An Iranian conspiracy to target Israelis in the island nation in the eastern Mediterranean is supported by a police investigation in Cyprus, according to Israel’s Mossad.
A Cypriot security officer informed the Associated Press in an apparent allusion to the Israeli intelligence agency that local authorities had received information from “friendly intelligence services” pointing them to Iranian national Yusef Shahabazi Abbasalilu.
According to the Cyprus police investigation, there was a plan to assassinate Jews and Israelis, with at least one specific target on the hit list.
The inquiry revealed that Abbasalilu established activities in the island’s separatist Turkish northeast, where he made an effort to enlist others in the conspiracy.
Turkish Cyprus is only recognized by Ankara, and the United Nations considers it to be an occupied portion of the Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus.
Abbasalilu was being pursued by Cypriot officials on the island’s Greek side when he crossed over to the Turkish side, where Turkish Cypriot authorities recognized him as a possible security danger and deported him to Iran.
Abbasalilu, who gave information that allowed Cypriot intelligence agencies to stop the attempt, was kidnapped in a covert operation on Iranian territory, according to material made public by the Mossad last month.
Abbasalilu confessed on camera while being questioned that he had been sent to Cyprus to harm Israeli businesspeople.
“The Mossad was able to seize the terror cell’s mastermind in a unique, risky mission inside Iranian territory, who then admitted [to the terror plot] in detail during his questioning, leading to the exposure and dismantling of the Cyprus terror cell,” the Mossad claimed.
The attack was stopped by the Cypriot authorities after receiving information from the Mossad.
Abbasasulilu disclosed that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) intelligence unit member who dispatched him to Cyprus for the operation gave him the target information.
He had ties to a Pakistani organization that has carried out assassinations in the past in Cyprus.
A top Mossad official declared, “We will catch any party that advocates terrorism against Jews and Israelis anywhere in the world, including on Iranian soil.”