Chief Commissar: Terror Act in Bulgaria Planned Abroad

Crime | September 14, 2012, Friday // 10:39|  views

The Chief Secretary of the Interior, Head Commissar, Kalin Georgiev, says Bulgaria has only been "the platform" of the July Burgas bombing of a bus with Israeli tourists. Photo by BGNES

The terror act against Israeli citizens in Bulgaria has been entirely masterminded abroad, says the Chief Secretary of the Interior, Kalin Georgiev.

The July 18 bus bombing killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas.

Speaking for the Bulgarian National Television Friday, Head Commissar Georgiev said Bulgaria has only been "the platform" for this attack.

"Bulgaria is a country as secure as going to the movies in the US, taking a bus in London, and a train in Spain," he stressed.

The Chief Secretary was adamant the investigation is carried out solely by Bulgarian special services while foreign ones only provide assistance.

In the aftermath of the attack several Bulgarian officials, including President, Rosen Plevneliev, said this was a "global probe in many countries and by many institutions," while a number of reports and expert opinions insisted the Bulgarian investigation is clueless about the identity of the perpetrator, any possible accomplices, the mastermind of the attack, its motives, and has botched the probe, while the US CIA and the Israeli MOSSAD are keeping Bulgarian colleagues on the sidelines and are feeding them selected pieces of information.

"The world is currently working for Bulgaria. They help us in any possible way, but we are the only ones in charge of the probe," Georgiev said Friday.

He further informed that after the release by the Interior Ministry of computer-generated images of the alleged perpetrator and one accomplice, the Interior has received thousands of tipoffs, some of which helped the investigators' work. He, however, refused to offer more details.

Israel, the US, and Great Britain insist the attack was plotted by Iran and Hezbollah. During the visit of the Bulgarian Cabinet on September 10-11, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Israel's official stance blaming Iran and pro-Iranian Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for the bus bombing.

Bulgaria has been wary of backing such claims and so far has abstained from taking an official position on the alleged Hezbollah involvement.

The initial lead, purported by Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, was that it has been executed by a suicide bomber, who arrived from abroad.

According to observers and terror experts, this lead is looking less and less reliable and the most sustainable hypothesis is that the perpetrator has been used as a mule.

Israeli media largely back the above, writing that the young man with light complexion and blue eyes had been blown remotely, while standing between two coaches with Israeli tourists. He had been unaware that he was going to die and had the task to put the explosive on one of the buses. The bomb was placed in his backpack.

Remains of the man recovered from the scene of the fatal attack were used to create an image showing his possible appearance as part of an appeal for public assistance in identifying him.

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