The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday dismissed a claim by Qaedat al-Jihad that it was responsible for Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Burgas.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Vesela Cherneva dismissed the previously unknown Islamist group’s assertion of responsibility for the attack in an email sent Saturday to Elnashra, a Lebanese newspaper.
The group was a possible affiliate of al-Qaeda, commentators in Israel said early Saturday evening, noting the similarities in name. However, an Israel Radio analyst said later Saturday that the bombing did not bear al-Qaeda hallmarks, and that a claim of responsibility ostensibly pointing to al-Qaeda was “very convenient” for Hezbollah, which has been blamed for the bombing by Israel.
“One of our units, aided by God, managed to bomb a bus full of Jewish tourists, plunderers of holy lands, after careful tracking,” Qaedat al-Jihad wrote in an email published by Elnashra.
The email stated: “The month of Ramadan is a month of holy war and martyrdom for God. It is a month for fighting the enemies of Allah and God’s messenger, the Jews and their American facilitators.”
“The jihad is not confined to a particular arena and we shall fight the Jews and the Americans until they leave the land of Islam,” it vowed.
Five Israelis and a Bulgarian national were killed in Wednesday’s terrorist attack, and dozens more were injured. Bulgarian authorities have not yet identified the suspect in the bombing.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have blamed Hezbollah, directed by Iran, for the bombing.