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Bulgaria suspects suicide bomber with fake I.D. in Israeli bus attack

By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times –

JERUSALEM — As Israeli victims of the Bulgarian bus bombing began arriving home Thursday, security officials said they now believe the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber with a fake American passport.

Israel began airlifting wounded tourists from Black Sea city of Burgas, back to Tel Aviv following Wednesday’s blast, which killed seven people and injured more than 30 others.

Officials now believe five of the dead are Israeli, one was a Bulgarian bus driver and the last was the bomber.

Bulgarian officials released a video showing a Caucasian male with long hair, dressed in short pants, tennis shoes, a baseball cap and sunglasses. He is shown loitering around the airport, with a large black backpack. His remains were found on the bus.

Officials say the man was carrying a U.S. passport and a Michigan driver’s license, both of which are believed to be forged, according to Bulgaria’s Sofia News Agency. Officials told reporters Thursday that the man had been in the country for more than four days.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday that Israel has information linking the Lebanon-based Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to the attack, but he did not elaborate or provide evidence.

Iranian and Hezbollah officials have denied any role.

Arch enemies Israel and Iran have been engaged in a shadow war for nearly two years. Israel blames Iran for orchestrating bomb attacks against Israeli missions in India, Georgia and Thailand. Iran says Israel is behind the assassination of several of its top scientists working on the country’s nuclear program.

Israel has threatened to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes.

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