Yahoo!/AFP was reporting today that a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria has been the victim of a suicide bomber at around 14.00GMT on Wednesday 18th of July 2012.
At the time of writing eight people have been reported killed. Six Israelis are amongst the dead and one Bulgarian.
The bomber was also killed but he has not been identified. Apparently in the carnage a fake Michigan driving license has been found.
The USA has stated they do not know who the bomber was, France and Britain also do not know who the bomber was. The USA, UK and France have simply made statements condemning the attack.
The Israeli government on the other hand appear to be sure who carried out the attack despite the fact that no one on the face of the earth knows who the bomber was, at least not publicly.
The piece in Yahoo about the suicide bomb attack is lengthy and includes at lot of information but the one question that Yahoo!/AFP does not ask is how the Israeli government is so sure that Iran carried out the bombing.
No person at the scene in Bulgaria at the time of writing has any clue of the identity of the bomber let alone his background, where he came from and who he may or may not have been working for.
The Israeli government on the other hand appear to think they know all this. They appear to think they know who the bomber was, where he was from, his background, his associates, his beliefs and also who was supporting him.
This is what the Israeli Prime Minister is reported as saying.
“All the signs lead to Iran,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahusaid in a statement on Wednesday. “Israel will respond forcefully to Iranian terror.”
The Israeli Prime Minister appears to have clues/evidence which have obviously not come from the bomb scene, that leads him to believe Iran was behind this attack.
Let me just repeat what the Israeli government would have to know in order to make this assumption ie that Iran was behind the attack (And all the following points have to be taken in the context of the investigators at the bomb scene not being able to identify the bomber).
So despite their being no evidence at the scene identifying the bomber the Israeli government appears to know the following information
1. Who the bomber was.
2. Where the bomber was from and where he lived (see point 4)
3. Who the bomber associated himself with
4. Wiretap/surveillance information that lead them to believe that the bomber has contacts with the Iranian government.
The Israeli government appears to have all this information and yet, at least publicly, we still do not know who the bomber was.
For the Israeli government to come out with such statements when there is obviously so much that is unknown about this bombing could mean a number of things. Lets just go over some of the possibilities.
1. The Israeli government do actually know who the bomber was and allowed him to carry out the attack.
This would not be the first time something like this has happened
2. The Israeli government actually has no clue who bomber the bus and is simply using the incident as a war propaganda tool against Iran.
3. A bit of both. The Israeli government knew the bomber and allowed him to carry out the attack in order to pumped up the war propaganda.
4. The Israeli government is completely mistaken and will later come out an apologise for accusing the Iranian government of such a horrible attack. I think this explanation is extremely unrealistic.
In summary, the Israeli government seem to be sure who carried out the bombing, where they were from, who they associated with and who supported them and this is despite no one at the scene of the bombing being able to identify the bomber as yet.
To me, it raises huge questions as to how the Israeli government can be so sure who was behind these attacks given that the investigators at the scene do not even know who carried out the attack (as yet).
How can the Israeli government even begin to hypothesise as to who planned and supported the attack when it is not even know who the bomber was?
In my mind at least, this immediate attack of Iran as the perpetrator of this attack can only mean a combination of three things.
The Israeli government knew in advance who the bomber was, they knew where he lived, knew who he associated with and have evidence that he was connected to the Iranian government. And not only did they not stop him, they are using the incident he created as an excuse to kill more civilians in another country.
They have no idea who the bomber was and are using the attack as an excuse to build up the war propaganda against Iran. If the Israeli government have no evidence then I find it disgraceful that they would use the deaths of Israeli citizens as an excuse to advocate war with Iran which will inevitably lead to even more civilian deaths.
If the Israeli government is using the deaths of its citizens to promote the killing of civilians in another country, it is something that should be condemned by all countries.
They have been given/have collected faulty information and will later apologise for accusing the Iranian government of killing innocent civilians in a suicide bus bombing.
