Shin Bet said on Thursday that they have arrested a Jordanian businessman who tried to set up intelligence gathering in the West Bank on behalf of Iran, writes Yediot Ahronoth.
The businessman, 32-year-old Taer Shaafut, was arrested in April and charged ten days ago by the military for being in contact with the enemy, contacting an enemy organization and conspiring to bring enemy means into the area.
Shin Bet said Shaafut entered Israel on behalf of Iranian intelligence and recruited spies to gather intelligence for Iran.
“The connection between Shaafut and Iranian intelligence began in Lebanon when he met two Arabic-speaking Iranian intelligence operators who introduced themselves as Abu Sadek and Abu Jaafar,” Shin Bet said.
Shaafut, originally from Hebron, has been meeting with Iranians in Lebanon and Syria for the past two years. He was instructed to establish business relations in the West Bank and Israel to gather information.
“As part of his contacts with his Iranian relations, Shaafut proposed and even received approval to set up a factory in Jordan that would use Shiite workers for future Iranian activities,” Shin Bet said. >
“Iranian relations expressed a willingness to invest an initial sum of about half a million dollars, and then the necessary sums – depending on how much he would need in the future.”
According to Shin Bet, Iranian connections had provided Shaafut with encrypted communications equipment – through which information was transmitted and meetings arranged. The Iranians wanted to use that equipment to transfer money to terrorists.
“After completing his activities on their behalf, he was sent to Israel, the plan was to travel to Iran to complete his training as an agent and complete advanced training in espionage and intelligence,” Shin Bet said. p>
“The incident is yet another example of Iran’s ongoing attempts to establish infrastructure for operations against Israel in various ways using a great deal of effort and resources,” the agency said.