BERLIN – The Lebanese-Australian Hezbollah suspect Meliad Farah, who is sought
by the Bulgarian authorities for his role in a deadly terrorist bombing of an
Israeli tour bus last July, may be active on the social media outlet
The US-based website The Long War Journal first reported on
Monday the usage of at least three Facebook accounts by a man named Meliad
Farah, including an entry as recently as Monday, and links to Hezbollah material
and a page praising the deceased Hezbollah spiritual guide Muhammad Hussein
Farah is believed to have assembled the bomb that killed five
Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver last July in the Black Sea resort of
The Long War Journal wrote, “One Facebook account possibly
attributable to Farah states that the user studied at the Lebanese International
University (LIU) and lives in Australia.
According to press reports, the
printer utilized to create the forged licenses carried by the Hezbollah cell
responsible for the Burgas terror attack was based at LIU, where the suspects
are said to have studied engineering.”
The first account shows
interactions with women in Bulgaria, including the location of the terrorist
attack in Burgas.
In addition to the presence of Hezbollah activity on
two of the accounts, there are striking similarities among the accounts. The
user of the first and second Facebook accounts played an online poker game via
the social media site.
The analysis of the Facebook accounts appeared on
the Threat Matrix blog of The Long War Journal, which seeks to provide analysis
and opinions on “hot or overlooked topics of the day,” according to its mission
Speaking from Washington with The Jerusalem Post
, the author
of the Long War Journal report, David Barnett, said there are no photographs on
the three Facebook sites used by Farah that match the photograph presented last
week by Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry.
Barnett said the first account used
a photo of Iranian actor Mostafa Zamani as its profile picture, and the second
account appears to use a photo of the Turkish actor Necati Sasmaz.
second account “liked” a page about an AK-47 assault weapon.
account, which The Long War Journal
documented was used as recently as Friday,
lists a number of women in Bulgaria with whom Farah became friends.
Long War Journal wrote, “It is also eye-catching that a couple of the friends of
the second account have hardcore Hezbollah material on their own Facebook
The third Facebook account linked to the name Meliad was
started on June 12, 2012, and “within a day of starting the account, the user
changed its profile picture to an image seen on a number of websites and videos
sympathetic to Hezbollah.”
According to The Long War Journal article, the
third account contained restrictions to limit public viewings and more
information could not be culled from the account.
Barnett, who uncovered
the Facebook accounts, wrote: “While it is currently close to impossible to
definitively say that any of these accounts are tied to the Meliad Farah wanted
in connection with the Burgas terror attack, there are lots of coincidences.
Almost too many.”
Meanwhile, it was reported that the suspected Hezbollah
operatives behind the Burgas attack 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
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
According to media reports in June, Poland hesitated to
support the EU’s move to designate Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist
It is unclear if the Polish government was concerned about
Hezbollah’s retaliation in Poland.
Farah and Hassan used three Eastern
European countries for their terrorist operation. After the men detonated the
bomb, they fled to Romania and then escaped to Lebanon. Hezbollah has used
Europe over the last several years to conduct meetings to plan terrorist
In March, a Cypriot court convicted Swedish-Lebanese national
Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, a Hezbollah member, of a plot to murder Israelis in
Cyprus. Yaacoub used Lyon, France and Amsterdam to hold meetings with his
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 seizure of assets, freezing of accounts,
deportation of Hezbollah members and travel restrictions.
the Saudi Arabian newspaper 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
The GCC rejects the EU’s dichotomy of Hezbollah into
military and political wings.Benjamin Weinthal is a European affairs correspondent for
The Jerusalem Post and a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
The Long War Journal is a FDD sponsored project.