Report: Israel Intercepted Phone Calls between Lebanon, Bulgaria ahead of Bombingإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Israeli intelligence service intercepted several telephone calls between Lebanon and Burgas in Bulgaria two months before the bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and their local bus driver, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
“The volume (of calls) intensified in the three days leading up to” the bombing, a senior Israeli government official told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.
Israel accused Iran and Hizbullah of planning attacks in "over 20 countries" in remarks just days after the July 18 attack in Bulgaria.
However, Iran and Hizbullah both denied any involvement in what was the first attack of its kind in Bulgaria.
The official said that “the sources in Lebanon are known,” but the identities of those who are on the other end in Bulgaria remain a mystery.
“They shouldn’t know that we know the numbers in Lebanon,” he said.
The NY Times said that the Bulgarian officials are hesitant to declare Hizbullah responsible without evident proof.
European allies expect more concrete evidence than the volume of calls before taking steps against Hizbullah, the daily added.
A senior security official in Germany told the daily that the EU maintains “some skepticism that it was Hizbullah as an organization itself, and not, for instance, Iran using individuals with some Hizbullah affiliation.”
Police have the fingerprints and DNA of the bomber, who killed five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver as well as himself in the July 18 attack at Burgas airport, but they have drawn a blank on international databases.