Lebanon-based printer at center of Burgas probe

Burgas Bombing Licenses.jpg

Today it emerged that Bulgaria is in possession of further evidence that ties Hezbollah to the July 2012 Burgas terror attack that killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian national.

“Investigators have discovered that a Hezbollah operative was the owner of a printer used to produce fake documents that facilitated” the attack, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. The new disclosure was made during a European Union working group meeting that was discussing whether or not the EU should designate Hezbollah as a terror organization.

An EU diplomat who participated in the meeting told the JTA that “[t]he Bulgarians put new evidence on the table during this meeting … Their representative said the printer had been sold to someone from Hezbollah.” In February, in an interview with NOW, Bulgaria’s then-Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov had said that “[t]here are a number of findings that are still classified.”

On Feb. 5, Bulgaria’s then-Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov announced that the identities of three of those involved in the Burgas terror attack were known and that at least two of them are members of Hezbollah. While the real names of the two living suspects have not yet been released, authorities believe that they are now living in Lebanon.

On Feb. 6, Tsvetanov revealed that the three members of the cell flew from Beirut to Warsaw before taking a train to Bulgaria. Although the two living suspects entered Europe on genuine Canadian and Australian passports, in Bulgaria they used forged driver’s licenses that were created by the “same source” in Lebanon, according to Europol.

The Canadian suspect is said to have used a US driver’s license under the name of Ralph William Rico, while the Australian used the alias Brian Jameson. The terrorist who has not been identified, but is believed to have been a relative of the Canadian suspect, had used the alias Jacques Felipe Martin on his fake US driver’s license.

According to Haaretz, “[t]he forged driver’s licenses that all three of them carried yielded the most significant smoking gun, since with the help of foreign intelligence sources the Bulgarians managed to locate the printer that had produced the forged documents − and it wasn’t in Canada or in the United States, but in Lebanon.”

In recent months, the European Union has held a couple of working group meetings to discuss whether or not Hezbollah should be designated as a terrorist group. While a “majority” of EU states reportedly back designating Hezbollah in some form, opposition from Austria and Italy, among others, has stalled the designation process, which requires a consensus from all 27 member states.

Europe’s inability to come to a consensus has frustrated American and Israeli officials alike. During a meeting today with Catherine Aston, the European Union’s high representative for foreign policy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the EU’s inability to reach agreement on the issue. “It’s hard to see how you cannot have a consensus on Hezbollah as a terrorist organization,” Netanyahu said.

The Burgas attack

On July 18, 2012, the 18th anniversary of the Buenos Aires AMIA bombing, a bomb exploded as Israeli tourists boarded buses at the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria. Five Israelis and one Bulgarian national were killed in the attack, which wounded dozens.

Bulgaria’s Interior Minister said the bombing was “a deliberate attack,” and Israeli officials quickly pointed the finger at Iran and Hezbollah. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu soon declared: “I know based on absolutely rock-solid intelligence that this is Hezbollah and this is something that Iran knows about very, very well.”

Mohammad Khazaee, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, countered by saying that Israel had carried out the attack. “Such [a] terrorist operation could only be planned and carried out by the same regime whose short history is full of state terrorism operations and assassinations aimed at implicating others for narrow political gains,” he claimed.

Despite Iranian allegations, American and Israeli officials were soon fairly certain that the attack had been carried out by Hezbollah with direction from Iran. “Israeli intelligence has evidence of many telephone calls between Lebanon and Burgas in the two months before the bombing … with the volume intensifying in the three days leading up to it,” the New York Times reported in early August.

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  • NL says:

    Still against the syrian rebels Long war journal readers ?
    Why are you so worried about arming the rebels ?
    You are worried about wireguided antitank missiles or mortars sinking the USS George H.W. Bush ?
    Get rid of Assad = get rid of Hezbollah.
    Got it ???

  • vyom says:

    Replace Assad with current rebels = Replacing Hezbollah with AQ

  • mike says:

    The only reason to arm the scum rebels is to continue the battle so both sides can continue to lose. If the rebels were to win they will quickly turn their hate to Israel and America. Assad is no better but while the fighting rages every dirt bag fanatic is drawn to the fight and Assad can do our dirty work by taking them out.

  • mike merlo says:

    The US aided & ‘abetted’ the ‘Mujahideen’ which in turn significantly ‘contributed’ the rise of The Taliban, Al Qaeda & a ‘gaggle’ of other Shadowy Muslim individuals & organizations whose ‘interests’ are inimical to the US, its Allies & a host of other Nations.
    “Got it??”

  • Kent Gatewood says:

    The rebels are Al Qaeda.
    They are America’s main enemy.
    But the best outcome would be a perpetual blood bath of our Sunni and Shia enemies.

  • Dani says:

    these licenses look fake even on this website. I assume they weren’t actually used in the attack. Just look at the signatures! Oh brother. “J.M.”…….

  • NL says:

    @Mike Merlo
    Al Qaeda is in there because nobody else was willing to help.If your 13 year old son was tortured and killed by Assad you would also accept there help.
    Got it?

  • mike merlo says:

    “Al Qaeda is in there because nobody else was willing to help.” Check “The Score Card” & try doing some research. They’re so many different groups & individuals in ‘motion’ in Syria the ‘so-called’ experts are hard pressed to keep up. Welcome to reality!


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