Mossad ‘helped arrest’ alleged Hezbollah operative in Cyprus

Cyprus, Israel, Syria, Lebanon By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | |
Israeli intelligence was directly involved in the recent arrest of an alleged member of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, who is said to have been planning a series of attacks against Israeli targets on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Cypriot media quoted police spokesman Andreas Angelides, who confirmed that the 24-year-old man was arrested on July 7 during a raid on his hotel in the tourist resort of Limassol. He also said that the man, whose name has not been released, was arrested “on possible charges pertaining to terrorism laws” soon after entering Cyprus using a Swedish passport. According to local media, Cypriot authorities were tipped off as to the man’s alleged Hezbollah connections and plans by an unnamed “foreign intelligence agency”. However, several news reports suggested over the weekend that officers of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad have already been dispatched to Cyprus to aid local counterterrorist officials involved in the investigation. Several sources allege that the Swedish-passport holder has been collaborating with his interrogators, telling them that he traveled to Cyprus with the intent of launching an armed attack at the embassy of Israel in Cypriot capital Nicosia. He allegedly changed his mind after observing the heavy security measures in place at the embassy, and opted instead for a plan to blow up a commercial airplane belonging to El Al Airlines, Israel’s national air carrier. He also allegedly considered attacking a number of buses belonging to Israeli tour companies operating in Israel. Cypriot police said that a thorough search of the man’s hotel room netted information on Israeli bus tour companies on the island, detailed flight schedules of Israeli airline operators, as well as digital photographs of popular destinations among Israeli tourists holidaying in Cyprus. It is unclear at this point whether the alleged Hezbollah member had any accomplishes, or whether he was acting alone, according to the police report. Commenting on the arrest, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued on Saturday that the captured man was a member of Hezbollah acting under direct orders by the Iranian government. The last time an Israeli facility was targeted on the island of Cyprus was 24 years ago, in 1988, when a car bomb exploded outside the Israeli embassy in Nicosia, killing three people.

4 Responses to Mossad ‘helped arrest’ alleged Hezbollah operative in Cyprus

  1. LenM says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but what is the significance of Cyprus?
    Is it simply the proximity to Lebanon that makes it ‘convenient’, or is it a particularly target rich environment?

  2. intelNews says:

    @LenM: The Israelis seem to think that the planned attacks were part of a wider Iranian/Hezbollah plan to strike at Israeli targets abroad, which are said to include the planned attacks earlier this year in Thailand, India, and Georgia. [JF]

  3. DizzyD says:

    Also there is the concern about the oil fields off Cyprus which are a joint venture between Israel and Greek Cyprus.

  4. joe kerr says:

    What is significant is its divided in two- and the Turkish controlled side has been used by Arab terrorist as a safe haven and transport hub for 30 plus years- despite US pressure Turkey our so called ally has happily helped them “unofficially” and occassionally the greek side has too when they aren’t happy with US policies… Tho it remains a beautiful and popular vacation spot for Euros and Med. Nations due too good weather n beaches…. Military wise it is very strategic….

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