Similiarities? Bugas Bomber
Photo: AFP

Cyprus: Similarities between Burgas bomber, terror suspect

Cypriot justice minister says behavior of man detained in Cyprus for planning attacks on Israeli targets bore similarity to suicide bomber who killed five Israelis in Bulgaria

A man suspected of planning attacks on Israeli interests in Cyprus was detained by a court on the island on Monday, as the justice minister said his behavior bore some similarity to the suicide bomber who killed five Israelis in Bulgaria last week.


The 24-year-old suspect, who has not been named, was arrested in the Cypriot port city of Limassol on July 7, on suspicion of tracking the movements of Israeli tourists. He is a Swedish national of Lebanese origin.


Related stories:


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday the man had been planning an attack similar to the suicide bus bombing in the Bulgarian city of Burgas last Wednesday.


Cypriot Justice Minister Loucas Louca told reporters in Nicosia on Monday: "There are some similarities between the behavior of the suspect, and the terrorist attack in Bulgaria.


"We have not concluded yet, the investigation must finish."


Wreckage of the bus (Photo: AP)


Netanyahu told the US "Fox News Sunday" television program that the "modus operandi" of the Cyprus suspect was similar to that used by the Burgas bomber.


He said he had "rock-solid" intelligence that Lebanon's Hezbollah group, backed by Iran, was responsible. Tehran has denied any involvement.


Louca said the suspect was a member of an organization, which he did not name. The man has been widely reported to be a member of Hezbollah, classed as a "terrorist" organization by Israel and the United States, but not by the European Union or Cyprus.


The suspect on Monday appeared at a Limassol court which ordered his remand until Friday pending completion of police inquiries.


He was held on suspicion of espionage and conspiring to commit a crime, said those present at the hearing, held behind closed doors with only police and his lawyer present.


Authorities are investigating 10 charges against him, they said, without giving further details.


The suspect was arrested at a hotel two days after his arrival from London. Lists of locations frequented by Israeli tourists were found on him, according to media reports which have not been disputed by authorities.


A senior Cypriot government source said he was picked up after a tip-off from British intelligence.


The suspect has not been charged. Under Cypriot law police can obtain court-sanctioned detention orders at regular intervals until an investigation is concluded either by formal charges or the release of the detainee.




פרסום ראשון: 07.23.12, 21:34
 new comment
This will delete your current comment