Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Burgas bomb reportedly tied to Nazareth and Thailand terror plots


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

the move.


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.


Haaretz reports:


    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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