web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bulgaria’

Bulgaria Says Hezbollah Terrorist Carried Out Burgas Bombing

Monday, April 7th, 2014

The terrorist who killed five Israelis and their tour bus driver and wounded 32 Israelis in Burgas in 2012 was an Algerian who worked for Hezbollah, Bulgaria said Monday.

It was one of the most unsurprising declarations of the year since all signs have pointed to Hezbollah since the attack at the Black Sea resort.

The suicide bomber trained in camps in southern Lebanon.

More than year ago, a Bulgarian minister said there was “well-grounded” evidence that Hezbollah was behind the attack, and forensic evidence and intelligence sources pointed to Hezbollah’s involvement

D.C. Street Renamed For Bulgarian Official Who Saved Jews

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

The street in front of the Bulgarian Embassy  in Washington has been renamed Dimitar Peshev Plaza, in honor of the man credited with halting the deportation of about 50,000 Jews.

In March 1943, Peshev, who was the deputy speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament at the time, heard of a deportation order and decided he had to stop it at all costs. He rushed to the capital city of Sophia, equipped with a petition signed by 43 members of the government. He refused to leave the Interior Ministry office until every deportation center in the country was contacted and everyone released. By the end of that day, the order was cancelled.

Peshev also tried to stop deportations of Jews in northern Greece and Macedonia, but without success.

Because of Peshev’s actions, he was stripped of his position as deputy speaker and then kicked out of Parliament. A year-and-a-half later, when the Soviet-back Communists took over the government, Peshev was tried as a war criminal and sent to jail. One of his crimes was listed as anti-Semitism.

Parts of Bulgarian Bus Bomb Smuggled from Poland

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Hezbollah terrorists smuggled from Poland the remote control and the detonating device used to set off the bomb that exploded on a Bulgarian tourists bus last summer and killed five Israelis, according to the Polish Trud daily newspaper.

Last week, Bulgaria named two native Lebanese as part of the cell that carried out the attack near the airport in Burgas, a resort city on the Black Sea.

Hassan El Hajj Hassan, who also holds Canadian citizenship, is suspected of detonating the bomb from the a remote control device,. Meliad Farah, who holds Australian citizenship, is suspecting of having put together the bomb in Bulgaria after receiving the parts that arrived on a train form Warsaw, according to Trud.

Hezbollah wired the terrorists $100,000 for their “success,” the newspaper added.

The Bulgarian Interior Ministry last week published pictures of the two wanted suspects, who it said registered at a  hotel and rented a car under fake names days before the bombing.

Bulgaria’s evidence that Hezbollah was behind the bombing helped pressure the European  Union to declare Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, but the designation applies only to the military branch and to to the political arm, which gives orders to its terrorists.

Bulgaria: Additional Evidence Connects Hezbollah to Burgas Bombing

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

In what has become a one step forward, one step backward dance by the Bulgarian government about whether or not Hezbollah was responsible for the deadly July, 2012 bombing of a tourist bus outside the resort town of Burgas, the dance added another step forward this week.

Although a Bulgarian government leader recently seemed to step back from the country’s initial finding that Hezbollah was behind the July, 2012 bombing of a tourist bus outside of the resort town of Burgas, which killed five Israelis – including a woman who had just learned she was pregnant for the first time – and a Bulgarian bus driver, the recent presentation of yet another connection between the Lebanese Shia terrorist group and the bombing should put to rest any doubt about who perpetrated the act of terrorism.

A Bulgarian representative to the European Union said earlier this week that investigators have discovered that a Hezbollah operative was the owner of a printer used to produce fake documents that facilitated the July 19, 2012 bombing.

“The Bulgarians put new evidence on the table during this meeting,” a diplomat quoted by Reuters said. “Their representative said the printer had been sold to someone from Hezbollah.”

The reason it matters so much whether this particular act of terrorism is recognized by a European country as one committed by Hezbollah, is because to date the European Union has refrained from placing Hezbollah on its official list of terrorist organizations.

The European Union is made up of 27 countries, and every member country has to vote in favor of placing an organization on the EU’s terrorist organization list.  But once that were to happen, Hezbollah’s bank accounts would be frozen, and the organization and its supporters would be barred from raising funds for the group anywhere in the European Union. Incredibly, until that happens, one can legally host, or simply contribute to, a Hezbollah fundraiser in most places in Europe.

Speaking at a press conference before meeting with the EU foreign policy chief Lady Catherine Ashton, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said he finds it hard to understand exactly what is a terrorist organization, if not Hezbollah.

I hope that those in Europe who refuse to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization will change their mind, and I hope there will be a European consensus on this. I mean, it’s hard to see how you cannot have a consensus on Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. If Hezbollah isn’t a terrorist organization, I don’t know what a terrorist organization is. I mean, they’re butchering people left and right across the world and now in the cities of Syria. They’re murdering civilians without let-up, including on European soil, as was discovered in Bulgaria, as they try to do in Cyprus. So I would say the designation of Iran’s proxy Hezbollah as a terrorist organization is our second hope that Europe would do, and it would do the right thing.

