Terror suspect held in Cyprus, Israel says Iran behind plot
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Israel accused Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas and Iran on Sunday of plotting to attack its citizens in Cyprus after police on the Mediterranean island arrested a foreigner on suspicion of terror offences.
The suspect, who was arrested in Limassol port on July 7, was described by Cypriot media as a Swedish passport-holder of Lebanese descent.
Documents and photographs were found in his possession detailing movements of Israelis on the island, reports said Sunday.
In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident the attempted terrorist attack by Hezbollah against an Israeli target in Cyprus. He accused the Shia guerrilla group's sponsor, Iran, of overall responsibility.
"After Iran sent its people to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador on US soil at the Saudi Embassy, and carry out attacks in Azerbaijan, Tbilisi, New Delhi and Africa, now it has been exposed that it intended to commit a terror attack on Cyprus soil,'' he said in a statement.
Though Tehran has denied involvement, some analysts believe it is trying to avenge the assassinations of several scientists from its controversial nuclear programme, which the Iranians have blamed on Israel and Western allies.
Police said the 24-year-old man remains in custody and is being investigated on charges relating to national security and terrorism. Cypriot Justice and Public Order Minister Loucas Louca said authorities were awaiting for the results of their investigation.
A Cypriot government source said the arrest took place following information from foreign intelligence agencies. An Israeli official said Israel's Mossad spy service was involved in the investigation. Asked if a Mossad tip-off had prompted the arrest, the official declined comment.
Police have not identified the suspect, his role in the possible attack, or the intended target.