El Al airplanes sit on the runway 370 (R).
(photo credit:Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
An attack against Israeli tourists in Cyprus appears to have been preempted by
the arrest of a Lebanese man who had been tracking Israelis on the island,
Cypriot security authorities revealed on Saturday.
The 24-year-old man,
thought to be a Swedish passport holder of Lebanese extraction, was arrested on
July 7 and was being detained following remand hearings held behind closed
doors, Sigma TV reported. He has not been charged with any
Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said, “We can confirm the
arrest of a 24-year-old foreign national for specific, serious offenses, and who
is in custody by order of the court.”
It was not the first time that a
Lebanese-Swedish man has been accused of plotting attacks against Israeli
targets. In January, Thai authorities arrested Hussein Idris, a Lebanese-
Swedish national, together with another Lebanese man on suspicion that they were
plotting a series of bomb attacks against Israeli targets in
Israeli diplomats have been on high alert amid predictions that
Hezbollah is trying to avenge the assassination of its military commander Imad
Mughniyeh in Damascus in 2008, which it attributes to the Mossad.
TV’s Web portal reported that the Lebanese-Swedish man had been tracking the
movement of Israeli tourists on the island, while Cypriot newspaper
Phileleftheros said he was trying to pinpoint areas frequented by Israelis and
the buses they used.
A government source said the arrest took place
following information received from foreign intelligence agencies. Other media
reported that the Mossad had provided Cypriot officials with information about
“It is not clear what, or whether, there was a target in
Cyprus,” a senior government official told Reuters. “That is under
Cyprus lies just west of Syria and Lebanon but has been
largely unscathed by the violence and upheaval rattling the Middle East. Its
last major security incident was a botched car bomb attack on the Israeli
Embassy in the capital Nicosia in May 1988 that killed three
people.Reuters contributed to the report.
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