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Cyprus

Austrian jihadi to be deported (Updated)

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Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou Thursday sang the praises of the importance European cooperation and checks being carried out at crossing points from the north after the interception of a radicalised Muslim on Ledra Street.

Police at the checkpoint on Wednesday evening detained a 28-year-old Austrian passport holder considered to be a radicalised Islamist.

Police said the man was stopped at around 8pm as he raised the suspicions of officers on duty. He was searched without however, anything incriminating being found. On being questioned, he maintained he was on a pilgrimage to the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca.

“The person being checked, and this proves how important and thorough the checks being carried out at the crossings are, was found on a list of terror related suspects prepared with information received from communications networks operating throughout Europe,” said Nicolaou.

“We had information from Interpol in Poland and on arresting this person secured a detention and expulsion order. He will be deported to Austria.”

The minister said the authorities in Austria as well as Poland would be informed of the development.

The 28-year-old who is of Arab extraction arrived in Cyprus from Istanbul, through Tymbou (Ercan) airport. He was deported on a previous occasion by the authorities in Poland.

In November last year six French passport holders, five Turkish nationals and one Algerian, aged between 25 and 32 were detained at Larnaca airport on arrival from Basel in Switzerland.

They had raised the suspicions of airport immigration officials when they said they had come to Cyprus as tourists for four days. According to an Interpol message, the Algerian and two of the Turks had close ties to Islamist networks.

They were later sent back to France.

Cyprus has deported a number of such suspects in similar circumstances in the past year.


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