Jerusalem Post: Hezbollah Staged Burgas Bombing without Iran Aid

Crime | September 24, 2013, Tuesday // 19:31|  views

The July 2012 bus bombing at the airport in Burgas killed seven, including five Israeli tourists, the Bulgarian bus driver and the alleged suicide bomber. Photo by BGNES

The 2012 Burgas bus bombing was commissioned by Iran but was conducted by the Shiite militant group alone, without any logistical assistance from Iran.

This is what Dr. Matthew Levitt, head of the Stein Program on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has argued in a brand new development.

In an email to The Jerusalem Post, Levitt argued that "Burgas was done at the behest of Iran, but Hezbollah appears to have carried out the plot solo, without Iranian logistical support."

In an article published on September 23, the Israeli daily reminded that both Israel and the United States had declared right after the terror attack on July 18, 2012 at the Sarafovo Airport in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Burgas that the operation had been a joint Iran and Hezbollah mission.

The Post also reported that a Canadian-Iranian woman had been detained and deported after monitoring the Sofia Chabad center in July 2012 and that Iranians who had also attempted to access Bulgaria in the same month had been refused entry.

The Israeli daily noted that it was unclear whether the Iranians and Hezbollah had been coordinating attacks targeting the Chabad center and other locations.

Citing a statement of a US official from an article from the New Yorker,

The Jerusalem Post also cited a statement of a US official disclosed in a recent article by The New Yorker asserting that Hezbollah had acted on its own in the terror attack in Burgas.

According to the publication, Iranian Quds Forces commander Qassem Suleimani had asked his subordinates whether they knew anything about the bombing but none of them had had any information about the matter.

On July 18, 2012, a bus carrying Israeli tourists exploded at the Sarafovo airport in Burgas, killing 7, including five Israeli tourists, the Bulgarian bus driver, and the perpetrator of the attack, and injuring 35.

In February 2013, Bulgaria's then-Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, suggested that the evidence collected by the investigating authorities led to a "reasonable assumption" about the involvement of the Lebanese militant group in last year's terror attack at the Burgas airport.

On July 22, 2013, the EU's 28 Foreign Ministers reached a unanimous decision to include the armed wing of Hezbollah in its list of terror organizations.

On July 25, 2013, Bulgaria's Interior Ministry distributed photos and information about wanted persons in connection with the terror attack in Burgas.

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Tags: Burgas, Burgas bus bombing, terror attack, Hezbollah


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