Bourgas terror attack: 5th anniversary commemoration ceremony to take place today

Written by on July 18, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bourgas terror attack: 5th anniversary commemoration ceremony to take place today

Exactly five years after the Bourgas terror attack, a commemoration in remembrance of the six victims will take place today. At Bourgas Airport, relatives of the victims and officials will take part in the event.

The military wing of Hezbollah was accused of being responsible for this only major Islamist terror attack in Bulgaria, in which five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian bus driver were murdered. Thirty-two Israelis sustained injuries.

There is frustration among the next of kin, since the trial against the alleged perpetrators, Meliad Farah, holder of Australian and Lebanese citizenship, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian passport-holder, has not commenced so far. Each time it was supposed to start, the Bulgarian Special Criminal Court in charge postponed the trial, for different reasons.

Last time, this happened as recently as July 4, 2017. The trial was postponed to September 20 since, for some reason, the relatives of the victims had not been notified of the court date.

Because the perpetrators of the attack have not been apprehended, they are supposed to be tried in absentia.

Five years ago today, the Israeli tourists had just flown in from Tel Aviv. They boarded a bus, which was supposed to take them from the airport to their hotel. A Lebanese-French citizen by the name of Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini approached the bus with a bag containing explosives. Seconds later, the explosion occurred. The bomber himself died along with his victims.

After the terror attack,  Mossad and Shin Bet joined the Bulgarian authorities in their investigation. Security was tightened at airports and Jewish institutions in Bulgaria.

(Archive photo: Bulgarian Interior Ministry)

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Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com