Bulgaria releases pictures of Burgas bombing suspects
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Bulgaria releases pictures of Burgas bombing suspects

Two men, Australian and Canadian citizens, are believed to have aided suicide bomber in deadly attack on Israeli tourists

These head-shots provided by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry shows Canadian citizen Hassan El Hajj Hassan, right, and Australian citizen Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein Hussein, left, both suspected of being involved in the July 2012 Burgas bombing. (photo credit: courtesy Bulgarian Interior Ministry)
These head-shots provided by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry shows Canadian citizen Hassan El Hajj Hassan, right, and Australian citizen Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein Hussein, left, both suspected of being involved in the July 2012 Burgas bombing. (photo credit: courtesy Bulgarian Interior Ministry)

Bulgaria distributed the names and images of two men wanted on suspicion of involvement in a 2012 bombing that killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver in the resort town of Burgas.

The first alleged terrorist is identified as Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein Hussein, an Australian citizen born November 5, 1980. The second is Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian citizen born March 22, 1988, according to a statement issued by the country’s interior ministry Thursday.

The ministry asked people who might have seen them to report to the nearest police station.

A third suspect, a suicide bomber who was killed in the blast, has not been identified. Last August, Bulgarian experts produced an image of a young, dark-haired man based on the remains of his body, which was decapitated in the explosion. Fingerprints and DNA samples have not led to results so far.

“A year after the bomb attack on a bus with Israeli tourists that killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian citizen, the authorities are seeking public assistance for information on two people suspected of having links to the attack,” the Bulgarian interior ministry said.

This image made from security video provided by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry shows Australian citizen Meliad Farah, a.k.a Hussein Hussein, who is suspected of having link with to the Burgas bombing. (photo credit: AP Photo/Bulgarian Interior Ministry)
This image made from security video provided by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry shows Australian citizen Meliad Farah, aka Hussein Hussein, who is suspected of having link with to the Burgas bombing. (photo credit: AP/Bulgarian Interior Ministry)

The statement said that three weeks before the July 18 attack, the three men were spotted in several nearby cities. Investigators believe the suspects checked into hotels and hired cars with fake ID cards under the names of Brian Jeremiah Jameson, Jacque Felipe Martin and Ralph William Rico.

During their investigation Bulgarian authorities found counterfeit US driver’s licenses under the names Rico and Martin, both of which contained traces of DNA that matched the DNA of the suspected bomber extracted from the wreckage, establishing a clear link between the three, AFP reported.

Bulgarian authorities had previously declared the citizenship of the two suspects but not the details.

Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev would not explain why the details were being released now, saying only that his ministry had recently “received data from international partners.” He did not elaborate.

“What has already been published is the only information that can be revealed at this stage,” he said.

The Bulgarian government has long believed Hezbollah was behind the bombing, and last month, presented further evidence linking a known operative of the Lebanese Shiite group to the manufacture of the fake IDs used by the suspects.

The EU, partially in response to the new evidence and allegations from Bulgaria, this week formally blacklisted the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

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