The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has publicly blamed Iran for the bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists, Julian Pecquet of The Hill reported today. “I believe there were certainly elements of [Lebanese militant group] Hezbollah and I believe it was under the direction of their masters in Iran,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) told The Hill Wednesday.
Pecquet noted that Rogers’ position makes him privy to detailed intelligence information.
U.S. and Israeli officials have asserted that Iran and its proxy Hezbollah were responsible for the bombing in Bulgaria, but Rogers is the first U.S. official to go on the record with such accusations.
All U.S. and Israeli officials have declined to provide specific intelligence or evidence that links Hezbollah to the attack.
Rogers is urging the president to “call Iran on the carpet very publicly and tell them what we know” because this is “his time to stand up and do something bold … Their behaviour has been so bad, and so aggressive, it’s time to say enough is enough.”
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.) agreed with Rogers, saying that all of the evidence “involves Iran and Hezbollah,” King told The Hill. “Iran is the enemy — that’s the bottom line. So it’s a question of how we address it.”
This type of rhetoric sounds like a drumbeat for war in light of the rising tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, the announcement that the Air Force’s 30,000 lb bunker-busting bomb – necessary for any military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities – is ready for action, the September mine-sweeping exercise in the waters of the Middle East, Iran saying that “the time has come for the disappearance of the West and the Zionist regime,” and the fact that the Israeli government has been on lockdown for months.
Investigators are still struggling to identify the bomber. Airport security footage showed the primary suspect as a Caucasian man dressed like a tourist who had a fake Michigan licence – by the name of Jacque Felipe Martin of Baton Rouge, La. – and a U.S. passport.
Iran has actually accused Israel of plotting the attack and Bulgaria has not yet assigned blame.
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