The Shin Bet security service has arrested five Jewish Israelis accused of assisting an Iranian operative in gathering intelligence and making connections in Israel, despite some of them suspecting that he was working for Iran, the Shin Bet said Wednesday.

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.

Two of the suspects also attempted to convince their sons to join an IDF Military Intelligence unit, the Shin Bet said.

“I call on the citizens of Israel to be vigilant about these attempts. It may be that the people behind the information you consume or share on the networks are Iranians,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday in response to news of the case. “There can be no doubt — the long arm of the defense establishment will reach anyone who tries to harm Israel’s security.”

Namdar, who maintained profiles on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, pretended to be Jewish in conversations with some of the suspects.

In some cases, the suspects acknowledged that they were aware that Namdar may have been an Iranian intelligence operative, but continued their communications with him anyway, according to the security service.

“With their grave actions, those involved put themselves, their families and innocent Israeli citizens at risk, as their information was transferred to Iranian intelligence, in addition to the information that was handed over about Israeli sites and American sites in Israel, which would be used for terrorist purposes,” a senior Shin Bet official said in a statement on Wednesday.

Read more at Times of Israel

Related Articles:

The anti-Israel ‘World Council of Churches’ elects an anti-Zionist leader

The World Council of Churches has announced Rev Jerry Pillay as the new general secretary for the council. The Jewish community has spoken out against Rev Jerry Pillay’s election as...

Turkey arrests Iranian terror cell planning attacks on Israeli tourists

Turkey has detained several people allegedly working for an Iranian intelligence cell that planned to assassinate or snatch Israeli tourists in Istanbul, local media reported...

Haley in UK: ‘We are living in a Churchillian moment’

Nikki Haley has said we're at a 'Churchillian moment' in dealing with the threat from regimes such as Iran.The former US ambassador to the United Nations was speaking during a visit to...

Russian and Iranian ministers meet in Tehran to strengthen ties

Russian and Iranian leaders met in Tehran this week aimed at developing closer ties. Iran and Russia are both under sanctions from the West and the meeting was aimed at "expanding...

Israel flies fire brigade, rescue experts to assist in Cyprus fires

An Israeli firefighting delegation, comprised of C-130J Hercules transport planes, took off for the island of Cyprus to help put out fires that are spreading in the north of...