Security agencies in Cyprus, in cooperation with the Israeli Mossad, succeeded in thwarting an Iranian terror cell that was planning to carry out attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in Cyprus, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office stated on Sunday.
An Iranian cell with two suspects was arrested in a joint operation by Cypriot authorities, together with the Mossad intelligence agency, leading to the discovery of the intended modus operandi, the targets, and additional plans to kill Jews and Israelis in Cyprus and elsewhere.
The suspects were arrested in early November and were identified as Mohammad Reza Ebadi Arablu and Sa’id Ebadi.
Arablu was a suspect in an attempt to assassinate a prominent Israel-Georgian businessman living in the Georgian capital Tbilisi in 2022, a move that was allegedly backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Quds Force, the Times of Israel reported.
Cypriot authorities discovered several fake identity documents used by Arablu and Ebadi, who were reported to be political refugees in Cyprus.
Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) said that ever since Hamas’ murderous attack on Israel on Oct. 7, the Iranian regime has expanded its efforts to advance terrorism around the world, and upgraded its travel warnings to numerous countries.
Israel's NSC warned, in particular, that Iran was likely to target Jews and Israelis in Cyprus and Greece, as they are popular travel destinations for Israeli tourists, and also have sizable expat communities.
“The Iranian presence in northern Cyprus, as well as the prior and current use of that area for terrorist purposes and as an area of activity and transit to attack Israeli and Jewish targets, constitutes a disturbing issue,” the NSC stated.
Cyprus and Israel have cooperated several times over the past years to thwart Iranian terror plots in the island country.
Another such plan was stopped in June when Israel announced that Cypriot authorities and the Mossad neutralized another terror cell.
While the potential target has not been officially specified, Israeli media speculated that the Iranian regime was planning an attack against a kosher restaurant or a local Chabad house.
Cypriot officials indicated that the Iranian terror cell had been operating from the northern part of the island, which is currently under Turkish occupation.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.