Western targets.” Nonetheless, a senior Israeli military source asked about a possible link told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The Americans do not need any proof of the Revolutionary Guard’s activities. They…


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