Authorities identify third suspect in Bulgarian bus bombing linked to
Canadian member of Hezbollah
Stewart Bell | February 20, 2014 10:38 AM ET
More from Stewart Bell | @StewartBellNP
The damaged bus following a deadly attack on a bus full of Israeli
vacationers at the Burgas airport parking lot in Bulgaria. The attack
occurred shortly after the Israelis boarded a bus outside the airport in the
Black Sea resort town of Burgas, a popular destination for Israeli tourists.
AP Photo/Bulgarian Interior MinistryThe damaged bus following a deadly
attack on a bus full of Israeli vacationers at the Burgas airport parking
lot in Bulgaria. The attack occurred shortly after the Israelis boarded a
bus outside the airport in the Black Sea resort town of Burgas, a popular
destination for Israeli tourists.
Bulgarian authorities have identified a third accomplice suspected of
involvement in a 2012 bus bombing linked to an alleged Canadian member of
the terrorist group Hezbollah.
The country's chief prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, told reporters Thursday the
suspect had been unknown to investigators until recently. He did not reveal
the man's nationality.
The development will delay an indictment against the bombers, which was to
have filed next month, he said. The attack at the Burgas airport targeted a
bus carrying Israeli tourists.
"This does not mean that the indictment will be postponed indefinitely, but
we'll need a bit more time", Tsatsarov said, according to the Sofia News
Agency. "We will have a lot more evidence. Until now we knew of two bombers,
now they're three."
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The July 18, 2012 bombing has been widely attributed to Hezbollah, which at
the time attempted several terrorist attacks around the world against
Israelis that experts believe were orchestrated by Iran.
HandoutHassan El Hajj Hassan seen in an undated photo, released by Bulgarian
In response to the attack, the European Union sanctioned the "military wing"
of Hezbollah for terrorism. Hezbollah was already a designated terrorist
group in Canada.
One of the two suspects publicly identified so far is Canadian Hassan El
Hajj Hassan, who lived in Burnaby, B.C. as a youth before returning to
Lebanon, where he was born.
He is wanted by Interpol and the FBI and is believed to be hiding in
Lebanon. His father, Samir Hajhassan, told the National Post last year he
last saw his son a year ago in Beirut.
He said the 25-year-old was studying engineering at the time. The father has
been cooperating with an RCMP investigation into the attack, which left six
dead and injured 32. "I don't think it's a true case," Mr. Hajhassan said.
Neither the Canadian nor a second suspect, Australian Meliad Farah, has yet
been charged. The man who planted the bomb on the bus was killed in the
explosion but has not yet been publicly identified. It was unclear what role
the newly-identified accomplice may have played in the conspiracy.
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