Report: Calls made between Burgas, Lebanon before blast
While probe into Bulgaria terror attack not making headway, Israeli official tells New York Times intelligence services intercepted large volume of phone calls between resort city, Lebanon in days leading to explosion. German official: EU needs more concrete evidence
In the two months leading to the terror attack in Bulgaria, Israel's intelligence services intercepted many phone calls between Burgas and Lebanon, an Israeli official was quoted as saying to the New York Times on Thursday.
The official further noted that the volume of phone calls increased significantly three days prior to the airport bombing that killed five Israelis.
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Jerusalem has thus far held off on releasing information on counterintelligence work tying Iran and Hezbollah to the suicide attack at the resort city. "We know the sources in Lebanon," the official told the New York Time, adding that they did not have information on the identity of those acting in Bulgaria. "They shouldn’t know that we know the numbers in Lebanon," he said.
The probe into the terror attack has been progressing slowly, as the Bulgarians have yet to identify the terrorist killed in the blast or his accomplices. Local investigators have been cautious to point the finger at Hezbollah, which is not considered a terrorist organization in the European Union.
A German official told the newspaper that the EU is looking for more concrete evidence than the volume of calls before taking steps against Hezbollah. There is still "some skepticism that it was Hezbollah as an organization itself, and not, for instance, Iran using individuals with some Hezbollah affiliation," he said.
According to the report, the terror attack probe is yet another testimony to the cat-and-mouse games between Israel and Iran in the international arena.
"After the blast in Bulgaria, both Iran and Hezbollah denied involvement almost as quickly as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel pointed the finger at them. American and Bulgarian officials backed the assessment off the record, but would not say so openly. There has been little hard evidence presented to show how or by whom the plots were coordinated," it said.
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