Update: This story, while entertaining, is now officially said to be false.
According to the Sofia News Agency:
Bulgarian Interior Refutes Reports Terror Bomber Was Guantanamo Detainee
Media reports claiming that the suicide bomber who attacked a bus full of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria is Swedish ex Guantanamo detainee Mehdi Ghezali are false, stated the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior.
“Information circulated by media and elsewhere that the man who performed a suicide attack in Burgas is Mehdi Ghezali is not true,” said the Ministry in a statement.
The suicide bomber who blew up the Israeli bus in Bulgaria yesterday turns out to have been a “Swede” who had graduated from Gitmo, according to the Bulgarian media.
Note also the Michigan connection for the fake passport and driver’s license. Would anyone be surprised if that fake license originated in the Dearborn branch of the Michigan DMV?
According to The Times of Israel:
Bulgarian press names bomber: Mehdi Ghezali
Terrorist said to have been a Swedish citizen with a history of Muslim extremist activities
Bulgarian media on Thursday named the suicide bomber who blew up a bus full of Israeli tourists, killing five Israelis and a local bus driver, in the Black Sea resort of Burgas on Wednesday as Mehdi Ghezali.
There was no independent confirmation of the veracity of the information. The reports surfaced soon after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had publicly accused Hezbollah, directed by Iran, of responsibility for the bombing. The Prime Minister’s Office made no comment on the reports.
The Bulgarian reports, rapidly picked up by Hebrew media, posited various versions of how the bomber had detonated the bomb, including the suggestion that the bomber had not intended to die in the blast, but may have wanted to place the bomb on the bus and flee.
Ghezali was reportedly a Swedish citizen, with Algerian and Finnish origins. He had been held at the US’s Guantanamo Bay detainment camp on Cuba from 2002 to 2004, having previously studied at a Muslim religious school and mosque in Britain, and traveled to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. He was released to Swedish custody in 2004, and the Swedish government did not press charges. He was also reportedly among 12 foreigners captured trying to cross into Afghanistan in 2009.
Earlier on Thursday the Bulgarian police released a brief video clip that claimed to show the suicide bomber, responsible for Wednesday’s terror attack on a tour bus full of Israeli citizens, walking around shortly before the blast at Burgas International Airport.
The Bulgarian news agency Sofia reported that the bomber was carrying an American passport and Michigan driver’s license, both believed to be forgeries.
Sofia also reported that the Bulgarian Interior Ministry managed to recover the fingerprints of the bomber, which they submitted to the FBI in the United States and the international police organization Interpol. The FBI and CIA joined Israeli and Bulgarian officials in investigating the attack.
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told Sofia that DNA tests were being run to determine the identity of the Caucasian man, who the minister described as casually dressed with nothing suspicious about his appearance to set him apart from the crowd of people at the airport.
The ministry did not indicate how the police came to the conclusion that the man was the suicide bomber.