Bulgaria reportedly issues an account accusing Hezbollah of the terrorist attack in Burgas

Issued on: 05/02/2013 Type: Article

Overview

1. According to reports based on an article in the Wall Street Journal this past week, this week Bulgaria is expected to release a report about its investigation of the terrorist attack in Burgas. The report is expected to accuse Hezbollah of responsibility for the attack. According to Wall Street Journal, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, the Bulgarian minister of the interior, will update senior members of the Bulgarian government on February 5 and the report itself will be published (Wsj.com website, February 5, 2013). So far we have no further information about the findings of the investigation.

The Attack In Burgas

2.  On July 18, 2012, at approximately 1730 in the evening there was an explosion in an Israeli tourist bus at the airport of the vacation city of Burgas, Bulgaria. It occurred a short time after a plane from Israel had landed. The bus was the second in a line of four waiting to take the Israelis from the airport to hotels in the city. The blast killed five Israeli civilians and their Bulgarian bus driver. The terrorist bomber who blew up the bus was also killed. Thirty-six Israelis were wounded, three of them critically.

3. The terrorist attack in Burgas was another in a series of terrorist attacks on Israeli tourists and representatives around the world (Turkey, India, Thailand, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Cyprus). The footprints of the attacks led to Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah. Hezbollah, as usual, denied any connection to the attack in Burgas.[1]

4. Israeli spokesmen, the prime minister among them, repeatedly stated that Israel had reliable intelligence information that Hezbollah had carried out the attack in Burgas ("absolutely rock-solid intelligence," Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told FOX TV on July 22, 2012). A short time before the attack a Hezbollah terrorist operative was detained in Cyprus. He had been collecting information about Israeli tourist destinations on the island. In addition, Hezbollah has participated in other terrorist attacks as part of Iran's terrorist campaign.

5. The body of the terrorist operative was found near the bus. In our assessment, his death was a "work accident," caused by the bomb's detonating earlier than planned. According to the Bulgarian minister of the interior, the terrorist operative was carrying about three kilograms, or 6.6 lbs., of explosives (Agence France-Presse, July 20, 2012). A driver's license belonging to an American citizen was found. Senior American sources reported that no such license was found in any database in the United States (AP, July 19, 2012). The Bulgarian authorities are of the opinion that the bomber was not working alone and that he had at least one person assisting him and providing him with logistical support. According to evaluations, that person tried to rent a car to drive to the airport (AP, July 19, 2012).

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[1] For further information see the November 29, 2012 bulletin “Hezbollah: Portrait of a Terrorist Organization.”

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