Israeli president 'was terror target' in Hungary

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The Independent Online

The Israeli President Moshe Katsav was the target of a "terrorist" plot in Hungary, his office said today. Local media said the assailant intended to kill the president.

Police in Budapest detained a man who they said was planning a terrorist attack. The arrest came as Katsav, Israel's ceremonial leader, arrived in the country for a three-day visit.

Budapest police would not say whether the planned attack was linked to Katsav's visit. But a spokeswoman in Katsav's office in Jerusalem said Hungarian authorities told the president that he was the target. She had no information on the nature of the attack or how close the suspect got to carrying it out.

"They're all right. That's what we're concerned about," the spokeswoman said.

Y-Net, the website affiliated with the Yediot Ahronot daily, quoted Hungarian police as saying they had thwarted an attempt on Katsav's life.

Katsav learned about the plot during a meeting with his Hungarian counterpart, Israel radio reported.

Hungarian police scheduled a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Katsav's office said he would continue with his visit according to schedule. During the trip, he will participate in the inauguration of Hungary's first Holocaust Memorial Center.