Burgas suicide bomber identified by media as Guantanamo jihadist
Bulgarian media have reportedly identified the man responsible for blowing up the bus with Israeli tourists on Wednesday as Mehdi Ghezali, a jihadist who spent two years in Guantanamo. US officials responded there is “no evidence” that it was him.
Ghezali’s name was revealed by Times of Israel newspaper, who cited local Bulgarian media sources.
But later the story grew murkier, with ABC reporting that Bulgarian officials denied that Ghezali was behind the attack. Swedish agency TT says it has received similar refutals from security services in Stockholm. NBC later said that US officials also had no information linking Ghezali with the terrorist act.
None of the countries have issued an independently verified statement.
Previously, local police matched up airport CCTV footage with the remnants near the bus carrying Israeli tourists that was destroyed in the explosion. The likely suicide bomber was carrying a US driving license bearing the name Jacque Felipe Martin that authorities believe to be a forgery.
Mehdi Ghezali is a 33 year-old Islamist, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2001 and subsequently spent two years in detention in Guantanamo. When he was sent back to Sweden, the local government refused to press charges against him. He was arrested again by Pakistani authorities on the Afghanistan border in 2009, but once again set free upon extradition back to his homeland.
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the bomber had spent between four days and a week in the country.
”We cannot exclude the possibility that he had logistical support on Bulgarian territory,” said Tsvetanov.
- ‘Bulgarian officials deny bomber is Mehdi Ghezali’ (timesofisrael.com)
- Burgas suicide bomber identified by media as Guantanamo jihadist (jeenyuscorner.com)
- BREAKING: Israeli Bus Bomber came from Gitmo!! (investmentwatchblog.com)
- Bulgarian press names bomber: Mehdi Ghezali (warsclerotic.wordpress.com)
- Bulgarian press names bomber: Mehdi Ghezali (timesofisrael.com)
- Ex-Guantanamo inmate responsible for Burgas blast (english.ruvr.ru)
- Burgas bomber identified as Guantanamo jihadist (english.ruvr.ru)
- Bulgaria: Suicide Bomber A Guantanamo jihadist? (eurasiareview.com)
- Mehdi Ghezali, Israeli Tourist Suicide Bomber? Bulgaria Press Reportedly Names Former Gitmo Detainee Responsible For Attack (huffingtonpost.com)