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Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Cyprus thought experiment

From Israel HaYom:
Cypriot police are continuing to question a 24-year-old foreigner arrested last week for allegedly plotting an attack on Israeli tourists visiting the Mediterranean island, Cypriot media reported on Saturday.

The man, said to be a Swedish passport holder of Lebanese extraction, was arrested on July 7 and was detained following remand hearings held in camera, Sigma TV reported. He has not yet been charged with any offence.

Sigma TV's website reported the man had been tracking the movement of Israeli tourists on the island, while Cypriot newspaper Phileleftheros said he was attempting to pinpoint areas frequented by Israeli tourists and the buses they used.

A Cypriot government spokesperson confirmed the arrest of the Lebanese man, and according to media reports, the arrest took place after a "foreign intelligence agency" submitted information on the suspect to the authorities.

Police reportedly arrested the Lebanese man in his hotel room, where they also found photos and documents containing information on Israeli targets, including flight departure and arrival times for Israeli airlines. Sigma TV said the suspect arrived in Cyprus with the intention of carrying out a terror attack against an Israeli plane or tourist bus, and according to other reports, he spent time in the southern coastal city of Limassol where he photographed "Israeli targets."

Based on the suspect's Lebanese origin, it is increasingly believed that the man is a Hezbollah operative who was collecting information for a terror attack that was being planned by the Shiite group, seeking retaliation for the 2008 assassination of one of its senior leaders, Imad Mughniyeh, which they blame on Israel.
The Cyprus Mail notes:

The suspect arrived on the island almost two weeks ago.
Isn't it interesting that he arrived on the island so soon after Cypriot authorities allowed the Lebanese energy minister to expel an Israeli diplomat from a conference?

Is it possible that if the Cypriots had made a stand against the Lebanese bullying, that something like this wouldn't have happened?

Or would it have been more likely?