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20 June, 2024
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Israelis alarmed at security hole in occupied territories

Arrest of Iranian operatives sparks concerns over terrorism threats and security breach

Marina Economides

Marina Economides

Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement, following K's revelation that the Cyprus Intelligence Service prevented a strike against Israelis by arresting two Iranians linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, emphasizes the significant security hole in the occupied territories. This gap could be fully exploited by a network of terrorists to send recruits to the free areas from points not controlled by the Republic of Cyprus. Notably, this marks the first time that Israel has taken a clear position on the security problem that exists due to the situation in the occupied territories.

Cyprus' state intelligence services have closely monitored the movements of the two Iranians over the last two months, successfully preventing possible terrorist acts. The Mossad also specifically referenced the actions of KYP (Cyprus' Intelligence Service), following the publication of the report. "Thanks to the deterrent actions taken by the security authorities of Cyprus, the arrest of the network of agents was achieved, following the collection of a wealth of information that led to the identification of the perpetrators, their methods of activity, the targets they had set, and the Iranians' planning to strike innocent people at various locations in Cyprus," the Mossad statement said, as relayed by Israeli state television.

In the occupied territories, there is a significant presence of Iranians, but more notably, a substantial presence of Israeli citizens. Security services also take note of the increasing influence of Iranian paramilitary groups in the region, which extends as far as the Mediterranean. The Revolutionary Guards' relations with Hamas, their influence on Hezbollah in a Lebanon that is collapsing, and their serious role that has been reinforced in Syria are well known. Competent sources tell K that the Republic of Cyprus does not wish to have enemies, will continue to maintain channels of communication, and does not wish to have its diplomatic relations with any state in the region disrupted. However, there is no longer any hiding the dissatisfaction with the attitude of the Revolutionary Guards, and any terrorist activity cannot be tolerated.

This is, however, the third incident in the last two years that brings Cyprus back to the forefront of terrorist activities. The first was two years ago and concerned the arrest of an Azeri with a Russian passport who was allegedly acting on behalf of the Revolutionary Guards, and the second was last June when a terrorist act was prevented on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. The possibility of a terrorist act has been successfully averted this time as well due to the close cooperation of the Cypriot security services with their Western counterparts. Still, this case reignites the discussion about the security hole due to the occupied territories. A security hole. Given that the targets are mainly citizens of Jewish origin, there is now increased concern about what may unfold in the occupied territories, both because there is no control by the Republic of Cyprus and because there is a large number of Israeli citizens there.

The profile of those arrested

The two Iranians were in the initial stage of gathering information on their targets. It is worth noting that they had come to the free territories through occupied territories and were recognized political refugees. These are, of course, two different cases—they were not acting together—but according to reliable sources, they had the same operator, who is not unknown but has already been exposed by his actions. This is Mohammed Reza Ebadi Arablu, who is linked to the terrorist act that was prevented last November in Georgia. The target at the time was the Jewish-born businessman Itzik Moshe, who lived in Tbilisi.

According to reliable sources, the two Iranians had the same operator. He is Mohammed Reza Ebadi Arablu, who is linked to the terrorist act that was prevented last November in Georgia.

The Israeli media reported that the two Iranians were using fake passports and false names. In fact, a photo of the Iranian passport, which was allegedly used by one of the arrested suspects, was released.

Israeli state television, citing well-informed sources within the security authorities, reported that it is considered reasonable to believe that the two arrested Iranians were residing in Cyprus as economic migrants.

According to the same sources, the activity of the two Iranians was allegedly facilitated by "Iranian agents located in Cyprus, who were involved in the process of gathering information related to the planned targets of the attacks."

Cyprus  |  Israel  |  Iran  |  terrorist

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