Obama and Clinton stop short of blaming Iran for bombing in Bulgaria

Joel Gehrke
The Washington Examiner

Both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised to help Israel “bring to justice” the terrorists who killed Israeli students by bombing  a bus in Bulgaria, but neither followed the Israeli government in blaming Iran for the attack.

Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the attack, but the press office readout makes no mention of Iran. “The President pledged to stand with Israel in this difficult time, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators,” Obama said in his conversation with Netanyahu.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was similarly agnostic about the identify of the attackers. “The United States stands ready to offer any assistance necessary, and we will work with our partners in Bulgaria, Israel and elsewhere so that the perpetrators can be apprehended swiftly and brought to justice for this appalling crime,” she said in a statement on the attack. The bombing today “killed at least seven people on a bus filled with Israeli tourists on a bus in Bulgaria,” according to the Associated Press.

Netanyahu was more direct. “All signs point to Iran,” he said. “Just in the past few months, we have seen attempts by Iran to harm Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and more. This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading across the world. Israel will react forcefully to Iran’s terror.”

The AP noted that although Iran has denied other attacks, the nation’s government “did not comment on Wednesday’s attack.”

Read also, Israel vows to strike back at Iran at CBS News, with video report.

(CBS/AP) SOFIA, Bulgaria – Israel vowed to strike back at Iran for a brazen daylight bombing Wednesday that killed at least seven people on a bus full of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

The bombing was the latest in a series of attacks attributed to Iran that have targeted Israelis and Jews overseas and threatened to escalate a shadow war between the two arch-enemies. Iran has denied involvement in the past but did not comment on Wednesday’s attack.

President Barack Obama termed it a “barbaric terrorist attack” and called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pledge U.S. help in finding the perpetrators.

The blast gutted the bus at the airport in the quiet Black Sea resort city of Burgas, some 250 miles east of the capital, Sofia, where the Israelis had just arrived on a charter flight from Tel Aviv carrying 154 people, including eight children.

Black smoke billowed into the sky from the stricken bus after the bomb exploded. Young Israelis said they were just boarding when the blast ripped through the white vehicle in the airport parking lot…

 Update: Photos and video at CNN, Israelis killed in Bulgaria bus terror attack, minister says

Bulgaria bombing survivors describe carnage, at The Jerusalem Post

…The witnesses said the explosion began at the front of the bus, sending fire and destruction down through the vehicle… “I opened my eyes and saw that everything around me was fire.”…

Islamo-terrorist in Bulgaria had Michigan I.D., at The Astute Bloggers

The attack on a tour bus carrying Israeli vacationers outside the airport here was carried out by a suicide bomber carrying fake American identification, officials said on Thursday. There were conflicting reports on the number of dead. The Bulgarian interior minister said the toll was seven, including six Israelis. Officials in Israel said, however, that only five Israelis had been killed. The Bulgarian driver of the bus was also killed along with the bomber when the vehicle exploded in a fireball on Wednesday. Dozens more were injured in what Bulgaria, Israel and the United States called a terrorist attack…

Read the whole thing.

Update 2: Mehdi Ghezali, Suicide Terrorist in Bulgaria Bombing, Was Released from Guantanamo in 2004

Also, Bulgaria terror bombing suspect identified

Update 3Suspected Bus Bomber Mehdi Ghezali Made Movie About His Persecution at Gitmo (Video)

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