Bulgarian media name Swedish citizen and former Guantanamo detainee as Burgas suicide bomber
Reports claim that the person responsible for the Burgas terror attack, which killed five Israelis, is 33-year-old Mehdi Ghezali - a Swedish citizen of Algerian descent.
- Netanyahu says Iran-backed Hezbollah responsible for terror attack
- 34 casualties arrive in Israel, are evacuated to various hospitals
- Iran says Israel's accusations are 'unfounded'
The suspected suicide bomber who blew up a bus of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria is Mehdi Ghezali, a Swedish citizen and former Guantanamo detainee, Bulgarian media reported on Thursday.
Bulgarian media quoted the country's interior minister as saying that the man who was responsible for the attack in a Burgas airport, which killed five and wounded 34 Israelis, is Ghezali, who is a 33-year-old Swedish citizen of Algerian descent.
The report also said that Ghezali was held at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp in Cuba, after he was captured in Pakistan for being an "unlawful combatant."
The report could not be independently confirmed.
Earlier Thursday, ABC showed an image of the suspect's fake Michigan driver's license with the name Jacque Felipe Martin.
The Novinite Daily reported Thursday that the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said that officials are still trying to determine whether the suspect's U.S. passport was also counterfeit.
According to the image obtained by ABC, the license read "Michigan Operator's License" and showed a fake Louisiana address, which is actually that of a casino called the Belle of Baton Rouge.
Bulgarian media reported that the man had been in the country between four to seven days, and was about 35 years old.
Bulgarian police said they believed the suspect was the suicide bomber because his body sustained the most damage in the explosion.
The Bulgarian police said that footage from airport security cameras captured the suspect roaming the airport for at least one hour, the Novinite Daily reported. According to the report he was a long-haired Caucasian in sportswear.
Earlier Thursday, Israel Air Force planes carrying the 34 Israeli casualties landed in Israel and they were evacuated to various hospitals for medical care.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his remarks the day before and said that the Burgas attack was perpetrated by Hezbollah, calling it the "long arm of Iran."
However, top Bulgarian official said Thursday that it was a "mistake" to blame any specific country or organization for the terror attack.
"We are only in the beginning of the investigation and it is wrong to jump to conclusions," he added, saying that Bulgaria had "excellent cooperation with the Israeli security forces in matters pertaining to the investigation."
Mladenov added that the countries "will investigate until we discover who is behind the attack. At this stage all we know about the identity of the culprit is his external appearance and a copy of a counterfeit Michigan driver's license."
Iran, meanwhile, dismissed Israel's "baseless accusations" that Tehran was involved in the bombing.