Cyprus police say they have asked a court to hold a foreign terror suspect for another seven days amid reports that he was monitoring the movements of Israeli tourists on the island. Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged Iran with the plot.
Police spokesman Andreas Angelides told The Associated Press on Friday the court is expected to decide Monday on the 24-year-old man’s detention.
Cyprus authorities have declined to reveal any details about the suspect’s identity or what he was planning. But state broadcaster CyBC said the man — a Lebanese national with a Swedish passport — is linked to Lebanon’s Hezbollah and that he had been monitoring the movements of Israeli tourists on the island.
The man was detained about a week before a suicide bomber in Bulgaria killed five Israeli tourists and a local bus driver.
A Cyprus police spokesman says a man suspected of helping to plan attacks against Israeli tourists on the east Mediterranean island has been ordered to stand trial.
Andreas Angelides told the AP on Friday that the 24-year-old man faces a total nine "terrorism and terrorism-related charges," the most serious of which carries a sentence of life in prison. The trial has been scheduled for September.
During court hearings held behind closed doors, police have maintained the Cyprus suspect is a member of Hezbollah. The group is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and other countries, but not by Cyprus.
Israel has asked foreign security forces around the world, including those in Cyprus and Greece, to increase protection for Israeli tourists ahead of the high holidays, defense sources revealed Wednesday. The request also went out to police and governments in Thailand and other countries, where large numbers of Israelis are set to visit in the coming weeks.