Cyprus Police Probe Anti-Israel Link in Explosives Haul

NICOSIA (Reuters) -

Cypriot police suspect a man arrested on Wednesday was planning an attack on Israeli interests on the island after they found almost two tons of ammonium nitrate in his basement, newspapers reported on Friday.

The 26-year-old man is Lebanese-born and has a Canadian passport. He was detained by police after authorities discovered the stockpile. Ammonium nitrate is a fertilizer that can create a powerful explosive when mixed with other substances.

Authorities are investigating possible links to Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hizbullah group, three Cypriot newspapers said on Friday.

Police suspect Israeli interests were the target, the Simerini, Politis and Phileleftheros newspapers said.

The unnamed individual may have a close link with the group’s leader, Sayyed Hassan Nazrallah, two newspapers said.

“There is some information that he could possibly be connected with them (Hizbullah), and this is something that is under investigation,” a security source told Reuters, requesting anonymity.

In 2013 a Swedish citizen of Lebanese descent was jailed in Cyprus on charges of plotting to attack Israeli tourists.