BEIRUT

Middle East

Cyprus detains Lebanese anti-Israel 'terror' suspect: reports

NICOSIA: Cyprus police have detained a young Lebanese man who holds a Saudi passport on suspicion of planning a "terrorist attack" against Israeli interests in the country, media reports said on Saturday.

A police spokesman said he could not deny or confirm the reports because it was a "sensitive political issue".

"This is an issue of security which we take very seriously and we cannot comment any further," the spokesman told AFP.

Online news website Sigmalive said the police were tipped off by foreign intelligence services and the man -- who came to Cyprus as a tourist -- was arrested in his hotel room last week.

It said the suspect appeared before a closed court for a second time Friday where he was detained in police custody for another seven days.

Police are trying to unravel the level of involvement of the suspect, the intended targets and whether he had accomplices on the island.

According to Sigmalive the man arrived on the island to plan and orchestrate the blowing up of a plane or a bus. Local daily Phileleftheros said notes with details of Israeli aircraft were found in his possession.

State radio said the suspect was staying in the southern coastal resort of Limassol and took photographs of Israeli interests.

Police have made no official public statement about the arrest or the investigation.

Cyprus had seen attacks against Israeli interests in late 70s and early 80s, but since then the island has been viewed as neutral ground for unofficial Mideast peace contacts.

 

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