Cyprus will deport 17 migrants who are being held on suspicion of having links to extremist groups or involved in acts of terror, the Interior Ministry told the Associated Press.
The men are currently being held in a migrants’ detention facility. Their deportation will proceed once commercial air traffic to and from the country is restored after the full lifting of all coronavirus restrictions.
The ministry said intelligence provided by security agencies and law enforcement authorities including Europol and Interpol suggested that the men may have either been implicated in terror activities or belong to extremist groups.
The ministry didn’t disclose details about the men, their nationalities, which security agencies provided intelligence and with which groups they may be linked, the Associated Press added.
Interior Minister Nicos Nouris told Omega TV last night that the 17 — currently at the Menoyia immigration detention — were members of ISIS. He said that after routine checks carried out through Interpol, the 17 were found to be wanted for their involvement with Islamic State and they will be deported.
“Because of the coronavirus they have not been deported yet but there is no reason for concern. As soon as conditions permit we will proceed with the next step of the deportation,” he said.