A Lebanese-Canadian man faces terror charges in Cyprus


Cypriot police arrested a Lebanese-Canadian man Wednesday after finding potential explosive material in his home. AFP
Cypriot police arrested a Lebanese-Canadian man Wednesday after finding potential explosive material in his home. AFP
A Lebanese man faces the charge of belonging to a terrorist organization after Cypriot police seized a vast quantity of a chemical compound commonly used for explosives in his apartment.

Local news outlet In-Cyprus reported that a raid on the unidentified man’s Larnaca home uncovered 400 boxes packed with a total of two tons of ammonium nitrate, which is used to produce the ANFO explosive mixture.

The police said the material was enough to “level several buildings,” adding that 10,000 euros in cash had also been uncovered in the apartment.

Several news outlets said that the man was 26-years old and held both Lebanese and Canadian nationality.

On Thursday, the Larnaca District court remanded the suspect for eight days following a hearing held behind closed doors due to “national security” reasons, In-Cyprus reported.

The outlet added that “he faces charges of belonging to a terrorism organization, conspiracy to commit a crime and illegal possession and transportation of explosive materials, amongst others.”

Hezbollah’s terror plot past in Cyprus

Wednesday’s arrest of the Lebanese man comes a little over two years after Cyprus sentenced Lebanese national Hossam Yakoub—who confessed to being a Hezbollah member—to four years in jail on charges of “membership in a criminal organization.”

According to his written confession, Yakoub, who also holds a Swedish passport, had been a Hezbollah member for four years.

After being trained in a camp in Lebanon, he was paid a $600 per month salary to run errands around Europe.

His handler, a masked man who used the code name Ayman, sent him on reconnaissance missions to seaside resorts in Turkey and Cyprus, and also gave him mysterious packages to deliver to European addresses. Yaakoub said he was unaware of what was in the packages.

The young man denied in court last month that he was ever a terrorist and said he was only collecting information about “the Jews.”

“This is what my organization is doing, everywhere in the world,” he added.

The prosecution indicted the Lebanese-Swedish man for being part of a criminal plot, conspiracy, and participation in a criminal organization.

According to Yaakoub’s counselor, Antonis Georgiadis, the initial charges of terrorism were dropped with no explanation by the prosecutor.

The conviction comes after Bulgaria in February accused Hezbollah operatives of taking part in the 2012 Burgas bus bombing that killed 5 Israelis.