Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Facebook as a Terror Weapon

by David Bedein

Terrorists Turn To Social Networking In An Effort To Target Israelis

Israeli intelligence has issued an unprecedented warning: Terrorists may use Facebook as a weapon in their war of terror.

A senior Israeli officer identifies recently fired high-tech workers or young career women seeking work abroad as potential terrorist targets for Facebook infiltration.

Their method is simple: monitor personal details on social networks and send their targets a tempting offer - for example, a dream job in Europe - with the hope they will also be able to obtain information, recruit spies and maybe even a kidnap an Israeli.

That is the Israel security establishment’s nightmare, and it believes Hezbollah already uses this technique.

An Israeli citizen recently told law enforcement authorities he had been solicited on Facebook by someone who introduced himself as a businessman from Lebanon. The businessman asked him to relay intelligence information in return for a fee.

Israel security sources say this instance was not the only case, and they believe Hezbollah has engaged in some of these activities.

“Based on our investigations, both into the people who lured Israeli civilians and the people whom they tried to lure, a worrisome picture emerges,” said a high-ranking security official. “Israelis have a short memory, but it happened once before that a boy was lured by means of the Internet by woman terrorist Amna Mona who in the end murdered the boy, Ophir Rahum. We’ve seen a lot of attempts like that lately.”

The official also said resumes sent out on the Internet also serve as bait.

“In response, someone could receive a tempting job offer that is hard to turn down and for which they would have to go to Europe - and then be kidnapped. This isn’t made up,” the official said.

It is known that Arab terror organizations use Israeli Web sites and social networks where there are a lot of Israelis, including veterans of classified Israeli Army units, with the goal of obtaining classified information on Israel’s security targets.

One year ago, two residents of the Bedouin city of Rahat were arrested and accused with transferring information to al-Qaida on Facebook.

See this story in the Philadelphia Bulletin
See this story at Israel Behind the News

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