(JNS.org) The Bulgarian government has announced that it believes Hezbollah was behind the terror attack against an Israeli tour bus that killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian last summer in the seaside resort of Burgas.
At a news conference Tuesday, Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said that investigators found Canadian and Australian passports that belong to two of the attackers.
Bulgarian investigators had “a well-founded assumption that they belonged to the military formation of Hezbollah,” Tsvetanov said of the terrorists, the New York Times reported.
“We have followed their entire activities in Australia and Canada so we have information about financing and their membership in Hezbollah,” Tsvetanov added.
The evidence of Hezbollah’s involvement in a terror attack on European soil is likely to spur a strong debate in the European Union (EU) over whether or not to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The U.S. and Israel have been pressuring the EU to blacklist the terror group and go after its vast financial network in Europe. Germany and France, however, have been reluctant to take action over fears of becoming targets and losing leverage in Lebanon.
Commenting on the announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the Bulgarian government for its thorough investigation and urged the EU to take action.
“We hope that the Europeans draw the necessary conclusions as to the true character of Hezbollah,” Netanyahu said.
White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan reiterated Netanyahu’s sentiment, saying the EU needs to take “proactive action” to uncover and disrupt Hezbollah’s terrorist activities in Europe.
Prominent Jewish groups also spoke out on the issue.
“The EU now has the opportunity to show full support for Bulgaria, and, in doing so, to make clear that there is a high price to pay for murder,” said American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris in a press statement.