Danny Shenar, head of security at the Tourism Ministry alerted European authorities to the threat. Bulgarian authorities in particular were asked to remain on high alert. Shenar's request was reportedly accepted.
Security sources said that while there was no specific threat, there was intelligence suggesting that Israelis traveling in Europe would be targeted by terror groups.
According to the report, the defense establishment is concerned by Iranian threats to retaliate over what it calls "the systematic elimination" if its nuclear scientists.
Possible target? The Great Synagogue in Sofia (Photo: Joseph Jackson)
Concerns over a possible attack in Bulgaria are compounded by defense establishment intelligence – backed by Western intelligence sources – suggesting Hezbollah is planning a terror attack on "an Israeli destination in Europe," possibly around the coming anniversary of the assassination of arch-terrorist Imad Mugniyah.
Israel has increased its own security measures around Israeli sites across Europe as well, and according to security sources, previous attempted by Hezbollah to mount such attacks have been foiled.
Nevertheless, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau criticized the Transportation Ministry's move, saying it was the first time the ministry had issued this kind of travel advisory and adding that it did so independently.
The Counter-Terrorism Bureau is the only official government body authorized to issue security-based travel advisories.
CTB sources said that Shenar had briefed them on the information he had, but sans a credible threat or intelligence suggesting an imminent one, the CTB saw no need to issue a travel advisory. "The hysterical atmosphere in unnecessary," a CTB source said.
The Foreign Ministry also downplayed the Tourism Ministry's concerns: The latter's travel advisory has not been posted on the Foreign Ministry's website, unlike other Counter-Terrorism Bureau advisories.
Itamar Eichner contributed to this report
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