Terrorist Suspect Remanded Seven More Days
Update: A young Lebanese man has been remanded for seven more days by Limassol District Court on suspicion he was planning a terrorist attack on Israeli interests in Cyprus. The man appeared in court with his head covered by a black hood as authorities seek to protect his identity.
Authorities are expected to charge him formally in a week's time, and according to Justice Minister Loucas Loucas, there are similarities between the suspect's behaviour and the Burgas bombing in which six Israelis were killed.
Last week's bombing of a bus in Bulgaria and the arrest of a Lebanese man suspected of terrorism in Cyprus are linked and part of a larger terrorist plot, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At least eight people died in Burgas, Bulgaria, after the busload of Israeli tourists were hit by a suicide bomber, who died in the explosion.
Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel is facing a 'global wave of terror' led by members of Hezbollah and sponsored by Iran.
The international community has condemned the attack. "I strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack in Burgas, which cost the lives of several people and wounded many others. Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations can never be tolerated or justified," said NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
"I would like to express my utter indignation in regards to the terrorist attack against Israeli tourists that has taken place in Burgas, Bulgaria, and which has resulted in the loss of lives, as well as to the injury of several people. Cyprus condemns all acts of terrorism. The perpetrators of this act should swiftly be brought to justice," said Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis.
Earlier this month, the Lebanese man who has a Swedish passport was remanded by Limassol District Court for five days. It is believed he was aiming to carry out an act of terrorism targeting Israeli interests, possibly by an attack on a plane or a bus. The suspect's hotel room has been searched, and he reportedly arrived on the island travelling as a tourist.
Cyprus police were alerted by foreign secret service agencies, and the suspect is being interrogated by Mossad and CID in Limassol. Investigators believe he was acting alone and had no accomplices in Cyprus, said a police spokesman.
According to their information, the suspect has started talking and giving information about the plans, thought to stem from a terrorist group active in Lebanon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hezbollah and Teheran of being behind the plot, saying that Iran is exporting its policy of terrorism on a large scale.
Cyprus is no stranger to terrorist attacks against Israeli interests. On October 4, 1984, the Abu Musa organisation targeted the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia with a car bomb that exploded in the parking lot, causing severe damage to the building. Then, in May 1988, another car bomb exploded near the Israeli Embassy, killing several policemen.
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