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European Union eyes status of Hezbollah

Posted By F. Michael Maloof On 02/17/2013 @ 6:25 pm In Front Page,Politics,U.S.,World | No Comments

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WASHINGTON – The European Union is mulling over whether the Iranian-backed Hezbollah will be labeled as a terrorist organization, according to report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Right now, the United States, Israel, Canada and the Netherlands regard it as such.

The issue arises as a result of a new Bulgarian government finding that there are “well-grounded reasons to suggest” that the July 2012 bus bombing in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort town of Burgas was done by Hezbollah.

The bus bombing killed five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver. Almost immediately, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the Lebanese Shi’ite group, claiming that it was carried out by “Hezbollah, the long arm of Iran.”

The Bulgarians say that two people who planned the attack had Australian and Canadian passports and further asserted that they had evidence that the planners were Hezbollah members.

“We have followed their entire activities in Australia and Canada, so we have information about financing and their membership in Hezbollah,” according to Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Both Hezbollah and Iran have strongly denied any involvement in the bus bombing.

Separate reports, however, suggest that the actual bomber, Mehdi Ghezali, a 33-year-old native of Sweden who had a fake Michigan driver’s license, had spent time at Guantanamo Bay in 2004.

This prospect suggests Ghezali was a member of al-Qaida, which continues to undertake suicide bombings. According to sources, Hezbollah stopped suicide attacks years ago.

The Bulgarian government has not disputed these separate reports that Ghezali, the actual suicide bomber, was linked to al-Qaida.

Adding to the mystery of who perpetrated the bus attack, the Bulgarian daily 24 Chasa in October 2012 had an interview with al-Qaida spokesman and radical Salafi militant leader Omar Bakri, now living in Lebanon, who said that he recognized the suspect as being Mehdi Ghezali.

Bakri then said that he called “my brothers in Great Britain” and was told that the bomber was Ghezali.

In light of Bakri’s admission that the bomber was a member of al-Qaida, some sources say that Bulgaria has very close ties with Israel and that the equivocating conclusion of Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetanov that there are “well-grounded reasons to suggest” involvement in the bombing by Hezbollah and Iran was not firm enough.

Nevertheless, the results of Bulgaria’s investigation may have an impact on just how the E.U. will deal with Hezbollah. Until now, the Europeans have sidestepped the issue of Hezbollah’s designation since there have been no attacks in Europe.

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