The security services of Lebanon issued recently (April 29) a warning on all social media channels and in the local Lebanese media about a Facebook account identified as being operated by the intelligence services of Israel. The Facebook account, named Global Recruitment Company GRC, identified as a company located in Bucharest, Romania, was located by the Lebanese security service, according to the report by the 961 website.
The owners of the account, according to the Lebanese service, offered security-related and private research jobs. I looked into the matter and found that the Romanian company does not exist and is not listed in Romania's registry of companies. The job offers, which included a promise of a high salary, were for Lebanese residents with experience in the field, including residents of Palestinian refugee camps. The Lebanese security service said that any Lebanese citizen who contacts the site will be punished.
The website of the company from Romania, www.grcompany.info, based on the Wix platform, was established on November 15, 2020. The site's domain was purchased that month. It was not possible to locate the owners of the domain, who remain anonymous. The day after the Lebanese security service's announcement, the company's Facebook profile was removed, and it could not be located on social networks.
It was not the first time for the Lebanese security service to warn of a Facebook profile trying to recruit agents among the Lebanese population. In December 2020, the Lebanese Army warned that officers in its ranks started to receive messages from a Facebook page named "The Mossad", inviting the Lebanese Army officers to join its ranks. Lebanese media entities rejected the Army's warnings, claiming it was not possible that the Israeli intelligence organization would contact Army officers in such an open manner to recruit them into its ranks.
Even if intelligence organizations of Israel are the ones behind the mysterious Romanian site, they are not the only ones making efforts to carry out recruitment disguised as tempting job offers. Intelligence services of other countries (including, for example, China and Iran) establish sites and profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook, and offer engineers, Army officers, retired government officials and others to join the ranks of new and promising "initiatives".
Those who respond to the sites or profiles are invited within a short time to a meeting in a neutral country for a job interview, negotiation on a lucrative consulting contract and a "fascinating" project, which most of the time is a cover. The "consultant" takes part in the project and provides his knowledge and experience. The "consultant" does not always know that he is working for the intelligence service of a foreign country, but most of the time he will understand that he is working ("to his great luck") for an initiative in which he needs to use the knowledge from his field of business in recent years.
Most of the time, the projects are very tempting in terms of the level of interest and personal challenge as well as economically, and candidates have a difficult time resisting them. The handlers know how to exploit the motives of their victims very well and make them, knowingly or unknowingly, provide their knowledge and experience to entities that they tried to keep secrets from during their entire professional lives.
The identity of the Romanian company will probably never be discovered. The company that does not exist in the listings of the registry of Romanian companies will quickly disappear, its internet page will be removed at some point, and its internet presence will be quickly forgotten, until the next online attempt to recruit Lebanese "workers" and "consultants" for security companies and as private researchers.