|AJC Praises Bulgaria Investigation, Urges EU to Label Hezbollah Terror Group|
February 5, 2013 -- New York -- AJC urged the EU to support fellow member state Bulgaria and designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization, after Sofia concluded that the Iranian-backed group carried out the deadly July 18 attack at the Burgas airport. A bomb killed five Israelis and the Bulgarian driver of a bus, and wounded dozens.
Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov announced today the conclusion of the six-month investigation. The bomber, who died in the attack, and an accomplice who is still being sought, "were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah," he said. "There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects."
In July, shortly after the attack, AJC reached out to all EU member states to take action against Hezbollah. Though the U.S. labeled Hezbollah a terrorist organization years ago, the EU has until now resisted. "Hezbollah is the quintessential terrorist organization," stated the AJC letter to EU foreign ministers, as early reports following the Burgas attack indicated that Hezbollah was directly involved.
"The EU now has the opportunity to show full support for Bulgaria, and, in doing so, to make clear that there is a high price to pay for murder," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
"Hezbollah’s deadly terrorism struck in the heart of Europe last summer. Nor is it the first time that Hezbollah has struck European targets. Moreover, Hezbollah's support for the murderous Assad regime is directly responsible for much of the mayhem in a region critical to EU interests.”
"Bulgaria has shown remarkable courage and principle in this matter," Harris added. "The EU should express its solidarity and resolve by adding Hezbollah to its list of terrorist organizations.”Date: 2/5/2013 12:00:00 AM