Bulgaria suspects suicide bomber in bus attack that killed 5 Israelis
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JERUSALEM -- As Israeli victims of the Bulgarian bus bombing began arriving home Thursday, security officials said they now believe that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber with a fake American passport.
Israel began airlifting wounded tourists from the Black Sea city of Burgas to Tel Aviv following Wednesday’s blast, which killed seven people and injured more than 30 others.
Officials believe that five of the dead are Israelis, one was the bus’ Bulgarian driver and the seventh was the bomber.
Bulgarian officials released a video showing a Caucasian male with long hair, dressed in short pants, tennis shoes, a baseball cap and sunglasses. He is shown loitering around the airport with a large black backpack. His remains were found on the bus, officials said.
Officials say the man was carrying what appeared to be a U.S. passport and a Michigan driver’s license, both of which are believed to be forged, according to Bulgaria’s Sofia News Agency. Officials told reporters Thursday that the man had been in the country for more than four days.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday that Israel has information linking Lebanon-based Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to the attack, but he did not elaborate or provide evidence of that assertion.
Iranian and Hezbollah officials have denied any role in the bombing.
Israel and Iran have been engaged in a shadow war for nearly two years. Israel blames Iran for orchestrating bomb attacks against Israeli missions in India, Georgia and Thailand. Iran says Israel is behind the assassination of several of its top scientists working on the country’s nuclear program.
Israel has threatened to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent the Tehran regime from developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes.
-- Edmund Sanders