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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Terror attack against Israelis foiled in Bulgaria?

JPost reports:
A suspicious package found last week on a bus carrying Israeli tourists from Turkey to Bulgaria was the cause for Israel’s request to boost security over its citizens traveling in the country, according to reports in the Bulgarian press.

The Sofia News Agency Novinite quoted Dan Shenar, head of security at the Israeli Transportation Ministry, who confirmed he had requested the increased security. Bulgarian authorities have launched an investigation to determine what was inside the package and who placed it on the bus.
But Bulgaria denies it:
Bulgaria's border police have no information of a bomb being found in a bus boarded with Israeli tourists traveling towards a Bulgarian winter resort, the country's Interior Ministry has stated.

On Sunday, Israeli media reported that Bulgarian authorities last week foiled a bomb attack targeting a bus chartered to take Israeli tourists to a local ski resort. According to the report, there is an ongoing investigation concerning a terrorist group based in Europe and linked with Hezbollah.

The device was allegedly found by Bulgarian authorities last Tuesday.

However, representatives of the Bulgarian Interior Ministry told the Bulgarian National Radio on Monday that they have not received any information of such device being discovered.
There are also reports of increased security in Bulgaria around Israeli tourists, also being denied:
Increased police presence is reported in Bulgaria's top winter resort of Bansko with 50 policemen patrolling, and another 80 expected by the end of the month.

The information was reported Saturday by the Bulgaria "Trud" (Labor) daily. According to it, Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, had given a permit to include one army company to assist security effort at the resort.

A large number of tourists from Israel are currently vacationing in Bansko.

On Thursday, Russian Israeli website IzRus, published information that the plot was unearthed by Bulgarian secret services, which promptly informed their Israeli colleagues.

The same day, Bulgaria's Interior Ministry refuted allegations that the level of security had been raised due to claims that Hezbollah might be planning attacks on Israeli citizens in the country.

The controversial information was officially rejected by the Foreign Ministry, which said Friday morning that it had received no such tip-off.

The reassurances were echoed Friday by Bulgarian Ministers of Defense, Transport and Economy.
So what is the truth?

A possible hint comes at the end of both the previous links:
On Friday, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov advised the media against publishing sensational information about possible terrorist attacks in the country, explaining that such reports would hurt the ties between Bulgaria and the Arab countries.

(h/t Yoel)