Whatever the case may be, I think it is extremely disrespectful to the people who were the victims of the bus bombing for the Israeli government to be jumping to conclusions without waiting for more information to emerge from the scene of the bombing.
The Israeli government is putting pressure on the investigators to come to a conclusion that supports their press releases, the Israeli government coming out with such statements before the investigation has begun is unduly influencing the investigators and is unduly putting pressure on the investigators to come out with a conclusion that is line with the mainstream media reports of the incident which have already be influenced by the Israeli government’s PR machine.
I personally would be holding my tongue and waiting for the investigators to come to their own conclusions. I would do this to ensure the investigators felt free to explore any possibility they thought plausible rather than speaking to soon and channeling the investigators down an avenue which may or may not lead to the truth.
Again, the Israeli government should be holding their tongue until the investigation has been completed, they should do this to ensure the investigation is thorough and to make sure the investigators do not feel pressurised to come up with a pre-conceived conclusion.
The Israeli government should hold their tongue to give the families of the victims the best possible chance of seeing justice.
I have copy and pasted in below the Yahoo!/AFP and BBC News articles
A suicide bomber was behind the blast against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, officials said Thursday, as they raised the toll to seven, the deadliest attack on Israelis abroad since 2004.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed arch foe Iran for the attack. The explosion ripped through a bus picking up tourists arriving from Tel Aviv at the airport of Burgas to head for the beaches and seaside resorts of the formerly communist European Union country.
“The explosion was caused by a man who died in the attack and whose identity has not yet been established,” Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said at Burgas.
The bomber, who was also killed in the blast, was carrying a fake driving licence from the US state of Michigan, he added.
The blast killed six Israelis, one Bulgarian and the bomber, Tsvetanov said. The previous toll stood at six killed and more than 30 injured.
Witnesses described how panicked passengers jumped from bus windows and bodies lay strewn on the ground with their clothes torn off as ambulance sirens wailed and black smoke rose over the airport.
“I was on the bus and we had just sat down when after a few seconds we heard a really loud explosion,” one Israeli tourist, Gal Malka, told Israeli army radio. “The whole bus went up in flames.”
“Israel will respond forcefully to Iranian terror,” vowed Netanyahu.
“In the past few months we have seen attempts by Iran to harm Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other places.”
US President Barack Obama stopped short of mentioning Iran but condemned what he called a “barbaric terrorist attack” and reaffirmed his “unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.”
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured, and with the people of Israel, Bulgaria, and any other nation whose citizens were harmed in this awful event,” he said.
“These attacks against innocent civilians, including children, are completely outrageous. The United States will stand with our allies, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack.”
Obama called Netanyahu and expressed his condolences, while both leaders “agreed that Israel and the United States would work together to investigate the attack,” said an Israeli government statement.
Netanyahu had told Obama that Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah were waging a global terror campaign, the statement said.
“Iran is a state of global terror,” he told the US president, the statement added. “It must bear the consequences of that.”
The bombing, which came on the 18th anniversary of an attack on a Jewish community centre in Argentina that killed 85 people, also drew strong condemnation from France and Britain, as well as from Bulgarian Muslim leaders.
Israel holds also Iran responsible for the Argentina attack of 1994, although the Islamic republic has denied the charge. It has accused Israel of being behind the assassinations of nuclear scientists and senior military figures in recent years.
Israel’s foreign ministry said Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov had told counterpart his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman by phone that the explosion had been caused by a bomb.
The blast went off around 1400 GMT on the bus carrying Israelis who had flown in to Burgas, the second largest city on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, setting off a fire that spread to another two buses, the ministry said.
Israeli media have reported that many of those on the flight were Israeli high school graduates who were just about to be drafted into the military.
Burgas mayor Dimitar Nikolov, who was at the airport at the time, said the blast happened just as the 50 or so tourists were boarding the bus and placing their bags in the luggage compartment.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who visited Israel on Monday and held talks with Netanyahu on the last stop of a nine-nation tour, said she was deeply saddened and angered to learn of the attack.
