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Australian Link In Bulgarian Bus Attack

  • February 18th, 2013
  • Posted by EUEditor

burgas-bombing.jpgPolice in Bulgaria announced progress this month in investigating the 2012 Burgas airport bombing, throwing out the suicide-bomber theory, and asking if Australian and Canadian passports were used by attackers from Lebanon.

A bomb attack on Israeli tourists in a bus, last July, at the Black Sea resort city, resulted in six deaths with another 32 people injured.

europol-logo-enlarge.jpgThe Europol police agency provided scientific and other assistance, and on 5.2.13 reported on the new information n brought to light:-

“Early assumptions in the investigation were that the attack was the work of a suicide bomber. But analysis of the bomb scene evidence by the Europol expert, including shrapnel from the improvised explosive device (IED), proved otherwise. It confirmed that the device had been remotely detonated and strongly suggested, therefore, that more than one person was responsible for the attack.

“Meanwhile, forensic and technical examination of identity documents linked to the investigation led Europol to establish that a US driving licence recovered at the crime scene and another recovered elsewhere in Bulgaria were both counterfeits from the same source, located in Lebanon. This discovery was of major importance to the investigation …

“With the assistance of Europol and a number of other international partners the Bulgarian authorities have made substantial progress in the investigation, leading them to uncover the identity of the suspects and their possible link to Hezbollah. Although a final determination of responsibility has not been made Europol’s findings in the case are consistent with this view…”

Linkage with the Hezbollah organisation and terrorist activity in Lebanon went together with information on the suspected use of Australian and Canadian passports in commissioning the crime.

Australia has a large ethnic Lebanese population, and several thousand Australian passport holders are resident in Lebanon at any time.

carr-bob2.jpgThe Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr (picture), commented on 6.2.13-:

“The Bulgarian Government has indicated that one person of interest in the matter may be an Australian passport holder and that there is a ‘justified assumption’ that two of the people involved belong to the military wing of the terrorist group Hezbollah.

“The Australian Government has listed the Hezbollah External Security Organisation as a terrorist group since 2003. Support for or membership of this Organisation is an offence under Australian law.

“The Australian Federal Police has worked with Bulgarian authorities in pursuit of those responsible for the bombing…”

Reference

Senator Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Canberra, “Terrorist attack in Bulgaria”, 6.2.13. http://foreignminister.gov.au/releases/2013/bc_mr_130206.html, (18.2.13).

Europol, The Hague, “Europol supports investigation into terrorist attack at Burgas airport, Bulgaria”, 5.2.13. www.europol.europa.eu/, (18.2.13).

Wikipedia, SF, “2012 Burgas bus bombing”, 5.2.13. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Burgas_bus_bombing, 18.2.13.

Pictures   wikipedia, dfat, europol

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