Naharnet

Lebanese-French Citizen Identified as 2012 Burgas Bombing Attacker

Bulgaria has identified on Friday Lebanese-French Mohammed Hassan al-Husseini as the bomber who blew up an airport bus in 2012, killing five Israeli tourists.

A joint report for the Bulgarian State Agency for National Security (DANS) and the prosecutor's office said in a statement that “the identity of the suicide bomber that carried out an attack at the Burgas Airport on the Black Sea coast was identified after DNA tests were run.”

The report said that the bomber “used a fake driving license under the name of Jacques Philippe Martin.”

Mohammed Hassan al-Husseini, 25, who holds the Lebanese and French citizenship is the real bomber.

"Friends and relatives of Husseini also posted messages of praise on social media for his martyr's death," the statement noted.

Two pictures of the suspect were published on the DANS's website on Friday and showed a serious-looking young man with fair skin, short dark hair and freckles. 

He still has two accomplices of Lebanese origin, who are still at large.

Israel and Bulgaria have already accused Hizbullah of being behind the attack at Burgas airport on the Black Sea, the deadliest on Israelis abroad since 2004.

Bulgaria had previously identified as alleged accomplices two Lebanese men with links to Hizbullah -- identified as 32-year-old Meliad Farah of Australia, also known as Hussein Hussein, and 25-year-old Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian citizen.

According to investigators, Hassan was the one who remotely detonated the bomb that was carried onto the airport bus by Husseini. Farah was believed to have assembled the explosive device.

But despite recovering fingerprints and DNA from the bomber, Bulgaria long struggled to identify the culprits.

Burgas prosecutor Kalina Chapkanova told national radio Friday that the investigation into the attack was ongoing and that several judicial requests had been made to different countries, although she did not say which ones.

Bulgaria has made so-far unanswered extradition requests to Lebanon.

The bomber died in the attack -- although it remains unclear if he intended to die -- and investigators had been unable to identify him despite having DNA from the severed head and limbs found at the site of the bombing.

H.K./Y.R.


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