Israel Ministry Warns of Terror Plot Against Israelis in Bulgaria

Counterterrorism bureau says it has no concrete information regarding possible terror attacks on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, yet Transportation Ministry insists Israeli tourists in Europe should be vigilant.

The head of Israel’s Counterterrorism Bureau said Thursday evening that it has no concrete information regarding a possible terrorist attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

The bureau emphasized that the initial warning from the head of security at the Transportation Ministry regarding increased security in European countries took place over three weeks ago.

Bulgaria - AFP - January 4, 2012

However, the Transportation Ministry insisted the threats are credible and that Israeli tourists in Europe should be vigilant.

Earlier, Danny Shenar, head of security at the Transportation Ministry, told Haaretz that he asked European security services "to tighten security around groups of Israelis in various resorts like ski resorts and hotels." According to Shenar, "I asked to formally tighten security because I am worried about a security-related incident."

Shenar added: "I've asked security services in Europe to escort groups of Israelis and conduct searches with police dogs."

Last year, Israeli embassies throughout the world received several suspected terror threats that coincided with the third anniversary of the death of Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah's deputy leader.

Mughniyah was killed when his car exploded in 2008 and Hezbollah blames Israel for his assassination, despite Israel's denial of any involvement. The threat was believed to be directed at embassies in Africa, Southeast Asia and Caucasus.

The bureau cautioned the Israeli public that because of the increased threat of terror attacks against Israelis abroad, travels certain destinations should be avoided, including Egypt, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania and Venezuela.