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Bulgaria Bus Bombing Investigation Bumbles On

Lead investigator in the unsolved case was fired

Natalie Schachar
January 07, 2013
Burgas Bombing (AFP/Getty)
Burgas Bombing (AFP/Getty)

Stanelia Karadzhova, the lead investigator of a bomb attack that killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver, was fired after failing to clear information with her supervisor before sharing it with the press.

According to the AP, Karadzhova told Bulgaria’s 24 Chasa that one of three terrorists suspected of carrying out the attack had been identified and that all the suspects were foreign nationals. Karadzhova did not reveal the accomplice’s identity, but reportedly said that the evidence suggested the bombing was not a suicide attack.

The investigator’s comments possibly confirm other reports that the perpetrator tampered with luggage beneath a bus carrying 42 Israelis in the city of Burgas, and then died in the explosion as he attempted to make a getaway.

The new development seems characteristic of the investigation’s pace and the sensitivity surrounding a case has eery similarities to the AMIA bombing in Argentina, which occurred exactly 18 years before the attack in Bulgaria and killed 86 people at a Jewish center in Buenos Aires. The perpetrators of the AMIA attack have not yet been brought to justice and numerous authorities have been dismissed for obstructing the investigation.

In Bulgaria, no suspects have been apprehended in relation to the bombing and prosecutors seem to want to avoid any further missteps by taking disproportionate precautions.

Various intelligence leads have also taken the case in multiple directions up until now. Israel directly accused Iran and Hezbollah of carrying out the attack and intercepted phone calls between Burgas and Lebanon in the days leading up to the attack, but other reports have held that Mehdi Ghezali, the alleged bomber, was affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Natalie Schachar is an editorial intern at Tablet. A recent graduate of Barnard College, she has written for the Times of Israel, The Atlantic, The Argentina Independent and Lilith Magazine.