Cyprus to Try Hezbollah Member on Terror Charges

A Lebanese-Canadian will stand trial in Cyprus on terror charges, after 8.2 tons of fertilizer that can be used for bomb making was allegedly found in his home, police said Friday, according to AFP.

Authorities believe the man, whose name is being withheld in accordance with the law, has links with the so-called “military wing” of the Hezbollah terrorist group.

Foreign Minister Ioanis Kasoulides said during a visit to Israel this week that the authorities believe they have thwarted a possible attack on Israeli targets on the island.

The 26-year-old suspect appeared before a court in the southern coastal city of Larnaca, under heavy guard for a hearing held behind closed doors for "national security reasons," the AFP report said.

He will stand trial June 29 on charges including conspiracy to commit a crime, participation in and supporting a terrorist organization plus illegal possession and transfer of explosive materials.

The charge sheet covers a period from 2012 until May 27 of this year, police spokesman Charalambos Zachariou told reporters, with a prosecution line-up of 70 witnesses.

The official Cyprus News Agency said the man has confessed to belonging to Hezbollah but did not divulge what the fertilizer was for or what the possible targets might have been.

Police said the man arrived in Cyprus on May 21 for what he described as a holiday. He was arrested in a Larnaca suburb six days later following a surveillance operation.

Media say the authorities have not ruled out that he was planning an attack on Israeli interests on the island, which attracts thousands of tourists from nearby Israel every year.

Hezbollah has several times in the past tried to carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis outside of Israel.

In 2013, a Cyprus court sentenced a self-confessed member of the group to four years in prison after he was convicted of involvement in a plot to attack Israeli interests on the island.

Bulgaria named Hezbollah as being behind the attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Burgas in 2012. The attack killed six people, including five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian citizen.

The revelation of Hezbollah's involvement in the Burgas attack contributed to an EU-wide decision to blacklist Hezbollah as a terror group. However, the EU chose to only blacklist Hezbollah’s “military wing”, leaving its political faction off the list.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196999

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *