AJC: Cyprus Court Verdict Fingers Hezbollah

Mar 21, 2013, 09:34 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC welcomed today's Cypriot court verdict in a closely watched case regarding Hezbollah terrorist activity in the European Union.

(Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/AJCLOGO)

The defendant, Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, was found guilty of participation in a criminal organization, acceptance and participation in committing a crime, and money laundering. Sentencing is expected on March 28. 

During the trial, Yaacoub revealed important dimensions of his activities on behalf of Hezbollah, including tracking flights from Israel, that were eerily similar to the terrorist attack last July in Bulgaria. A Bulgarian investigation concluded that Hezbollah was behind that attack.

"Today's Cyprus verdict, following on the heels of the Bulgarian investigation into the deadly attack in Burgas last July, urgently requires a collective EU response," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Will Hezbollah now, at long last, be added to the EU terrorism list, where it so rightfully belongs, or will the EU continue to dither and delay, hiding behind one unconvincing pretext or another?"

Harris, who called again for EU action in an op-ed in El Pais, the Spanish newspaper, today, pointed out that European countries should be all-too-familiar with the Iranian-backed global terror organization.

"Hezbollah's first deadly attack against an EU member state took place 30 years ago, when 58 French soldiers were slain by a terrorist bomb in Beirut," Harris added. "Since then, Hezbollah has been using its operatives in European countries to recruit, fundraise, and plot to kill. How much more evidence does the EU need of Hezbollah's true nature before it acts?"

SOURCE American Jewish Committee