As part of their Criminal Investigations Office the Cyprus Police have a bomb squad. The bomb squad is responsible for giving advice to the public about suspicious objects. They make the public aware of the dangers and how to contact the police if they encounter what may be an IED.
The Bomb Squad may also utilise the Dog Unit within the force as the dogs are trained in discovering explosive substances such as those found within IEDs.
The bomb squad work in cooperation with the Counter Terrorism Office, who take on more of the attack the network responsibilities of CIED. The Counter Terrorism Office coordinate operations to target terrorist groups and organise training. They take the lead on information sharing efforts in regard to explosives and terrorists, between other governments and international organisations such as INTERPOL.
In May 2015, Cypriot police arrested a Lebanese-Canadian national, Hussain Abdallah, after a surveillance operation indicated he was stockpiling explosives. The police seized over 8 tons of ammonium nitrate chemicals used for manufacturing explosives, in the basement of his temporary home. Abdullah admitted he was working for Hizballah’s External Security Organization and acknowledged to Cypriot investigators that the explosive pre-cursors were for an IED to be used against Israeli targets in Cyprus and other places in Europe.
The seizure of that much ammonium nitrate was one of the largest seizures ever seen of this chemical.
This profile is part of AOAV’s investigation into counter-IED (C-IED) actors around the globe. To see the list of all C-IED actors recorded by AOAV, see here. To see those engaged in the Middle East, the Sahel, North Africa or other highly impacted countries please see here, here, here, and here respectively. This research was made possible by funding from the NATO Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED COE). To read the full report, ‘Addressing the threat posed by IEDs: National, Regional and Global Initiatives’, see here.
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