Cyprus: We Thwarted a Hezbollah Plot

Cypriot Foreign Ministry says his country believes it foiled a Hezbollah plot to attack Israelis or Jews on the island.

Elad Benari ,

Hezbollah parade in Lebanon (file)
Hezbollah parade in Lebanon (file)

Cyprus believes it thwarted a Hezbollah plot to attack Israelis or Jews, its foreign minister said Monday, according to the Reuters news agency.

The comments come after a 26-year-old Lebanese-Canadian man was arrested last month on charges related to the discovery of a massive amount of ammonium nitrate in the basement of a home in Larnaca.

Earlier this month, Israel said Cyprus had told the Jewish state that the fertilizer was to be used for bombs by Hezbollah, and that Israelis or Jews on Cyprus may have been intended targets.

Asked about that account, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said, “Your information you mentioned is correct.”

Asked whether a Hezbollah bomb plot had indeed been foiled, he said, “Most probably,” according to Reuters.

A senior Israeli official, citing information received from Cyprus, told the news agency that the ammonium nitrate was apparently intended to make a large store of bombs that would be kept “on hand” for possible future attacks.

At the same time, the official also added that it does not look like there was an immediate terrorist attack being planned.

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.