ATHENS (Reuters) - Cyprus will deport a “radicalized” Austrian man suspected of being a security risk by Interpol, authorities said on Thursday.
The 28-year-old man was detained on Wednesday at a checkpoint in the capital Nicosia in an area straddling a ceasefire line dividing the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
The man, whom police sources said was traveling alone, was crossing from the Turkish to the Greek side when he was stopped by Greek Cypriot police for a routine passport check.
“His name was on a list of suspects for terrorism,” said Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou, who said the man had been “radicalize”.
The man would be deported to Austria, Nicolaou said. Poland’s Interpol branch had the man on a suspect list.
The man, who has not been charged or identified, told authorities he was planning to visit an Islamic shrine on the south coast of Cyprus.
Thousands of people, including tourists, use Cyprus’s checkpoints to cross daily from one side to the other. The crossing where the man was stopped is one of the busiest. Authorities on both sides have beefed up passport checks in the past year.
Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Janet Lawrence