Hezbollah operative planning attacks on Israelis arrested in Cyprus

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Police in Cyprus reportedly arrested a Lebanese man planning attacks on Israeli tourists.

Following Saturday’s announcement of the arrest, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the thwarted attack on Iran saying in a statement: “There are no borders to Iranian terrorism. After Iran sent its people to assassinate – on U.S. soil – the Saudi Arabian ambassador and to perpetrate terrorist attacks in Azerbaijan, Bangkok, Tbilisi, New Delhi and Africa, its intention to perpetrate attacks in Cyprus has now been exposed.”

“The international community needs to fight the greatest exporter of terrorism in the world,” the statement concluded.

The arrested man, a Lebanese citizen, 24, with dual Swedish citizenship, was taken into custody on July 7 after Israeli intelligence provided information to Cypriot authorities. He had arrived in Cyprus on July 5 as a tourist, which triggered Israeli officials to share intelligence, Haaretz reported.

The man was found with information on tour buses carrying Israeli passengers, a list of places in Cyprus favored by Israeli tourists and flight information of Israeli airlines that land in Cyprus, the Greek newspaper Phileleftheros reported, suggesting that he planned to detonate explosions on a plane or bus.

He reportedly admitted that he was connected to Hezbollah, after a great deal of questioning, according to Cyprus’ Sigma Live newspaper.    

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