Following the attack earlier today, Wednesday, in Burgas Bulgaria ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet) Director Yoram Cohen is being briefed by his senior commanders as they seek to evaluate the threat level to Israelis around the world.
Senior intelligence community officials and other high-ranking officials are involved in the briefing towards deciding if they should temporarily ban travel to certain countries based on concrete terror threats. As it stands now, flights to Bulgaria will not be departing. Earlier in the night the flights were listed as “delayed” but it now appears they are canceled indefinitely.
The Israeli medical team heading to Bulgaria is expected to leave Israel at about 22:00.
Israel is working to prepare two flights to head to Bulgaria to fly home the Israelis who survived the terror attack as well as the wounded that are well enough to be moved. This operation is totally in the hands of the ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet) and it appears that while families of the vacationers are eager to bring their loved ones home, the flights may not take place during the night unless the ISA is satisfied with security arrangements for the two planes. It remains unclear if security concerns may delay the medical transport flight carrying physicians, paramedics and other medical professionals that is scheduled to depart from Israel at about 22:00.
At least 11 flights scheduled for E. European destinations tonight have been delayed and canceled until further notice as high-ranking intelligence community officials evaluate the threat level to those areas.
UPDATE 2:50PM EST: The following update was provided by Israel Channel 2 News at 21:21 IL. Senior Bulgarian government officials are taking the attack seriously and the heads of state and security agencies have already arrived on the scene or making their way. The country’s foreign minister has personally briefed Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the death toll now stands at eight. We do not know how many of the dead area Israeli. There are 32 persons wounded, two in an intensive care unit. According to the official report, the terror attack was caused by a bomb placed inside the bus, not by a suicide bomber as was theorized earlier.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)