The Lebanese Army announced in a statement on Tuesday that a number of people in Lebanon received “friend requests and messages” on Facebook in the name of “The Mossad,” the Israeli intelligence agency.
According to the statement, the messages included invitations to join and communicate with the agency.
The army included a screenshot of what looked like an advertisement from The Mossad page on Facebook which reads, “Join us to embark on the journey together, hand in hand for the benefit of others and yourself.”
The call to action invites people to send them a message. It reads, “The first step requires courage, and after that, you’ve won.”
It’s worth clarifying that Facebook pages cannot send friend requests, only individuals can. It is most likely that people have been noticing the Israeli advertisement, as showing in that screenshot by the Lebanese Army, rather than receiving friend requests and messages.
It is also unlikely that an enemy intelligence service would use such an open method of invitation, an ad, to recruit or communicate with people in Lebanon. The possibility of an internal shady group attempting to trap people to accuse them of dealing with Israel is not to be discarded.
Just this week, Lebanese political activist Kinda El-Khatib was sentenced to three years in prison with hard labor for the offenses of allegedly dealing with the enemy, visiting Israel, and sharing intelligence, while she holds that she only responded to a Tweet message without knowing that it was from an Israeli reporter.
The Lebanese Army Command made the announcement to warn citizens of the consequences of being tricked into such attempts. It called on people to be wary of taking action or responding or else be at risk of facing legal prosecution.