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!
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • 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.