Cyprus detains Lebanese terrorist suspected of targeting ‘Israeli interests’
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Cyprus detains Lebanese terrorist suspected of targeting ‘Israeli interests’

Suspect carried Saudi passport; foreign governments helped thwart attack by sharing intel with Cyprus

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Erato Kozakou Marcoullis, the foreign minister of Cyprus, during his visit to the island country in February (photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/Flash90/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Erato Kozakou Marcoullis, the foreign minister of Cyprus, during his visit to the island country in February (photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/Flash90/GPO)

Cyprus authorities have detained a Lebanese man carrying a Saudi Arabian passport on suspicion of being involved in planning a terrorist attack on Israelis on the island, a police spokesman said Friday. He entered the country under the guise of a tourist.

The man is suspected of trying to blow up a plane or a bus carrying Israelis. He had allegedly obtained details about an Israeli plane and had taken pictures of Israeli targets in the southern coastal town of Limassol, Israel Radio reported.

State radio CyBC quoted an unidentified senior police official as saying that “Israeli interests” were to be targeted. CyBC said the suspect was arrested a week ago. Spokesman Andreas Angelides confirmed that the police have “an individual in custody on possible charges pertaining to terrorism laws.”

Foreign governments passed intelligence onto Cyprus to help thwart a possible attack.

Angelides declined to identify the suspect, the level of his involvement in the plot and what the intended target would have been, saying disclosure of any details about the case could compromise an ongoing investigation.

An official at the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia refused to comment on the matter. Cyprus’ government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou also declined to comment.

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