— by David Streeter
The Obama Administration strongly condemned the now-confirmed involvement of Hizballah in the attack on Israelis in Burgas, Bulgaria. Secretary of State John Kerry said:
The United States commends our close friend and NATO ally Bulgaria for its thorough and professional investigation into the July 18, 2012, Burgas terrorist attack.
The finding is clear and unequivocal: Lebanese Hizballah was responsible for this deadly assault on European soil.
More after the jump.
We condemn Hizballah in the strongest terms for an attack which bears striking similarities to other disrupted plots of the last year. The United States is acting decisively and comprehensively to curtail Hizballah’s destabilizing actions in Europe, Southeast Asia, South America, and the Middle East, and we are prepared to do all within our power to assist the Government of Bulgaria in bringing those responsible for the Burgas attack to justice.
We strongly urge other governments around the world — and particularly our partners in Europe — to take immediate action to crack down on Hizballah. We need to send an unequivocal message to this terrorist group that it can no longer engage in despicable actions with impunity.
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan said:
The United States commends the Government of Bulgaria for its professional and comprehensive investigation into the barbaric July 18, 2012 terrorist attack in Burgas. Today, following a thorough review of the evidence collected to date, Bulgarian authorities announced their judgment that Lebanese Hizballah was responsible for carrying out this act of terrorism, which killed six innocent civilians and injured many others.
Bulgaria’s investigation exposes Hizballah for what it is — a terrorist group that is willing to recklessly attack innocent men, women, and children, and that poses a real and growing threat not only to Europe, but to the rest of the world. We commend Bulgarian authorities for their determination and commitment to ensuring that Hizballah is held to account for this act of terror on European soil. The United States will continue to provide the Bulgarian Government assistance in bringing the perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice.
Hizballah’s dangerous and destabilizing activities — from attacking tourists in foreign countries to leader Hassan Nasrallah’s active support of Bashar al-Assad’s violent campaign against the Syrian people — threaten the safety and security of nations and citizens around the world. Bulgaria’s implication of Hizballah underscores the importance of international cooperation in disrupting terrorist threats. We call on our European partners as well as other members of the international community to take proactive action to uncover Hizballah’s infrastructure and disrupt the group’s financing schemes and operational networks in order to prevent future attacks.
The United States is proud to stand with its friend and NATO ally Bulgaria. We deeply value our strong partnership on a wide range of issues including advancing global and regional security in Afghanistan and the Balkans, expanding economic and commercial ties, and promoting cultural and education programs.