Expert: There Are Radical Islamist Supporters In Bulgaria

Domestic | September 26, 2014, Friday // 10:30|  views

A frame from video released by the Islamic State (IS) on 02 September 2014 reportedly shows American freelance journalist Steven Sotloff (L) next to an unknown IS militant, shortly before his execution by beheading, in an unknown desert location. EPA/BGNE

There are radical islamists and people in Bulgaria who support the Islamic State (IS), said the anti-terrorism expert Alex Alexiev in the Friday morning talkshow of the Nova TV national channel.

Alexiev added that no-one was safe from radical islamists. “Thinking that we are the only country in Europe that does not have radical islamists is plain dumb,” he said. “We know that there are such people in Bulgaria.”

“Just look at those people in Pazardzhik who wear the Islamic State t-shirts,” he said. “In my opinion, a person who willingly propagates those symbols is ready to do other things as well. I can't say for certain that that they are members of the IS, but they surely support them. And we are not unique in this regard – the situation is similar throughout the Balkan Peninsula”.

Those comments came against the background of information of a growing wave of illegal immigrants arriving in Bulgaria.

According to official data of the head of the State Refugee Agency Nikolai Chirpanliev, since the beginning of 2014, in Bulgaria entered 6522 illegal immigrants. In August in Bulgaria entered 1104 illegal immigrants.

In Chirpanliev's words, quoted by the bTV national channel, in the past two months the human traffickers got so cheeky, that they delivered 80 immigrants straight at the doors of the refugee camp in Harmanli – 50 km into Bulgarian territory.

The director of the Harmanli camp, Marko Petrov, told bTV that there was already an attempt to set up an Al Qaeda cell and the gathering of large groups of people whose background has not been checked, was a cause for alarm. “Paranoia is taking the better of us and we start making mistakes,” he said. “There was a family, which was sent back from Switzerland and we extradited them. Turned out they were Al Qaeda members and were trying to recruit people in the camp.”

Chirpanliev added that Bulgaria's National Security Agency (DANS) had information and was closely watching 12 immigrants who are reportedly connected to terrorist organisations.

Meanwhile, the Sega daily reports that Bulgaria will take part in a large-scale EU operation against illegal immigrants and human traffickers at the external borders of the Union.

It will start on October 13 and will last 13 days, according to a decision of the European Commission.

The operation will be led by the European border control agency Frontex and its aim will be to cut off the human trafficking routes and to break the organised criminal groups which control them.

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Tags: Islamic state, radical islamist, supporters, terrorist, Bulgaria, illegal immigrants, Al Qaeda, cell, human traffickers, EU, FRONTEX, State Refugee Agency, refugee


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