Accomplice in Terror Act in Bulgaria Arrested - Report

Crime | September 20, 2012, Thursday // 15:27|  views

Computer-generated image of the suspected accomplice in the July 18 bus bombing by Bulgaria's Interior Ministry

Bulgarian border police have allegedly arrested the accomplice of the perpetrator of the terror act in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas.

The breaking news was reported by the Burgas-based site, citing their own insider sources from the border police.

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

The source has informed about a lengthy manhunt in the woods of the Strandzha mountain near the Turkish border. The suspect had been finally apprehended near the village of Zvezdets, after hiding for a long time, only because he had set a fire to get warm.

The check of his ID documents showed that the detainee has crossed the Bulgarian-Turkish border many times. He is said to be fluent in Bulgarian.

The man, who had a striking resemblance with the police-released computer image of the alleged accomplice, had been immediately taken to Burgas, and transferred to the intelligence services and the Main Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime, GDBOP. During one of the interrogations he had admitted that he was a member of a new Al-Qaeda branch.

Several Bulgarian media reported Thursday afternoon that an official statement of Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, is expected by the end of the day.

The Interior Ministry, approached by the Bulgarian site, have declined any comment for "the time being."

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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Tags: National Investigative Services, Georgi Iliev, MOSSAD, CIA, services, Burgas bus bombing, Burgas, terrorist attack, suicide bomber, bomber, Israel, Israelis, Israeli tourists, Burgas airport, Sarafovo, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, INTERPOL, Lebanon, Hezbollah, New York Times, intelligence, Iran, Hezbollah, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli tourists, suicide bomber, Burgas terrorist attack, Burgas bus bombing, Michigan, driver's license, accomplice, Al Qaeda, GDBOP


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