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Thursday, February 21, 2013

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.

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