The 21st Century Phenomenon



A Cyprus police spokesman said, on Friday 07/13/2012, authorities have detained a man on suspicion of being involved in planning a terrorist attack in Cyprus.

Spokesman Andreas Angelides said that police have an “an individual in custody on possible charges pertaining to terrorism laws.” Angelides declined to identify the suspect, the level of his involvement in the plot and what the intended target would have been, saying disclosure of any details about the case could compromise an ongoing investigation.

State radio CyBC quoted an unidentified senior police official as saying that “Israeli interests” in the southern coastal town of Limassol were to be targeted. CyBC said the suspect was arrested a week ago.

An official at the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia refused to comment on the matter.
Less than two weeks ago Kenyan authorities arrested two Iranians who are suspected of planning attacks against Israeli, Saudi and American interests in the African country. The two were in possession of explosives at the time of their arrest (see – Arrests 06.22.12).

Media reports, on Saturday 07/14/2012, claim man arrested by Cyprus police is Lebanese citizen who holds Saudi passport; entered to Island as tourist. 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 (see – Secret-War). 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 aircrafts, including a ticket on one of the Israeli aircrafts, were found in his possession. The suspect was later identified in Cypriote court as Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, 24, a Lebanese with Swedish passport..

* State radio said the suspect, 24, was staying in the Southern coastal resort of Limassol and took photographs of Israeli interests. According to Swedish sources the Suspect has also a Swedish citizenship and is, probably, a Hizbullah member – like Hussein Atris.

Hossam Taleb Yaacoub came to Cyprus as a tourist on Thursday,07/05/2012. Immediately after that, an urgent message was transferred to Cyprus from a foreign intelligence service, saying that the man intended to carry out attacks. Last Saturday, 07/07/2012, after a day of tracking the suspect, Cypriot security forces raided the hotel of the Lebanese citizen in the southern city of Limassol, and arrested him in his room..

* The suspect will stand trial on Sept. 12, authorities said on Friday 07/27/2012. He faces nine charges of security-related offences related to tracking the movements and areas frequented by Israeli visitors to the holiday island. Cypriot authorities have acknowledged the suspect showed behavioral patterns similar to the incident in Burgas. According to sources familiar with the case the Hizbullah suspect was arrested due to a tip from the British Intelligence – MI6 (see – Burgas Investigation-2012).

* On 10/03/2012 Hossam Taleb Yaacoub (pic) appeared before the court under tight security and pleaded not guilty to the terror charges against him. On 02/20/2013, as his trial began, the New York Times reported Hossam Taleb Yaacoub admitted in court to membership in the Hezbollah, and gave information regarding his communications with his handler, the use of code words, and European activities of the Shiite organization. He admitted that his handlers ordered him to look for Kosher restaurants in Limassol. In addition, he said that he was sent by the Hezbollah to other areas in which there were great Israeli and Jewish presences, such as Antalya and Amsterdam.

Hossam Taleb Yaacoub testified how he was taken in a commercial vehicle to meet with his handler, whom he knew by the name Ayman. “I never saw the face of Ayman because he was always wearing a mask,” Yaacoub said. He claimed that he was not involved in attempts to harm Israeli tourists in Cyprus, as accused by the prosecution. “Even if they asked me to participate in a terrorist action I would refuse. I could never do that,” Yaacoub said. “I’m only trained to defend Lebanon.”

The criminal court in Limassol, Cyprus, on Thursday 03/28/2013,  sentenced Hossam Taleb Yaacoub to four years in prison for plotting to kill Israeli tourists.
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