Israel and Bulgaria, which has a 13-percent Muslim population, enjoy good relations and the Black Sea coast has become a popular holiday spot for Israelis, with almost 140,000 visiting the country in 2011.
In January, Israeli public television reported that authorities in Bulgaria had foiled a bomb attack when they found an explosive device on a bus chartered to take Israeli tourists to a ski resort.
Bulgarian troops were deployed in several ski resorts frequented by Israeli tourists after the bomb was found, the report added.
Bulgaria blast: ‘Suicide bomber’ killed Israelis
The BBC’s Jon Donnison says there is a feeling that the attack is part of a covert war between Israel and IranContinue reading the main story
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The bombing of an Israeli tourist bus in eastern Bulgaria was probably carried out by a male suicide bomber with fake US documents, officials say.
At least eight people died and 34 were injured when the bus exploded at Burgas airport, by the Black Sea.
Israel has sent planes to Burgas with doctors and officials to bring back the dead and injured.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Lebanese Hezbollah was the direct perpetrator, under Iran’s auspices.
The BBC’s Jon Donnison, in Jerusalem, says the attack could be part of a covert but violent war between Israel and Iran, and there is a view among some analysts that this attack could be a response to a series of recent attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists.
Continue reading the main story
We had just sat down when after a few seconds we heard a really loud explosion. The whole bus went up in flames”
“All the signs lead to Iran,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Wednesday. “Israel will respond forcefully to Iranian terror.”
Mr Barak said the attack resembled several recent attempted attacks on Israeli targets in India, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Kenya and Cyprus.
But he said that he did not think there had been any specific prior information that the attack was imminent.
The Israeli foreign ministry said the bus was carrying tourists from a charter flight that arrived from Israel.
The BBC’s Chris Morris, in Sofia, said a Bulgarian official has told the BBC that CCTV footage from the airport shows a Caucasian male hanging about for some time in the airport terminal building before the explosion took place. The man is seen leaving the terminal shortly before the blast happened just outside.
Investigators are working on the theory that this man is the bomber, the official said.
Israeli officials said passengers from a Tel Aviv-Burgas flight boarded the bus shortly after 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT) on Wednesday.
“I was on the bus and we had just sat down when after a few seconds we heard a really loud explosion,” Gal Malka told Israel’s army radio.
“The whole bus went up in flames,” she said, adding that the explosion took place near the front of the bus.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak claimed Lebanese Hezbollah was the perpetrator, under Iran’s auspices
Bulgarian journalist Dobromir Dovkacharov, who arrived at the scene about 30 minutes after the blast, said: “I saw three buses completely burnt out – just the metal bars were left.
“There were crowds of people around, very distressed. One man said he saw decapitated heads. Others spoke of body parts flying through the air,” Mr Dovkacharov said.
Six tourists died, along with two others, one of them the Bulgarian bus driver.
The eighth fatality is now thought to be the suicide bomber, a man with a Michigan-issued US driver’s licence which reports said may have been fake.
Two of the wounded are in a serious condition and have been flown to the capital Sofia.
Israeli forensic teams who arrived during the night are helping to identify the bodies.
Wednesday’s blast came on the 18th anniversary of a deadly attack on a Jewish community centre in Argentina. Israel blamed Iran for that attack – a claim denied by Tehran.
US President Barack Obama described the bombing as a “barbaric terrorist attack”.
Bulgaria is a popular tourist destination for Israelis.
However, in January there were reports that Israel had asked Bulgaria to tighten security for Israeli tourists travelling by bus.
This followed a reported discovery of a suspicious package found on a bus with Israeli tourists travelling from Turkey to Bulgaria.
Are you in Bulgaria? Are you in Burgas? Did you witness what happened? Please share your comments and experiences.