A radical Islamic leader has claimed that the suicide bomber who killed five Israeli citizens and a Bulgarian bus driver in the city of Burgas in July was his disciple.
Omar Bakri, the founder of the group ‘Al Muhadjiroun’ who currently lives in Lebanon after leaving Britain following the attacks at the London Underground, made the comments in an interview for the Centre for Middle East studies, published in a Bulgarian daily. The interview was translated into English by NewEurope online.
Bakri said he was certain that the man in the footage released by the Bulgarian interior ministry was indeed Mehdi Ghezali, a Swedish citizen who has previously been a Guantanamo inmate.
In July, Bulgarian authorities and their Swedish colleagues refuted the version of Gezali’s participation in the terrorist attack and stuck to the version that the perpetrator was Jacque Felipe Martin, aged 25, from the state of Michigan.
The Bulgarian government appealed to Interpol to assist the national authorities in their investigation of the attack, noted NewEurope online. In August, the authorities in Bulgaria and Interpol jointly released images of a suspected accomplice to the terrorist who was believed to be of Middle Eastern origin.
Bakri, however, expressed confidence that Ghezali was indeed the terrorist, saying in the interview, “When I realized that this man was considered to be connected with my people, I called the brothers in Britain to ask who he was. They told me that he was a guy known as Abu Ahmed. There was also another nickname. This guy really was a disciple of mine, but just for a while. Then, he left for Afghanistan. His name is Mahdi Ghezali from Guantanamo.”
However, Bakri added, “I'm not talking about the photo of the corpse, but about the man from the footage who was walking at the airport. For me, this was Abu Ahmed.”
Asked about who was behind the terrorist attack in Bulgaria, Bakri replied that Al-Qaeda was responsible and claimed that there were “very important people” with “a lot of power” among those who died in Burgas. Israel has fingered Iran and its terrorist proxy Hizbullah as being behind the terror attack in Burgas.
“Without a doubt, Al-Qaeda was behind the attack,” Bakri claimed, according to additional excerpts from the interview translated by Israel’s Channel 10 News. “They have not taken responsibility because sometimes ‘freelance’ organizations carry out the attacks on their behalf. The same goes for the attack in Toulouse. In both of these attacks my name came up as a spiritual teacher. I also had a student who exploded in Tel Aviv.”
According to Bakri, "The head of the snake is America, so Al-Qaeda is looking for big targets in the U.S., but smaller organizations settle for smaller targets. The Zionist regime can be targeted anywhere in the world, not because they are Jews, but because they are Israelis.”
He claimed that the Balkans are occupied Muslim land which should be released. “Even Spain and Eastern Europe should be released. Bulgaria is a legitimate target,” said Bakri.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)