Netanyahu gave similar remarks when he was in Poland earlier this month.  Poland is also understood to be reticent about placing Hezbollah on the EU’s terrorism list.

The United States placed Hezbollah on its Foreign Terrorist Organization listing in the mid-’90′s. In 2010, the Obama administration described Hezbollah as “the most technically capable terrorist group in the world.”

American politicians have also been calling upon the EU to place Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations. Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05), last week amended the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)  to include language urging the EU to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

“Hezbollah is one of the world’s most dangerous organizations. After al Qaeda, it is responsible for the most deaths of American citizens. Unfortunately, the European Union has not yet designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, ” said Lamborn, who is co-chair of the Congressional Israeli Allies Caucus.

Britain, France and Germany are on record as supporting the placement of the Shia terrorist group on the official list of terrorist groups, but resistance remains in some quarters.  Italy, Austria, Finland and the Czech Republic are considered the EU members which most strongly oppose naming Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

A decision about whether the EU will officially name Hezbollah a terrorist organization is expected before the end of 2013.

Bulgaria: Hezbollah Did Not Blow Up the Airport Bus

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Bulgaria has officially backed down on Wednesday from the charges it made only a few months ago, that the deadly Burgas airport bombing of a bus carrying Israeli tourists, July 18, 2012, was done by agents of Hezbollah. Five Israelis and one Bulgarian national were killed in the blast.

And in the process of dropping the ball, the Bulgarians have left a brave, conservative British government to its own devices, in the midst of their drive to get the EU to blacklist the Shi’ite terrorists.

On February 5, 2013, the Bulgarian interior minister said, referring to two suspects in the attack, that a “reasonable assumption, I repeat a reasonable assumption, can be made that the two of them were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah.”

They had Canadian and Australian passports and they lived in Lebanon. According to the Europol, DNA evidence left on SIM cards helped investigators to conclude that Hezbollah was indeed behind the bus bomb attack in Burgas.

What happened? A new government happened.

After months of a political impasse, on May 28 Bulgaria was endowed with a new, Socialist-led government, which won a parliamentary vote of confidence, even though it relies on a minority coalition in parliament. This means that the new government of the European Union’s poorest country will be helpless to steer the economy in new directions, or at all, and to attract investment.

The Socialist party in Bulgaria is, really, the leftover bosses from the old Communist regime but with better PR. The former governing party, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, was more pro-American. The country’s stalement—still unresolved—has lasted since the February vote.

The minority government received 119 votes in favor and 98 against. It is backed by the Socialists and their ethnic Turkish MRF allies, and it is led by Plamen Oresharski, 53, a non-partisan former finance minister.

“The evidence is not categorical” that Hezbollah planned the attack, said Bulgaria’s brand new foreign minister, Kristian Vigenin, said on Wednesday in an interview with Bulgarian National Radio.

He said it while a European Commission is debating whether to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, even as the Hezbollah is sending expedition forces into Syria, in support of the embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

France and Germany have joined Britain in calling for Hezbollah’s ouster from the civilized world. Britain formally submitted the Bulgarians’ own evidence of Hezbollah’s involvement in the airport bombing, coupled with the March conviction of a Hezbollah agent operating in Cyprus of plotting another attack there.

Back in February, correspondent Borzou Daragahi, working for the London-based Middle East and North Africa, apologized for suggesting that Israel bribed Bulgaria to framed Hezbollah. “Sincere apologies and regret for ill-conceived tweet yesterday about Israel and Bulgaria,” Daragahi tweeted.

The previous day, Daragahi had tweeted, “I don’t doubt Hezbollah/Iran could be behind Bulgaria bombing, but also think Israel could pay Sofia to say anything.”

Michael Freund wrote in The Jewish Press last February:

E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, whose pitiful response to the Bulgarian probe was to counsel “reflection.

“We have to reflect on the consequences,” she told a press conference this past Tuesday, “we have to consult and come back.”

Ashton could not bring herself to even mouth the word “Hizbollah,” let alone utter a condemnation for its wanton brutality.

This reporter is known for mixing his private views and speculations with his news reporting, but for once I don’t see a need to speculate wildly. There appears to be a struggle within the EU over one of the vilest organizations in the world, an ally and a partner of two repressive, murderous regimes – and just last night, the supporters of that vile organization inside the EU managed to move the goal posts several yards on the decent folks who were trying to ostracize it.

Bahrain Officially Labels Hezballah a Terrorist Organization

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The tiny Gulf State of Bahrain on Tuesday, April 9, became the first Arab country to place the Arab terrorist group Hezballah (Party of Allah) on its state designated terrorist list.

It is not that Bahrain is concerned over Hezballah’s decades-long genocidal intentions against Israel. But as a radical Shia sect, Hezballah also plays a destabilizing role in the Arab world. The terrorist group receives financial support, weapons and military training from Iran.

