Sicari in Cyprus: Israel accuses Iran and reveals the plot

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Israel IsraelA coordinated operation in collaboration between the Mossad intelligence services and the Cyprus Intelligence Service (KIP) last week led to the arrest by the Cypriot police of a 38-year-old man in possession of a silenced pistol and several dozen ammunition.

The suspect, an Azerbaijani national with a Russian passport, was stopped at the Agios Dhometios checkpoint by the Cypriot border police, along with the northern part of the island controlled by Turkey. He will be held in custody for eight days pending the police. Once the investigation is over, he can file a petition with the court to extend his detention.

According to an initial reconstruction, the man who had arrived on the island about 20 days earlier had rented an electric scooter and two cars. He traveled back and forth from the border that divides Cyprus in two, making the police forces suspicious of his movements in Nicosia. Initially, we thought that the goal of the alleged hitman was exclusively the Israeli billionaire tycoon Teddy Sagi, founder of the companies Playtech and SafeCharge, who, warned by the police Cypriot of what was happening, was able to escape from the country just in time.

According to what the investigators had hypothesized in the beginning, the attack had been planned in detail. The blatant attempt could be attributable to the debts accumulated by the Israeli businessman towards his Russian partners, who in turn had turned to the Russian mafia to assassinate him. But evidently, the program of the alleged hitman was another, according to the statements of the spokesman of the Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, Matan Sidi, since this is a terrorist action by Iran studied in detail. Yes, because there was not only Teddy Sagi but several Israeli citizens resident in Cyprus in the plans.

For the Israeli government, Iran continues to be a global threat, and Israel will protect its citizens wherever they are, against all forms of threats. But it would not be the first time that Tehran has tried to target Israel’s interests abroad, both directly and above all through its “proxies” such as Hezbollah. That recently took place in India against Jerusalem diplomats and continued attacks on ships owned by Israeli shipowners.

Furthermore, in 2012, a man of Swedish nationality – but Lebanese origin – Hossam Yaakoub- had been arrested because he was caught stalking Israeli citizens residing in Cyprus. He turned out to be an agent hired by Hezbollah. Other plots had been uncovered in Thailand, India, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kenya, and Bulgaria, where five Israeli tourists were killed.

The foiled Iranian attack is attributable to a new terrorist network of the Iranian Quds Force, which is responsible for carrying out terrorist attacks against Western and Israeli targets worldwide. The network mainly includes fighters from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Iranian special forces, the Basij. As part of the network’s activities, the operational plans have been discovered by intelligence agencies planning for terrorist attacks. The names of two senior members of the Basij unit were revealed: Abolfazi Alizadeh and Mohammad Hossein Shamoradi Zadeh. The two are responsible for much of the prevented operations.

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