The suicide bomber who carried out a 2012 attack in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and their local driver was an Algerian trained in Lebanon, Bulgarian press reported Monday.
“The assailant was born in Algeria, lived in Morocco and was trained in camps in South Lebanon. He also studied at a Beirut university with the other two suspects,” Bulgarian daily Pressa reported, adding that the prosecutors office refused to comment.
The Sofia News Agency reported the same information, citing unnamed investigators.
Israel and Bulgaria have already accused the powerful Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah of being behind the attack at Burgas airport on the Black Sea, the deadliest on Israelis abroad since 2004. The suspect’s training in Lebanon would seem to fit with that assertion.
The bomber died in the attack — although it remains unclear if he intended to die — and investigators had been unable to identify him for some time, despite having DNA from the severed head and limbs found at the site of the bombing.
Bulgaria had previously identified as alleged accomplices two Lebanese men with links to Hezbollah — and with Canadian and Australian passports — and has made so-far unanswered extradition requests to Lebanon.
Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov announced on Friday that investigators had positively identified the suicide bomber, but said he could not disclose the identity or comment as to when an indictment would be filed. Tsatsarov had previously said that he expected to bring the case to court by March, but new findings have delayed the process.