While Jerusalem and Washington are trying to convince the European Union to add Hezbollah to terror black list, a Cyprus trial might help bring about this change.
Six months after the arrest of Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, 24-year-old Lebanese who holds both Lebanese and Swedish passports, Yaacoub has admitted in court to membership in the Hezbollah, and gave information regarding his communications with his handler, the use of code words, and European activities of the Shiite organization, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
Upon his arrest, the assumption was that Yaacoub intended to carry out a terror attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus. He denied this, but admitted that his handlers ordered him to look for Kosher restaurants in Limassol. In addition, he said that he was sent by the Hezbollah to other areas in which there were great Israeli and Jewish presences, such as Antalya and Amsterdam.
According to the The New York Times, which reported developments in the case, Yaacoub testified how he was taken in a commercial vehicle to meet with his handler, whom he knew by the name Ayman.
“I never saw the face of Ayman because he was always wearing a mask,” Yaacoub said. He claimed that he was not involved in attempts to harm Israeli tourists in Cyprus, as accused by the prosecution. “Even if they asked me to participate in a terrorist action I would refuse. I could never do that,” Yaacov said. “I’m only trained to defend Lebanon.”
Yaacoub was arrested on July 7, 2012, and according to reports, the Mossad was involved in bringing him in.