3 Main Leads Emerge in Terror Act in Bulgaria

Crime | July 20, 2012, Friday // 08:22|  views

The man in the middle of the picture has been said to be the suicide bomber behind the July 18 terror attack at the Burgas Airport. Photo by cross.bg

Israeli, US and Bulgarian intelligence and investigators are working on three main leads in the terrorist attack at the airport of the Black Sea city of Burgas.

A bus carrying Israeli tourists exploded on the airport's parking lot Wednesday afternoon, killing seven.

The main lead is that Hezbollah, helped by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, is responsible for the terrorist attack, as Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and all other top officials say. In an interview for the Bulgarian Trud (Labor) daily, Lieberman confirmed his version.

According to the former Chief of Bulgaria's National Intelligence Services, Kircho Kirchev, the other two are that the attack was masterminded by Al Qaeda or by Turkish terrorists as retaliation for the 9 casualties during an operation of the Israeli services at the end of May 2011.

Bulgarian authorities, cited by bTV, insist that the perpetrator of the attack had a number of helpers in the country, who are either citizens of Lebanon or Bulgarian radical Islamists who have prepared the attack inside Bulgaria.

The investigation also found that the explosive has been homemade and extremely powerful.

Despite the prepared DNA profile, the identity of the suicide bomber remains unknown.

One witness is the taxi driver who brought the alleged perpetrator to the airport. He has been questioned, but details from his testimony have not been revealed.

According to the Burgas Prosecutor's Office, prior to the attack the man spent some time in the southern beach resort of Ravda. He attempted to rent a car, but the owner became suspicious about the driver's license and refused to conclude the deal. No further details about the said suspicions are available.

One Bulgarian citizen is among the victims of the deadly attack. He was the driver of the blasted bus, which was supposed to carry the group of Israeli tourists to the Sunny Beach resort. The other victims are the suicide bomber and five Israeli citizens.

The number of wounded is 32.

Security has been upped in hotels where Israeli tourists are accommodated.

The US CIA and the Israeli Mossad are investigating the attack.

Borisov announced Thursday that the terrorist attack is most likely the works of a suicide bomber. The information was confirmed by his Deputy, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov. Tsvetanov also backed reports that the man had a fake driver's license from the US state of Michigan.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also publicly accused Tehran and Hizbullah of involvement in the attack.

In a phone call to Borisov, Netanyahu "indicated that Iran and Hizbullah were conducting a global terror campaign against Israelis across the world.

The explosion in Bulgaria was the deadliest attack on Israelis abroad since 2004.


Tags: Defense Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Avigdor Lieberman, Foreign Minister, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Black Sea city, Burgas, suicide bomber, death toll, terror, terrorist, attack, Burgas, Israeli tourists, bus, Hezbollah, Iran, muslim groups, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, explosive, CIA, FBI, MOSSAD, radical Islamists

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