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FEAR OF SUICIDE ATTACK SPURS ARREST

Israeli security forces have arrested a German suspected of planning to carry out a suicide attack on behalf of the militant Lebanese Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group, police said Wednesday.

A police spokeswoman said the man, whom she identified in Hebrew as 26-year-old Stefan Josef Smirk, was arrested Nov. 28 at Israel's airport.

"He is a German citizen, a Christian who converted to Islam," the spokeswoman said.

"In his investigation it came out that he spent between August and November 1997 in Lebanon and was recruited into Hezbollah with the intention of committing a suicide attack in Israel," she said.

She said Smirk had been trained in the use of light weapons and explosives in a training camp run by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah (Party of God) in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

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