The European Union’s police body, Europol, said in a report that “indications suggest possible links” between Hezbollah and a deadly terrorist attack in Bulgaria last year.
The statement, published Friday by the news site EuObserver, suggests Europol has adopted the findings of a six-month-long investigation by Bulgarian security services into the July 19, 2012 bombing of a bus of Israeli tourists in Burgas that left five Israelis and a Bulgarian dead and dozens wounded. In February, a Bulgarian minister said the attack was carried out by agents of Hezbollah’s military wing with funding provided by the Shiite group.
The Bulgarian probe led to renewed calls for the European Union to join the United States, Israel, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in classifying Hezbollah as a terrorist group. According to various insider accounts, some EU countries including Germany and France are reluctant to take this step because it may harm their relations with Lebanon, where Hezbollah is part of the government.
In the framework of the ongoing investigation of the bombing by Bulgarian authorities, forensics and explosives experts blew up a model of the bus at Burgas airport in an attempt to recreate and better understand the attack.