Eliot Engel’s Statement on the Cypriot Court’s Conviction of a Hezbollah operative planning a Terrorist Attack on EU territory

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (NY-16), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released this statement in response to the Cypriot court’s conviction of a Hezbollah operative laying the ground work for a terrorist attack on Cyprus, similar in nature to the Hezbollah attack in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian. The statement follows:

“The Cypriot court’s conviction of a Hezbollah operative engaged in the surveillance of Israeli tourists for the purpose of a terrorist attack only underscores what we learned in Bulgaria -- Hezbollah is engaged in terrorist activities in Europe and must be confronted at every turn. The Cypriot law enforcement officials deserve praise for their thorough and professional investigation and the court for its courage to implicate Hezbollah. The targeting of innocents cannot be tolerated. It leads to the murder of innocent civilians as we saw so tragically in Bulgaria. Of course, the European Union and its member states will not allow such activity to take place on their territory. Thus, the time is now for the EU to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization, and to stand with the U.S. and other countries in calling Hezbollah what it is – a terrorist organization.”