4 in Bulgaria Exposed for Alleged Ties with Extremist IslamCrime | October 7, 2010, Thursday // 14:49| views
The Prosecutor’s Office in Bulgaria’s southern city of Smolyan suspects the existence of several extremist Islam cells in the region. Photo by BGNES
Four people from Bulgaria's southern Smolyan Region have been exposed as having ties with the alleged illegal Bulgarian branch of the extremist Al Waqf al Islami Foundaton.
No arrests have been made in the case, the spokesperson of the Smolyan Regional Prosecutor's Office informed Thursday, saying the police search and confiscations took place in three municipalities – Rudozem, Madan and Dospat.
The authorities had a Court issued search warrant because the magistrates deemed there was enough reason to carry out the police operation.
The pre-trial proceedings are based on charges of organizing a crime group.
The spokesperson says this is a serious and grave crime since there is evidence the group has strong ties with the Al Waqf al Islami Foundaton, known to be connected to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US and other terrorist acts, adding the actions of the Bulgarian authorities aim at protecting public interest, including the one of the country's Muslim community.
The Bulgarian National Agency for State Security (DANS), the anti-mafia police, and the Prosecutor's Office have seized during the joint operation literature in Arabic and computer software and hardware. All evidence will be probed further to reach final conclusion if the content includes radical Islam propaganda and affiliation of the four people with the Foundation.
"It is too early to say anything affirmatively about the documents seized. The case involves classified information," the spokesperson explained.
The Al Waqf al Islami Foundation was established in the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands and it is believed to be financed by extremist Muslim circles from Saudi Arabia.
Its headquarters were closed after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US, when the Dutch authorities discovered ties between the Foundation and the perpetrators of the attacks.
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