Shin Bet Arrests 5 Jewish Israelis Suspected of Spying for Iran

The Shin Bet security service has arrested five Jewish Israelis accused of assisting an Iranian operative, who often pretended to be a Jewish man, in gathering intelligence and making connections in Israel, the Shin Bet said Wednesday.

In some cases, the suspects told investigators they were aware that Namdar may have been an Iranian intelligence operative, but continued their communications with him anyway, according to the security service. The five suspects — four women and one man — are all Jewish immigrants from Iran or the descendants of Iranian immigrants. Their names were barred from publication under a court-issued gag order requested by their attorneys.

According to the Shin Bet, the suspects took photographs of strategically significant sites in Israel, including the US Consulate in Tel Aviv; attempted to form relationships with politicians; provided information about security arrangements at different sites; and committed other offenses — all at the direction of the Iranian operative, who went by the name Rambod Namdar, in exchange for thousands of dollars. . .

The investigation and resulting indictments shed light on the rare and little-discussed phenomenon of Jews from Iran traveling to Israel to visit family. In one case, such a trip — by one of the suspects’ nieces — was used to transport funds from Iran to Israel in order to pay the Israelis working for Namdar, according to the charge sheet. (Read more from “Shin Bet Arrests 5 Jewish Israelis Suspected of Spying for Iran” HERE)

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