Burgas bomb reportedly tied to Nazareth and Thailand terror plots
By David BarnettJuly 23, 2013 2:19 PM
The European Union yesterday announced that it had reached a unanimous
decision to designate the so-called military wing of Hezbollah as a terror
organization. Hezbollah's role in the July 2012 Burgas terror attack as well
as the recent conviction of Hezbollah operative Hossam Taleb Yaacoub in
Cyprus are viewed as two of the key pieces of evidence that pushed forward
the long-awaited designation. Hezbollah's continued involvement in the
Syrian civil war in support of the Assad regime is also seen as a reason for
In a new report released today, the Israeli daily Haaretz detailed the
"lengthy diplomatic, legal and intelligence campaign waged jointly by
Israel, Britain, the United States, the Netherlands and Canada" that led to
the designation. With regard to the Burgas investigation, the report
regurgitates much of what has been known, but it also provides new details
further implicating Hezbollah in the attack.
The smoking gun, though, was the bomb's composition, including the
specific type of plastic explosive used - which proved identical to the
composition of 24 bombs discovered by Israeli security services in Nazareth
in August 2012. These bombs had been smuggled into the country at
Hezbollah's behest by a group of drug smugglers. Later, the bomb's
composition also proved an exact match to bombs discovered by Thailand's
security services in January 2012, at a warehouse owned by a Hezbollah
operative in Bangkok.
On Aug. 8, 2012, Israeli authorities announced that Hezbollah had used
networks of drug dealers to smuggle explosives into Israeli territory from
Lebanon. According to the Shin Bet, the network managed to smuggle into
Israel 20 kilograms of C4 explosive in June, a month before the Burgas
attack. Authorities believed the explosives were intended to be used for
attacks in Israel.
"[T]he attempted attack here and the recent attack in Bulgaria are all
carried out by the same organization," a Shin Bet official said at the time.
Months prior to the Hezbollah smuggling operation and the Burgas attack,
authorities in Thailand discovered a large quantity of bomb-making materials
in a three-storey commercial building. Authorities were led to the complex
by Atris Hussein, a Swedish-Lebanese dual national, who is suspected of
being tied to Hezbollah.
Hussein, who was born in southern Lebanon and married a Swedish woman, has
denied having a connection to the Iranian-backed terror group.
Thai authorities have previously alleged that Hussein said the explosive
materials were not intended for use in Thailand, but were going to be
shipped "concealed inside table fan boxes and shipped to other countries,"
the Bangkok Post reported.
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