Suspected terrorist plotter arrested in Cyprus

By Jamie Michaels, July 16, 2012
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Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

Cypriot authorities have arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks on Israeli tourists in the country. The detainee, a Swedish passport holder of Lebanese origin, was taken into custody in the coastal town of Limassol, before being transported to the nation's capital, Nicosia.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides would not confirm the man's identity, nor the intended target. However, Mr Angelides did say that an individual had been taken in on charges pertaining to terrorism laws. While no definite reasons for the man's actions have been reliably revealed, an unidentified senior police official told a state radio station that the foreign national in custody was found to have in his possession, details of the movements of visiting Israelis.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his opinion over the weekend in blaming Hizbollah. In a statement, he called the incident "the attempted terrorist attack by Hizbollah against an Israeli target in Cyprus" and then further accused the guerrilla group's sponsor, Iran. Tehran has denied involvement and Israeli officials could not been reached for further comment.

Several attacks by Hizbollah on Israeli citizens abroad have been foiled in recent years, although the potential attack occurring on Cypriot soil is perhaps surprising, given that the island has been viewed as a neutral ground, with Israeli interests last targeted in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Last updated: 5:29pm, July 16 2012