BERLIN - The suspected Hezbollah operatives behind the Burgas attack last July smuggled a detonator and remote control device from Poland into Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian daily Trud
reported on Monday that the bomber, who remains unidentified, and the two additional Hezbollah suspects smuggled the bomb devices on a train from Warsaw on June 28.
The bomb components were used to detonate explosives in an Israeli tour bus at the Black Sea resort town of Burgas, resulting in the deaths of five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver.
Last week, Bulgaria’s interior ministry disclosed the names of the two suspects who are believed to be in Lebanon. Trud reported that the dual national Lebanese-Australian citizen Meliad Farah ,, who is also known as Hussein Hussein, assembled the bomb once in Bulgaria .
The second suspect is a dual Lebanese-Canadian citizen named Hassan El Hajj Hassan.
According to media reports in June, Poland hesitated to designate Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization. It is unclear if the Polish government was concerned about Hezbollah’s retaliation in Poland.
The suspects Farah and Hassan used three Eastern European countries for their terrorist operation. After the men detonated the bomb, they fled to Romania and escaped to Lebanon.
Hezbollah has used Europe over the last several years to conduct meetings to plan terrorist operations. The convicted Hezbollah member , the Swedish-Lebanese national, Hossam Taleb Yaacoub in Cyprus , used Lyon, France and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, to hold meetings with his Hezbollah handlers. A Cypriot court convicted Yaacoub in March for planning to murder Israelis on the Mediterranean island. The court sentenced Yaacoub to a four-year prison term.
The EU sanctioned Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization last Monday in Brussels. The Israeli government, the US, Canada and the Netherlands sought a full terror designation of Hezbollah because of the organization's global terrorism and the monolithic structure of the Lebanese Shi’ite organization.
Bahrain declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization in April. The Gulf Arab countries plan sanctions against Hezbollah, which could include assets seizures, freezing of accounts, deportation of Hezbollah members and travel restrictions.
According to the Saudi Arabia paper Al-Watan, the six Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC)—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—are slated to slap Hezbollah with sanctions that are “more comprehensive than the EU’s decision.”
The GCC rejects the EU’s dichotomy of Hezbollah into military and political wings.