(JTA) – A Hezbollah bomb plot against Israel or Jews “most probably” was foiled last month, the foreign minister of Cyprus said.
Cypriot police arrested a 26-year-old Lebanon native with a Canadian passport on May 27 after authorities discovered nearly two tons of ammonium nitrate – a fertilizer that in large quantities can be mixed with other substances to make a powerful explosive – in the basement of a house belonging to the man. The suspect remains in custody.
Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides on Monday confirmed the arrest and the discovery of the explosives, Reuters reported. Asked whether a Hezbollah bomb plot had indeed been foiled, Kasoulides said, “Most probably.”
The fertilizer was to be used by Hezbollah to create explosives to be used against Israelis or Jews on Cyprus, Cyprus authorities told Israel, according to Reuters.
An unnamed senior Israeli official told Reuters that the chemical was to be saved for future attacks.
“It does not look like there was an immediate terrorist action planned in connection with this haul,” the official told Reuters.
The suspect arrived in Cyprus in the third week of May and was staying at the two-story house in a residential suburb of the coastal town of Larnaca.
In 1988, an attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cyprus left three people dead.
In 2013, a Swedish citizen of Lebanese descent was jailed in Cyprus on charges of plotting an attack on Israeli tourists. He said he had been asked by Hezbollah to track the movements of Israeli tourists on the island, but denied he was planning any attack.