Cyprus bomb plotter admits he's Hezbullah
A Lebanese Swede, who was arrested last summer and charged with plotting to attack Israelis and other Jews in Limmasol, Cyprus, has admitted that - what a surprise - he's a member of Hezbullah
. The case may have ramifications for European efforts to declare Hezbullah a terror organization. Cyprus is a member of the European Union.
The Cypriot authorities accuse Yaacoub of plotting an attack against
Israeli tourists on the island in July. Yaacoub faces eight charges in
the criminal court in the city of Limassol. He is charged with
membership in a criminal organization and conspiracy in "carrying out
missions in any part of the world, including the Cyprus Republic,
against Israeli citizens," among other charges.
The Cypriot authorities reduced 17 terrorism-related charges down to
eight charges in October. The Jerusalem Post learned that Yaacoub said
at today’s proceeding that Hezbollah is a political organization and he
has knowledge of weapons but he came to Cyprus without Hezbollah
connections. The purpose of his visit to Cyprus was business. Yaacoub
did, however, say he met with a Hezbollah operative who covered his
face. It is unclear if the meeting with the Hezbollah operative took
place in Cyprus, Lebanon or Sweden.
Yaacoub said he arrived in
Cyprus with no intention to carry out a terror attack. The prosecution
is slated to cross-examine Yaacoub on Thursday. The court case may run
until March 7 and a verdict is anticipated in mid-March. The Cyprus
verdict could have significant implications for the EU’s decision making
process to label Hezbollah a terror entity. Bulgarian Interior
Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov attributed the Burgas bus explosion to
Hezbollah operatives, which resulted in the deaths of five Israelis and
their Bulgarian bus driver in July.
The reason why Europe is finding this so difficult is that so far Hezbullah has only targeted Israelis and other Jews.... If 'ordinary Europeans' were being targeted, they would have much less problem deciding that Hezbullah is a terrorist organization.
Labels: Cyprus, designated terror organization, European Union, Hezbullah