Shimon Peres with Bulgarian President Asenov Plevneliev 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BERLIN – Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev announced on the anniversary of
the 9/11 terror attacks in the US that Bulgaria “experienced our September 11”
last year in Burgas, in which alleged Hezbollah operatives murdered five
Israelis and a Bulgarian national.
Speaking at a conference on security
for South East Europe, Sofia News Agency reported that Plevneliev said, “We
experienced our September 11 – that was the terrorist attack at the Burgas
airport in 2012 that claimed innocent human lives.”
He continued, “We saw
firsthand the inhuman essence of terrorism and experienced [it] on our own
territory. As members of NATO and the EU we are stronger to face this ugly and
Plevneliev said the investigation into the Burgas bus
bombing has entered the final phase. The Bulgarian authorities asserted in
February that operatives from Hezbollah’s armed wing carried out the attacks.
Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry later named the two suspects behind the deadly
attack as 32-year-old Australian citizen Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein
Hussein, and 25-year-old Canadian citizen Hassan el-Hajj Hassan.
alleged Hezbollah suspects are believed to be in Lebanon. In addition to their
Canadian and Australian citizenships, Hassan and Farah are citizens of
The Lebanese authorities have given no indication of moving
forward with an extradition of the two suspects.
Lebanon’s government has
refused over the years to extradite other criminal and terror suspects to
Bulgaria and other European countries.
Bulgaria’s government plans to
advance with a judicial process in absentia.
Plevneliev said formal
charges will be filed shortly.
Last month, Canada’s National Post
reported that Hassan’s father Samir Hajhassan said his last contact with his son
was in February.
“Nothing was wrong at all,” the father
Samir operates a carpet installation business in Burnaby, British
He said the police came and took a DNA sample in connection
with the Burgas investigation.
The National Post reported that the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation charged Ali Amhaz, who was an acquaintance of Samir, with Hezbollah criminal activity.
“I know Ali Amhaz,” Samir told the
National Post. “I know the person a long time ago but not now. I’m staying far
away from all these kind of people.”
He continued, “We don’t want to be
associated because it’s enough what’s happening in the world.”