Cyprus Police were kept out of the loop in an alleged thwarted terrorist plot against Jewish targets on the island, even as the case emerged in local media after a bomb had gone off at the home of an Israeli businessman in Limassol.
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Greek Cypriot and Israeli media picked up a story by Philenews over the weekend that said a suspected terrorist under surveillance for the last few months had abandoned plans to attack Israelis on the island.
Israeli news site Ynet, which picked up the Philenews story, said Mossad officials “confirmed Sunday evening Cypriot media reports that claimed that an Iranian plot to assassinate Israeli nationals in the island nation's city of Limassol has been thwarted.”
Suspected targets reportedly included the Chabad House, Israeli businessmen, and tourists.
Last Thursday a makeshift pipe bomb exploded on the balcony of a residence belonging to an Israeli businessman but Cyprus Police said they did not believe the attack was linked to terrorism
According to Philenews, the suspect fled through the divided island’s northern part, which is not recognized by other countries except Turkey, adding that he had come to Cyprus through that same route.
But he left evidence behind, Philenews said, adding the Republic of Cyprus was moving forward with issuing an international arrest warrant for the main suspect.
“Intelligence officials have all the details about the main perpetrator and this appears to help in apprehending the suspect,” Philenews stated.
Knews was told on Monday that there was no information about an arrest warrant, which can be requested by law enforcement authorities through a judge in the Republic.
The issuance of secret arrest warrants is possible in Cyprus where court orders may not be revealed to the public or other agencies due to national security grounds or other reasons.
But Ynet reported that an international arrest warrant was indeed issued against the suspect, who remained unnamed, adding that Cypriot officials “located a secret hideout belonging to the cell and found equipment that could have been used in the execution of the attack.”
Cyprus Police did not confirm the report but told Knews a bomb that had exploded days earlier at the residence of an Israeli businessman was not believed to be related to terrorism.
Last Thursday morning an Israeli businessman and his wife were in their home in Agios Athanasios, Limassol district, when a tossed makeshift pipe bomb exploded on the balcony of the second floor.
The 35-year-old businessman did not give an official statement to police but purportedly told investigators verbally that he had no disputes and no scores to settle with anyone.
Police have ruled out any terrorism links to the incident but declined to speculate on the motive behind the attack.