Many Burgas-Lebanon Calls Made Prior to Bulgaria Bombing
Unusual volume of calls found days before attack, Israeli official tells NY Times
While Israel has yet to provide concrete evidence proving Iran and its Lebanon proxy Hezbollah are behind the terror attack in Bulgaria last month that killed five Israelis, the government’s intelligence services have found that there was an unusual increase in calls between Burgas and Lebanon in the days leading up to the attack, an official told the New York Times on Thursday.
The Israeli source said that intelligence services intercepted a high number of calls between Lebanon and Burgas, where the bus exploded, which were made during the previous month.
But the volume of calls increased especially in the three days leading up to it, the official told the Times.
“We know the sources in Lebanon, though not the identity of those on the other end in Bulgaria,” said the unnamed Israeli official. “They shouldn’t know that we know the numbers in Lebanon.”
Senior Israeli officials immediately blamed Iran and Hezbollah following the attack in July, but so far the government has yet to release any information to the public tying the two to the attack just outside the Burgas airport.
But Bulgaria and other European countries have been hesitant to publicly state who is believed to be responsible for the bombing.
Bulgaria has also yet to identify the individual who set off the suicide bomb which killed five Israeli tourists, their Bulgarian bus driver and one other, and left 34 Israelis wounded.
There is still “some skepticism that it was Hezbollah as an organization itself, and not, for instance, Iran using individuals with some Hezbollah affiliation,” a German official told the Times.