In what Hebrew media is calling a Bulgarian effort to avoid blame, Bulgarian officials are now being quoted saying the bomb may have been hidden inside a suitcase. The notion is being derided by some in Jerusalem. Nitzan Nuriel, until recently the head of Israel’s counter-terrorism bureau, says it is not impossible for someone to have evaded security or bribed officials on the grounds to place a bomb-laden suitcase on one of the airport buses that are awaiting the planes from Israel ahead of time.
Security officials point out that Israeli security is responsible for the passengers while they are on the plane. When they descend, they become the security responsibility of the local authorities.
Nuriel says there were no specific warnings of terror plots in Bulgaria. He notes, however, that many Israelis go to the holiday resort at Bourgas, and that this makes it a potentially attractive target. “This was not a particularly sophisticated attack,” he says.