The Lebanese Shiite movement based in Lebanon has allegedly been backing and training radical Shiite groups against Bahrain.  That appeared to be the main reason the group received the terrorism designation.  Although the majority of Bahrainis are Shia, the monarchy is Sunni.

“The measure is to protect Bahrain’s security and stability from Hezballah’s threats,” Bahraini MP Adil al-Asoumi told Al Arabiya. There is evidence that Hezbollah is instigating violence against the government in Bahrain, Asoumi added.

“When we were in Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, we met with defected Syrian soldiers. They told us that in the past years, the Syrian regime was conspiring against the people of Bahrain,” in coordination with Iran and Hezbollah, Abdulhalim Murad, deputy head of Bahrain’s Islamist al-Asala bloc said, according to Al Arabiya.

The United States, Canada and Israel have all had Hezballah on terrorism-designated lists for some time.  Such a designation means that the bank accounts of the organization can be frozen, and suspected members can be legally monitored.

During the Mubarak regime, Egypt considered Hezballah a terrorist organization, but in late December of last year the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egyptian government announced it would pursue a “tight relationship” with the terrorist group.

An investigation into the deadly bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria last July, revealed that Hezballah was behind the violence that killed 5 Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver.

In the wake of the Burgas bombing, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barrosso said the European Union would consider including Hezballah on its list of terrorist organizations.  The Israeli government and Shurat HaDin (the Israeli Law Center) had each attempted to convince the EU to make that designation.

However, on March 7, the EU announced it would not make the change, claiming it “did not yet have sufficient evidence of its activity in Europe” to place Hezballah on the EU terrorist organization list.  Presently, Holland is the only European country to officially sanction Hezballah as a terrorist entity.

Were the EU to follow suit behind the U.S., Canada, Holland and Bahrain, and place the terrorist organization on its list of official terrorist groups, it would likely have a serious impact on Hezballah’s financial footing, and therefore its ability to continue its global terrorism operations.

 

The Meaning of European ‘Resolve’ Against Terror

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Yesterday, March 11, 2013, the European Union commemorates the 9th European Day in Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism.

Here’s the key part of an official statement released by the E.U. Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove:

All acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, wherever they took place or whoever committed them. Therefore, our resolve to defeat terrorism must never weaken or falter even for a day, and our support to victims to meet their needs must remain a priority, as well as our commitment to actively promoting a policy of international solidarity.

Seems like a good time to remind him of the need to outlaw the outrageous and flagrant terrorists of Hizbollah whose supporters operate within the law in Europe with no evident interference from officials of the E.U. or of its Counter-Terrorism Coordinator. This ought to surprise us given that a Bulgarian court found last month that it was Hizbollah that stood behind the terrorist attack last summer on a tourist bus full of Israelis, killing five of them and their driver.

Mr de Kerchove knows this. But despite his public call today never to weaken or to falter “even for a day” in the battle to defeat terrorism, he doesn’t actually seem to mean the Hizbollah brand of terrorism, but other terrorisms. (Truthfully, we’re not completely sure which, but it seems that he is).

Here is how he expressed it in a January 28, 2013 interview (“EU official: Hezbollah unlikely to get on terrorism blacklist“) with E.U. Observer when asked if Europe should go along with the requests of the United States and Israel to make it illegal, for instance, to give donation money to Hizbollah:

…For De Kerchove, the situation is not so simple. “First, we need to reach conclusions with strong evidence that it was the military wing of Hezbollah [which indeed carried out the terrorist bombing at Burgas airport in Bulgaria]. That’s the prerequisite, even in legal terms, but then, as always in the listing process, you need to ask yourself: ‘Is this the right thing to do?’… For Hezbollah, you might ask, given the situation in Lebanon, which is a highly fragile, highly fragmented country, is listing it going to help you achieve what you want? … There is no automatic listing just because you have been behind a terrorist attack. It’s not only the legal requirement that you have to take into consideration, it’s also a political assessment of the context and the timing…”

The interview was given just before the Bulgarians found, judicially, that Hizbollah was the culprit, so at least that prerequisite was satisfied. But that – why are we surprised? – is evidently not enough.

He noted there is “no consensus” among EU states on whether listing Hezbollah would be helpful or not [E.U. Observer]

which is a very good way to say what official Europe really feels about the battle against the terrorists.

In simple terms, the Commissioner’s official statement today, the one that appears in the press release above, should not be taken too seriously. Perhaps it was only intended for the terror victims and their commemoration ceremonies in the first place. If you really want to go after the terrorists, then the way forward – according to Europe’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator – calls for more than mere resolve. You need consensus and agreement as to whether it will be helpful.

European politics is populated by a multitude of individuals who are hopelessly ambivalent about the Islamists. As for serious European moves against terror, we can expect to see them limited to press releases and wreath laying ceremonies in civic squares.

Out on the streets and railways and airports of Europe? Not so much.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/this-ongoing-war/the-meaning-of-european-resolve-against-terror/2013/03/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: