Peru judge orders Lebanese man, purported Hezbollah member, held 18 months for investigation

A Peruvian judge has ordered held for 18 months for investigation a Lebanese man who entered the country with false documents and who authorities say belongs to the radical Islamist group Hezbollah.

Police arrested Mohamed Hamdar on Oct. 28, saying traces of explosives were found among his possessions. Judge Angel Mendivil on Thursday ordered him held for investigation.

The 28-year-old Hamdar denied he belonged to Hezbollah or had any violent intent and told the judge that police interrogators tried to coerce a confession from him.

Police have said they were tipped off to Hamdar's arrival in Peru by Israeli intelligence.