Year After Deadly Burgas Bus Bombing, Bulgarians Fear Repetition – Maxim Benvenisti

Society | July 18, 2013, Thursday // 13:11
Bulgaria: Year After Deadly Burgas Bus Bombing, Bulgarians Fear Repetition – Maxim Benvenisti Maxim Benvenisti, head of the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria "Shalom", photo by BGNES

The bus bombing in the Black Sea city of Burgas, which happened a year ago today and claimed the lives of seven people, instilled fear of repetition, which means that it fulfilled its goal, according to Maxim Benvenisti, head of the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria "Shalom".

In an interview for Thursday's morning broadcast of Focus Radio, Benvenisti said that a terror act could happen anyplace, anytime, but Bulgaria's attitude towards security had not changed a bit one year after the deadly bombing at the Sarafovo airport.

"One year ago, I thought it possible to happen, it is still possible - in Bulgaria, as well as and in other places. We should simply become more cautious about our own safety. I am not getting any impression that public consciousness has changed. Bulgarian society seems to have failed to learn lesson from Burgas. At that point we were ready to accept a portion of restrictive security measures affecting our private lives, but this is already past. It is probably a national trait of ours that we want to forget about bad things once they are gone. Unfortunately, Bulgaria's attitude towards security issues has not changed a bit," Benvenisti said.

He went on to say that the Bulgarian police and judiciary had done a good job, adding that some politicians had even had the courage to say that all indications pointed to the fact that "organized terrorist forces" were responsible for the bombing.

Burgas will mark the tragic anniversary with a series of initiatives, including the inauguration of a memorial dedicated to the victims of the bombing on 18 July 2012 which killed six Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian bus driver.

The investigation of the terror attack is still ongoing, with reports that with the help of Europol three of the four suspects have been identified.

In February 2013, Bulgaria's then-Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, suggested that the evidence collected by the investigating authorities led to a "reasonable assumption" about the involvement of the Lebanese militant group in last year's terror attack at the Burgas airport.

Bulgaria's current Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin recently refuted reports that the country was trying to shift blame for the Burgas terror attack from Hezbollah.

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Tags: Maxim Benvenisti, Shalom, Burgas bus bombing, Sarafovo, terror attack, Hezbollah, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Kristian Vigenin
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