Author Topic: Police struggle to identify Bulgariasuicide bomber  (Read 595 times)

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dspacedude

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Police struggle to identify Bulgariasuicide bomber
« on: July 20, 2012, 08:44:54 PM »
Bulgarian police, the FBI and Interpol
struggled Friday to identify a suicide
bomber 48 hours after he killed six
people including five Israelis, as the
US said the attack bore the
"hallmarks" of Hezbollah. Investigators have released CCTV
footage of the person they believe
carried out Wednesday's attack in the
Black Sea airport of Burgas on a bus
carrying Israeli holiday-makers,
which also claimed the life of the Bulgarian driver. With two days having passed and a
team of investigators in Bulgaria,
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov
on Friday was only able to say that
the bomber was "not a Bulgarian
citizen" and had been in the country "not less than four days." Detectives "are working very actively
on Wednesday's terrorist attack.
There will be more information within
three or four days," Prime Minister
Boyko Borissov told parliament. Emotional funerals were held Friday
across Israel for Kochava Shriki, 44,
who was pregnant, Yitzhik Kolengi,
Amir Menashe, Elior Priess and Maor
Harush, all in their 20s. "I want to thank you for being my
brother, for sharing my room for 20
years, for the jokes we made
together," Kolengi's brother said at a
ceremony attended by hundreds
braving sweltering heat in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv. Bulgarian driver Mustafa Kyosov, 36,
was also laid to rest in his
southwestern home village of
Yurukovo according to traditional
Muslim rites. More than 30 people were also
injured, three of them seriously, all of
whom have since been repatriated, as
have around 60 others who escaped
injury. Some opted to continue their
holiday in the Black Sea resorts popular with Israelis. Airport video footage released by
Bulgarian authorities showed an
apparently white male with long hair,
possibly a wig, dressed in typical
holiday gear -- shorts, a baseball cap,
sneakers -- and carrying a backpack and a laptop bag. Tsvetanov said the man, who was
shown wandering around the airport,
looked around 36. Investigators have
recovered a driving licence from the
US state of Michigan that is thought to
be fake. The name on the licence, an image of
which was shown on Bulgarian
television, is Jacque Felipe Martin of
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, born in
1987. Investigators have taken fingerprints
from the bomber's body and are
trying to find a DNA match. Kalina Tchapkanova, a Bulgarian
prosecutor, was quoted by bTV
television as saying that the day
before the attack the suspect had
tried to hire a car in nearby Pomorie
but was refused because of doubts about his driving licence. She cited witnesses as saying he
spoke English with an accent,
possibly an Arab one. "We have interviewed the taxi driver
who took him to the airport in the
afternoon. He also took a taxi in the
morning to carry out
reconnaissance," the prosecutor said. The owners of the car rental agency
said however that the man who tried
to hire a vehicle had very short hair,
dark skin and "looked like an Arab."
He also did not resemble the photo on
the licence, which showed someone with long hair. Interpol has sent an "incident
response team" to Bulgaria including
two "terrorism" experts from
Switzerland and France and a US
explosives specialist. European police
agency Europol was also assisting. Israel has blamed Iran and Tehran's
"terrorist proxy" Hezbollah, saying it
fitted a pattern of other recent attacks
or attempted attacks on Israelis
including in Thailand, India, Georgia,
Kenya and Cyprus. The Islamic Republic, already under
pressure over growing international
tensions over its nuclear programme,
rejected Israel's accusations as
"ridiculous". "The attack does bear some of the
hallmarks of Hezbollah but we're not
in a position to make any final
determination on who was
responsible," Pentagon press
secretary George Little told reporters on Friday. US President Barack Obama, who had
a 30-minute phone conversation with
Borissov on Friday, Sofia said, has
condemned what he called a
"barbaric terrorist attack," echoing
indignation from around the world. The explosion ripped through the
bus as around 50 Israeli tourists
arriving from Tel Aviv were loading
their bags before travelling to a
nearby holiday and gambling resort. The bomber struck on the 18th
anniversary of an attack on a Jewish
community centre in Argentina that
killed 85 people. The burnt-out shell of the bus was
taken away on Thursday evening and
Burgas airport reopened shortly
afterward under heavy security. Later however, procedures returned
to what they had been previously, an
AFP correspondent reported, with
Israeli tourists boarding buses in the
same place as where the attack took
place with no additional security.

 

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