Burgas airport: The site of the terror attack
Burgas terror suspect in the airport
Airports were and remain an attractive target for terror groups, not only against Israel. Ever since strict security screening of passengers before they board the plane was initiated, the terrorists have been pushed to the terminals, roads and hotels. This has become somewhat of a counter-terror rule of thumb, which is familiar even to the Bulgarians.
However, producing a high level of security for Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus or Italy is a very expensive matter, and these states have no intention of spending money. On the other hand, they will not allow armed Israeli security guards to accompany the Israeli tourists at local tourism sites.
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This is a catch 22 situation that every Israeli tourist must take into account.
Most incoming and outgoing flights during the summer – and there are hundreds of them a day – are charter flights, mostly offered by small airlines operating in Europe. These European charter flights are not secured, either in the air or upon landing.
The moment the plane lands, the acquisition of intelligence information depends on the work of local intelligence agencies, while physical security is under the responsibility of the airports and local police.
No budget, no manpower
An Israeli tourist who boards a foreign charter flight must take into account the fact that the security screening to be undertaken throughout the process of landing in that country will be very limited. The State of Israel will not guarantee his or her safety.
This is also the working assumption of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau. Israel only secures national institutions, national airlines and official delegations overseas. All the rest should keep their eyes open.
When Israeli security officials attempted to map the sites where Israeli tourists regularly spend their time, as well as Jewish institutions that may be attractive for terrorists, it turned out that we are dealing with hundreds of sites. There is no chance to ever find the budget and manpower to secure them.
And what Israeli officials know is also known to Iranian intelligence officials. One only needs to look for the vulnerabilities.