Bulgaria releases computer-generated photo of bombing suspect
Bulgarian officials released a computer-generated picture Thursday of a suspect tied to the deadly July bombing of an Israeli tourist bus, an apparent accomplice to the suicide bomber.
The digital images, one with glasses, one without, show a husky man with short dark hair. The Bulgarian Interior Ministry said there was evidence that the suspect had used a fake driver’s license from Michigan, in which he appears to be wearing a long wig.
The ministry posted an image of the fake license bearing the name of Ralph William Rico on its website Thursday, urging anyone who had seen the man or had information about him to call police. "Anonymity shall be guaranteed!" it promised.
The July 18 attack killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver in the resort city of Burgas, a popular vacation destination on the Black Sea. After the bombing, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said all signs pointed to Iran and Hezbollah in the attack, an accusation that Iranian officials and the Lebanon-based militant group denied.
Bulgarian authorities had earlier reported that the suicide bomber also used a fake Michigan license. Shortly after the attack, ABC News had aired an image of a license for "Jacque Felipe Martin" that used the address of a Baton Rouge casino.
Investigators had earlier released a reconstructed image of the face of the suicide bomber, asking Interpol and its member countries to distribute the picture in the hopes of identifying the man.
-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles
Photo: An image released by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry on Thursday shows a computer-generated image of an alleged accomplice in the killing of five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian bus driver. Credit: EPA / Bulgarian Interior Ministry