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Cyprus

Lebanese terror suspect referred to criminal court

Hussein Bassam Abdallah, a Lebanese-Canadian man is escorted to court by the police in Larnaca in 2015

A 26-year-old Lebanese man held in connection with possession of a chemical fertiliser capable of making explosives has been referred to trial before a criminal court on terrorist charges.

Hussein Bassam Abdallah, a Canadian passport holder, was arrested late last month after around eight tonnes of ammonium nitrate were discovered in the house he lived in Ayioi Anargyroi in Larnaca.

The first  hearing is scheduled for June 29.

The secret service has said the suspect is a member of Hezbollah’s military wing, considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union.

The man faces 16 charges including participation in a terrorist organisation, supporting a terrorist organisation, illegal possession of explosives, conspiracy to commit felony, and participation in a criminal organisation.

Authorities said he has admitted being a member of the group but has not revealed anything about the potential targets.

He will he held at the Central Prison until his trial.

Police have issued an international arrest warrant  for the owner of the house where the chemical was found.

In 2013, a Hezbollah operative was sentenced by a Cypriot court to four years in prison for a plot to attack Israeli tourists on the island.

Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, a holder of Lebanese and Swedish passports, acknowledged membership in Hezbollah and admitted to having staked out areas frequented by Israeli tourists.

But he claimed he did not know his work was part of a plot to kill Israelis.

During sentencing, the court said the crimes “potentially put in danger the safety of Israeli citizens as well as targets on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus.”

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