Cyprus court in Limassol found Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, a 24- year-old Swedish-Lebanese citizen and a confessed Hezbollah member guilty of five terror-related charges.
Reports say Cypus court found Mr. Yaacoub guilty of participating in a plot to attack Israeli tourists on the east Mediterranean island, participation in a criminal organization, participation in committing a crime, and money laundering.
According to reports, Mr. Yaacoub admitted in court to being a loyal Hezbollah member which is a Shiite militant group. He was ordered by his leader in Lebanon to collect information particulary information including the arrival times of Israeli Arkia airlines flight from Israel to Cyprus’ main airport.
Cyprus is a prominent place for Israeli tourists.
More admission in court!
Mr. Yaacoub reportedly admitted he used his Swedish passport to go to Cyprus where he took photos and made sketches of hospital and police station.
Mr. Yaacoub admitted he handed all the information to his shadowy leader when he returned to Lebanon.
Yaacoub also admitted to acting as a courier for Hezbollah in France, the Netherlands and Turkey.
Hezbollah has been using its operatives in EU countries to recruit, fundraise, and plot to bring terror and violence.
US hails the verdict for Mr. Yaacoub
In a press statement in Washington DC, Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says the US applauds the government of Cyprus for its professional investigation and successful conviction in court today of Hezbollah operative Hossam Taleb Yaacoub on a range of charges involving his surveillance activities of Israeli tourist targets.
She says over the past year, the world has Hezbollah engage in increasingly aggressive terrorist activity around the world.
In July 2012, just two weeks after Yaacoub’s arrest, the world witnessed the deadly impact of Hezbollah’s commitment to terrorism in Burgas, Bulgaria.
“Today’s verdict underscores the need for our European allies and other governments around the world to crack down on this deadly group and to send a strong message that Hezbollah can no longer operate with impunity, at home or abroad.” – Ms. Nuland
Hezbolla also supporting Assad regime?
With the ongoing violence continue to engulf Syria, the United States said Hezbollah is playing an integral role in the continued violence being carried out by the Assad regime against the Syrian population.
The Treasury Department has designated the terrorist group Hezbollah for providing support to the Government of Syria.
The actions is certainly not the first time that Treasury or the United States has publicly exposed the violent acts of this terrorist organization.
Hezbollah has been designated as a Global Terrorist by the United States since 1995 for a long history of terrorist attacks against American citizens and officials, including the bombing of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Lebanon during the 1980s.
Before al-Qaida’s attack on the U.S. on September 11, 2001, Hezbollah was responsible for killing more Americans in terrorist attacks than any other terrorist group, Mr. Cohen highlighted.
Hezbollah started out carrying out bombings and kidnappings in Lebanon but quickly expanded its violent campaign on to a global stage, carrying out and supporting terrorist attacks in South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and various countries in the Middle East.
Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah have for years painted their organization as a social and political party as well as a resistance movement.
US believes Hezbollah is now actively providing support to the Assad regime as it carries out its bloody campaign against the Syrian people.
US asserts that in the wave of revolt spreading across the Middle East, Hezbollah leadership has publicly supported some protests where it suited their needs, particularly Syria where it has actively supported the violent crackdown being carried out by the Syrian dictatorship.
Since the start of the unrest in Syria in early 2011, US says Hezbollah has directly trained Syrian Government personnel inside Syria and has facilitated the training of Syrian forces by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qods Force.
Reports say that Hezbollah remains one of the embattled regime’s few close partners.
The United States asserts that Hezbollah and their Iranian allies have been providing a range of critical support for the Assad regime, including training, advice, and logistical assistance as the regime continues its brutal crackdown against the Syrian people.
The US government believes that these continuing close ties in this time of crisis reflect the longstanding and deep relationship between Hezbollah and Syria.
US labels Hezbollah as terrorist organization
The U.S. designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 1999. Canada, the United Kingdom and Israel have similarly labelled the group.
Hezbollah was created with Iran’s aid nearly 30 years ago, is one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organizations with a record of deadly attacks and foiled attempts in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.
In addition, reports say Hezbollah has been implicated in terrorist plots in two EU countries particularly Bulgaria and Cyprus as well as in other attempts from Kenya to Thailand.