Israeli intelligence issues Facebook warning

May 18, 2009 By IAN DEITCH , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- Israel's internal intelligence service urged the public Monday to exercise caution when using Facebook, saying Arabs are trying to recruit spies on the popular social networking site.

The Shin Bet security agency warned Israelis against answering unsolicited messages or sharing telephone numbers and other sensitive information over the Internet. It said there have been numerous incidents recently in which violent groups tried to recruit Israelis through Facebook and other networking sites.

The agency said in one instance an Israeli Facebook user was contacted by a man who introduced himself as a Lebanese agent and offered money for information about .

The Shin Bet said Israelis should be wary of seemingly innocent meetings or dates proposed online by people they don't know. These messages might be posted by militants with intention to kidnap or kill, it said.

"Terror organizations are using these sites to tempt Israelis to meet up in person in order to either abduct them, kill them or recruit them as spies," the Shin Bet said.

An Israeli teenager was killed eight years ago when he was lured to the West Bank by a young woman he met on the Internet.

In recent years, militants have turned to the Internet to battle Israel. Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip have long been using Google Earth for better precision when firing rockets at southern Israeli cities.

Facebook is open to any person, group or business that wants to sign up for an account. It does prohibit content that is hateful or threatening, and users are barred from doing "anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory." But, like elsewhere on the Internet, Facebook does not hand-screen all the content on the site before it is posted.

officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Two Israeli Arabs were arrested on charges they gave strategic information to the al-Qaida terror network over the Internet last year.

Last year, an Israeli reservist was sentenced to five years in prison for sending e-mails offering to sell secret information to Iran and Hamas.

Israel frequently issues travel warnings to its citizens citing intelligence reports of militant plots to attack and kidnap Israelis.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Report: Israelis report election spam

Mar 29, 2006

Israelis receive a lot of spam e-mail, but in the month leading up to Tuesday's general elections the amount spiked due to political messages.

Recommended for you

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

16 hours ago

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

22 hours ago

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

Apr 18, 2014

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...