Shin Bet Arrests Jordanian Man Over Role in Alleged Iranian Plot to Spy on Israel
Israel’s domestic security service the Shin Bet has arrested a Jordanian citizen who was allegedly recruited by Iranian intelligence to spy on the Jewish state, it was announced on Thursday.
According to the Israeli news site Mako, the Shin Bet believes 32-year-old Thaer Shafut, originally from Hebron, was recruited by the Iranians in Lebanon last year and met with handlers in Syria as well.
Shafut’s contacts, who were apparently known to him as “Abu Sadek” and “Abu Jaffar,” told him to set up a business in Israel that could be used as a cover for recruiting more agents in Israel and the West Bank. It is also thought Iran’s Revolutionary Guards wanted to use him to fund Palestinian terrorist operations.
During visits to Israel in July and August 2018 and April of this year, Shafut seemingly made contacts with sources on the ground and sought to form business relationships in Israel and the West Bank.
Among these apparent endeavors was a plan to build a factory in Jordan that would employ Shiites, thus establishing them as potential intelligence assets. The Iranians are said to have provided Shafut with startup funds for the project.
Shafut was also allegedly provided with encrypted communications equipment, with which he contacted his handlers.
The Shin Bet commented on the arrest, “This incident is another example of Iran’s ongoing attempts to establish an infrastructure for operations against Israel, in a variety of ways and with the investment of considerable energy and resources.”