Cyprus Bomb-Plot Suspect Admits Hizbullah Ties

(New York Times) Nicholas Kulish - Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, 24, admitted on Wednesday in a Cyprus court that he is an operative of Hizbullah. When he was arrested last July in Limassol, he had a notebook with the license plate numbers of two buses ferrying Israelis to vacation spots in the vicinity. "The evidence seems quite compelling that what he was doing was conducting surveillance for a bombing that would parallel almost exactly what happened in Bulgaria," said Matthew Levitt, director of the program on counterterrorism and intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Yaacoub said he was trained in the use of weapons and had acted as a courier for Hizbullah inside the EU since he has a Swedish passport. He also acknowledged staking out locations where Israelis appeared in large numbers - a parking lot behind a Limassol hospital and a hotel called the Golden Arches. Like Bulgaria, Cyprus is a popular tourist destination, with nearly 40,000 Israelis visiting in 2012.

2013-02-21 00:00:00

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