NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A man held on suspicion of helping to plan attacks against Israeli tourists on Cyprus displayed similar behavioral patterns to a suicide bomber who killed six in a Bulgarian seaside resort, the island's justice minister said Monday, but stopped short of drawing any links between the two.
Loucas Louca said that the case was "very sensitive," and although the actions were not similar "some patterns of his behavior were the same as that of the terrorist in the Bulgarian terrorist attack."
Louca said the 24-year-old suspect belonged to an organization which is not on a European Union list of known terrorist groups. He declined to name the organization, or give any further details because he said the investigation is ongoing.
Cyprus authorities have remained tight-lipped about the man's identity or his intended target, but have said they believe he was acting alone.
State media have widely reported the suspect to be a Swedish passport holder of Lebanese descent with affiliations to Lebanon's Hezbollah, who was monitoring and recording the movements of Israeli tourists and other Israeli interests on the island.
In a closed-doors hearing Monday, a Cyprus court renewed a police request to extend the suspect's detention until Friday when investigators are expected to formally charge him.
The suspect was arrested two weeks ago following a tip from foreign intelligence agencies.
Bulgarian officials continue to investigate last week's suicide bombing.