Bulgarian Imam Exposed as Extremist Islam Leader

Crime | October 7, 2010, Thursday // 15:27|  views

Bulgarian authorities say extremist radical Islam cells exist in Muslim communities in southern Bulgaria plotting coups and forceful constitutional changes. File photo

The ringleader of the alleged illegal Bulgarian branch of the extremist Al Waqf al Islami Foundaton is the Imam from the village of Sarnitsa, Saud Muutlu, according to the Prosecutor's Office in the southern city of Pazardzhik.

The Imam and people believed to be his accomplices have been closely followed and monitored in the last two years, including with special surveillance devices.

According to the Prosecutor, the Bulgarian radical Islam branch has been founded in Istanbul. The pre-trial proceedings against an unknown perpetrator date from the beginning of 2009.

The organization has a plan to convert Bulgaria to Islam and is financed from Saudi Arabia via Turkey while the funds are transferred through illegal channels.

Saud Muutlu has a circle of lecturers, each paid EUR 300 a month. The organization also has a program for girls' education and its lecturers are paid EUR 200 a month. The Foundation has cells in the southern city of Blagoevgrad, the second largest city of Plovdiv and the capital Sofia. Special people monitor the upbringing and education of Bulgarian Muslim children round-the-clock.

The name of the Foundation means Foundation for Assisting the Good Understanding of Islam.

According to its teaching every child is born a Muslim and then parents make if an infidel, a practice that must be halted.

The probe of the seized literature is ongoing, but the investigation says they have serious reasons to believe the organization is a threat to Bulgaria's national security.

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.

The Bulgarian authorities announced Wednesday large scale operations in southern Bulgaria, stemming from a several-years-long probe, and carried out by the Bulgarian National Agency for State Security (DANS), the anti-mafia police, and the Prosecutor's Office, aiming at breaking radical Islam cells.

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Tags: radical Islam, terrorist attacks, mufti, imam, Eindhoven, Al Waqf al Islami Foundation, DANS, Lazhnitsa, Smolyan, Boris Velchev, Prosecutor's Office, Pazardzhik, Saud Muutlu, Saudi Arabia, Sarnitsa


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