Bulgaria Attack Came on Terror Anniversary

Israel Warned of Attacks 18 Years After Buenos Aires Bombing

Deadly Day: Rescuers pick through the rubble of a deadly 1994 blast that struck a Jewish center in Argentina. The bombing of a bus in Bulgaria took place 18 years to the day after the Buenos Aires bombing.
getty images
Deadly Day: Rescuers pick through the rubble of a deadly 1994 blast that struck a Jewish center in Argentina. The bombing of a bus in Bulgaria took place 18 years to the day after the Buenos Aires bombing.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published July 18, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The suspected terror attack that killed at least seven Israeli tourists in Bulgaria came on the 18th anniversary of a deadly Hezbollah bombing in Argentina, providing a tantalizing clue to the possible perpetrators of the attack.

The bus bombing also came six months after the Israeli government reportedly requested that Bulgaria increase security precautions for Israeli tourists after a bomb scare on a bus carrying Israelis to Bulgaria from Turkey.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed the finger at Islamist terrorists for the attack.

“Eighteen years exactly after the blast at the Jewish community centre in Argentina, murderous Iranian terror continues to hit innocent people. This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading throughout the entire world. Israel will react powerfully against Iranian terror,” he said.

Experts suggested at the time that Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shi’ite militia, was planning attacks on Israelis in the southeast European nation to mark the fourth anniversary of the death of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh. Mugniyeh is believed to have been assassinated by Israeli operatives.

Hezbollah denied any connection to the attack. A representative from the group told Lebanese media outlets that “we will not seek revenge over the death of Imad Mughniyah by harming tourists.”

Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah was scheduled to speak later Wednesday evening in Beirut, according to Hezbollah-linked media outlet Al Manar. The speech marks the anniversary of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Bulgarian media reported in January that extra police and army troops had been assigned to provide higher levels of security at a resort popular with Israelis.

Bulgaria, a country of 7 million people in southeast Europe, has a large Muslim minority. The country has relatively little recent history of terrorism.

The attack came on the 18th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Though no one has ever been charged with the bombing, Israeli government investigations have placed blame with Hezbollah and the Iranian government.

Up to seven people were killed when the explosion struck a bus carrying Israeli tourists in a Bulgarian resort town, according to reports.

The blast took place near the airport in Burgas, a popular vacation spot near the Black Sea. The explosion took place at 5:30 p.m. local time.

Bulgaria shares a porous border with Turkey, and experts have warned that Islamic extremists might be able to sneak across and carry out attacks.

Meryl Steigman, Executive Director of the Bulgarian American Society, said many Bulgarians were shocked and outraged by the terror attack.

“I believe Bulgarians will also be appalled because of their history with the Jews,” Steigman said. “Jews in Bulgaria have long been considered not an other, but Bulgarian.”

Additional reporting by Blair Thornburgh


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.