Hezbollah Agent in Cyprus Admits Gathered Information on Israeli Airline

Testifying in court, the 24-year-old agent detailed his training in Lebanon and the tasks he was assigned throughout the European Union and in Cyprus, namely tracking Israeli flights and passing along information.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, the 24-year-old Hezbollah agent who will stand trial in Cyprus amid suspicion that he was involved in planning future terror attacks against Israeli tourists on the island, testified in court on Thursday that he was told by his superiors to document the landing times of flights carrying Israeli tourists.

According to the New York Times, Yaacoub described himself as a member of Hezbollah who used the codename Wael. During the investigation in Limassol, Cyprus, Yaacoub revealed that he has received $600 per month from Hezbollah since 2010.

Yaacoub told the court that his Hezbollah hendler, known as Ayman, asked him to collect information about the landing times of flights run by Arkia, an Israeli airline, specifically those landing in Larnaca. Ayman also asked him to check rental prices at storage facilities in the city.

After revealing in written testimony on Wednesday that he worked for Hezbollah in various locations throughout the European Union, Yaacoub provided details of his training in Lebanon in a testimony in court on Thursday.

During his testimony, Yaacoub denied being trained in explosives. The prosecutor, however, told the judges that he had previously admitted to being trained in particularly lethal plastic explosives, including the C4 variety. Yaacoub apparently admitted to being trained in Lebanon in shooting rifles and launching rocket-propelled grenades, along with 10-13 other men.

Yaacoub admitted in court that during his time in Cyprus, he purchased three local SIM cards, two for his superiors and one for personal use. He purchased each one from a different store to avoid detection, amid suspicion of being followed. Yaacoub stated that his journey to Cyprus was funded by another Hezbollah agent called Abu Eli.

During his testimony, Yaacoub said that Hezbollah collects donations and funds from around the world for schools and hospitals in Lebanon. He told the judges that as a Hezbollah member, he had the right to refuse participating in terror attacks and no one forced him to do so. He said that he did not know how the information he provided would be used and said, “I did whatever I was asked."

Cyprus, a favorite vacation spot for Israeli tourists.Credit: AP

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