Security at El Al boosted amid terror concerns

Mossad and Shin Bet officials convene meeting to discuss future coordination, assess the threat level in various countries.

July 20, 2012 03:06
1 minute read.
El Al airplanes sit on the runway

El Al airplanes sit on the runway 370 (R). (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)


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Israel boosted security at El Al airport counters and around embassies across the globe on Thursday amid concern that Iran and Hezbollah are plotting additional attacks in the near future.

On Thursday, officials from the Mossad and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) convened a meeting to discuss future coordination and to assess the threat level in various countries throughout the world.

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Defense officials said that specific attention was being given to airports where security was lax and to Israeli tour buses, like the one that was attacked on Wednesday by a suicide bomber in the Bulgarian resort town of Burgas.

On Thursday, Bulgaria released video footage of the suspected bomber. He is seen wearing shorts, a baseball hat, with long hair and a backpack.

ABC News obtained a photograph of the fake Michigan driver’s license authorities found, which named him as Jacque Filepe Martin from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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Bulgaria is checking to see if the passport found on his body was also forged.


Bulgarian authorities said that the bomber had arrived in the country about four to seven days before the bombing and that he was about 35 years old.

Security authorities said that he had carried the explosives in his backpack and that it was possible that he had not initially intended on carrying out a suicide attack.

“It’s possible he did not plan on being a suicide bomber and instead intended to place the bag on the bus but something went wrong. Either way, we will never know,” one official said.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said that the bomb went off when the bomber was standing at the entrance to the bus. In the meantime, security has been beefed up outside of Jewish synagogues, schools and institutions in Bulgaria.

The country is also searching for additional suspects who might have helped the bomber arrive in Burgas and supply him with the explosives. One possibility is that he arrived in Bulgaria via Turkey or came from a local Muslim family in Bulgaria.

“Hezbollah has a presence in the country,” one official noted.

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