Iran Bulletin is publishing a live thread of ongoing reports from the terrorist attack on a busload of Israeli terrorists in Bulgaria…It is very significant that this attack comes exactly 18 years to the day of an Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah attack on a Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina:
1. The Times of Israel has some details on the attack:
7 die in attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria
Over 30 wounded in explosion on bus carrying Israelis inside Bourgas airport; Netanyahu says, ‘All signs point to Iran’
At least seven people were killed in an attack on an Israeli tour bus at the Sarafovo International Airport in the Bulgarian vacation city of Bourgas on Wednesday afternoon. Some news reports put the number of fatalities as high as 10.
According to initial reports, a bomb was placed in the bus, detonating to murderous effect. The impact was so strong as to damage two other buses nearby, also with Israelis on board. Some initial reports said the attack was a suicide bombing, but the preliminary investigation pointed to the bomb having been placed in a suitcase in the vehicle’s luggage hold.
2. From Fox News, Prime Minister Netanyahu is providing complete clarity as to who Israel believes is responsible for this barbaric attack:
Israel blames Iran for deadly bus explosion targeting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising a strong reaction after an attack on Israeli tourists that he says was carried out by Iran.
A bus carrying mostly Israeli youth in a Bulgaria exploded near an airport Wednesday, killing at least six people and wounding at least 32 others, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said. Witnesses told Israeli media that the huge blast occurred soon after someone boarded the vehicle.
3. Here are the excellent Jerusalem Post stories on the attack, along with analysis:
7 dead in bombing of Israeli bus in Burgas
32 injured after attack on Israeli tour bus at the Burgas Airport in Bulgaria on 18th anniversary of Iran-sponsored bombing of Jewish center in Argentina; Bulgarian FM in touch with Liberman, headed to site.
In January, a suspicious package found on a bus carrying Israeli tourists from Turkey to Bulgaria led Israel to request boosted security for its citizens traveling in the country.
Israel has been concerned Hezbollah would try to attack Israelis overseas in connection with the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh, attributed to the Mossad.
PM: All signs point to Iran in Bulgaria attack
Netanyahu vows powerful response; Defense Minister Barak promises to find perpetrators of attack.
“All the signs lead to Iran. Only in the past few months we have seen Iranian attempts to attack Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other places,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
Former head of Israel’s Counterterrorism Bureau Brig.-Gen. (res.) Nitzan Nuriel said that Hezbollah and Iran could have recruited operatives from within Bulgaria’s Muslim community or crossed into the country from Turkey.
“Hezbollah has a presence in Bulgaria and there have been attempts that were thwarted there before,” Nuriel, who stepped down from his post earlier this year. “They could have relied on the local Muslim community or crossed into Bulgaria from Turkey. It is quite easy.”
Analysis: Attack recalls Argentina, but not quite
The attack on Israelis in Bulgaria has hallmarks of the Iran-sponsored Hezbollah, but some differences as well.
Barak: We will find perpetrators of Bulgaria attack
Defense Minister Ehud Barak vowed that Israel will find the perpetrators of Wednesday’s terrorist attack against Israeli civilians in Bulgaria.
4. Bulgaria’s President says that there was no advance warning of the attack, including no warning from Israeli intelligence…
Bulgaria President: No Advance Intelligence by Mossad on Attack
Bulgarian authorities had a meeting with Israel’s intelligence service Mossad a month ago, but there was no warning of an expected attack, the president has said.
5. Now it is being reported that the suspect in the attack used a Michigan driver’s license…possibly a false ID, but given the extensive Muslim presence in Michigan, this should indeed raise questions…note also that authorities are still trying to determine if the attack was a planted bomb or a suicide bombing…
Bombing suspect in attack that killed 8 on bus of Israeli tourists was carrying Michigan driver’s license, Bulgaria says
…the suspected attacker was carrying a Michigan driver’s license that was being sent to the FBI for authentication.
The Jerusalem Post reports that authorities believe the identification to be fake.
6. Security Video of Bulgaria Islamikaze bomber
7. Now it turns out that the bomber had a fake ID from Michigan with a Baton Rouge, LA address. This seems like a pretty unsophisticated forgery, but, then again, a Bulgarian security agent is unlikely to know that Baton Rouge isn’t in Michigan…
Report: Suspected suicide bomber carried fake license with BR address
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said a Michigan license carried by the suspected suicide attacker in the bombing of a bus carrying Israeli tourists was a fake. Reports indicate there was a Baton Rouge address on the license.
8. Worst of all: The Islamikaze bomber was a former Gitmo detainee that the US released…POLICY does matter. Bad policy results in dead good guys. The Jihadi, Mehdi Ghezali, should still be in prison in Gitmo awaiting nothing but death by old age. Instead, the PC crowd forces America to release these monsters and, of course, they return to Jihad and kill…It’s too bad that there is no mechanism for prosecuting the Swedish authorities who enabled this monster to commit these murders. Sweden should be ashamed…
Bulgarian press names bomber: Mehdi Ghezali
Terrorist said to have been a Swedish citizen with a history of Muslim extremist activities
Ghezali reportedly arrived in Bulgaria five weeks before the bombing and arrived at the airport via taxi, Channel 2 reported. He was also reportedly given the bomb by someone else, but no further details were provided.
He had been held at the US’s Guantanamo Bay detainment camp on Cuba from 2002 to 2004, having previously studied at a Muslim religious school and mosque in Britain, and traveled to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, it says. He was taken into custody on suspicion of being an al-Qaeda agent, having been arrested along with a number of other al-Qaeda operatives.
Following a lobbying effort by Swedish prime minister Göran Persson, Guantanamo authorities recommended Ghezali be transferred to another country for continued detainment, and he was handed over to Swedish authorities in 2004. The Swedish government did not press charges.
A 2005 Swedish documentary about the Guantanamo Bay detention camp starred Ghezali, who detailed his experience in American custody.
He was also reportedly among 12 foreigners captured trying to cross into Afghanistan in 2009.