Cypriot police arrested a Lebanese suspected of plotting an attack against Israeli interests in the Mediterranean island, the Cypriot media reported on Saturday. On his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to denounce the "Iranian terrorism" after this arrest. "The Iranian terrorism has no borders. After Iran sent its men to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, its attacks in Azerbaijan, in Bangkok, Tbilisi, New Delhi and Africa, it has now revealed its intention to perpetrate a terrorist attack on the soil of Cyprus," said Netanyahu in a statement issued by his office.
A spokesman for the Cyprus Police refused to confirm or deny the information because what he called the "sensitivity of the case". "This is a security issue that we consider very seriously and therefore we can't make further comments," he told AFP.
According to local press reports, the suspect worked for the Shiite movement Hizbullah, an ally of Iran.
According to the online Sigmalive website, Cypriot police was alerted by foreign intelligence services after the Lebanese arrived in Cyprus as a tourist. The man, who holds a Swedish passport, was arrested in his hotel room a week ago.
State television reported, without providing further details, that agents of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, had provided information on the suspect to the Cypriot authorities. He appeared in court Friday and was kept in custody for seven days, the television added.
According Sigmalive, the man had arrived on the island to prepare an attack against a plane or a bus. The daily Phileleftheros, for its part, noted that details about the schedules of Israeli aircraft were found in his possession. State radio reported that he was staying in the coastal town of Limassol and took pictures of Israeli interests.
In February 2012, a series of attacks targeted Israeli interests in Azerbaijan, Thailand, Georgia and New Delhi. The Israeli government had accused Tehran of masterminding the attacks using agents of Hizbullah.