Bulgarian Interior Ministry Devises Strategy on Countering Terrorism

Domestic | November 17, 2015, Tuesday // 14:31|  views

Bulgarian Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova. Photo: BGNES

The Bulgarian interior ministry has devised a strategy on countering the radicalisation of terrorism (2015-2020).

The strategy points to extremism and radicalisation as threatening the founding values of the EU – democracy, human rights, freedom and the rule of law.

In her report to fellow members of the government, Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova noted that Bulgaria is threatened by the developments in Syria, Iraq and North Africa as well as the spread of Islamic State (IS).

According to the strategy, the refugee flows are not only exerting migratory pressure on the country, but are also presenting potential terrorists with the opportunity to anonymously cross into Bulgaria and settle in the country.

The strategy contains measures at different levels (national and local) on countering the different forms of radicalisation.

The action plan accompanying the strategy points its main tasks as: devising effective legal framework; creating system on monitoring and coordination ; improving the organisation and activities of specialised state structures; as well as extending the administrative capacity of the state.

Together with the relevant ministries and agencies, the government will have until 2017 to develop proposals addressing the shortcomings in the existing legislation.

Furthermore, each year, the Bulgarian legislation will be harmonised with the EU one, daily Sega informs.

The State Agency for National Security (DANS) will be responsible for creating mechanisms for better coordination between different institutions responsible for countering terrorism.

In 2016, DANS will also have to develop a methodology on identifying, monitoring and assessing the risks posed by radicalisation as well as to devise an analysis on the main factors of radicalisation.

DANS will also have to come up with a methodology on identifying websites through which extremist propaganda is being disseminated.

In 2016, the interior ministry will have to develop a concept on an integrated national system for video surveillance.

The tourism ministry will be responsible for creating a single electronic system for registration of guests staying at places of accommodation across the country.

The interior ministry will also improve the qualifications of its security officials and police officers.

A national center on training of officials engaged in countering terrorism and radicalisation will be established in 2017.

The strategy also provides clear descriptions of terms such as radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorism and analyses the possible threats to the country.

Neither the strategy nor the action plan features information on the sources of funding for implementing the foreseen measures.

The strategy is being developed in accordance with the heightened security measures after the attacks in Paris on Friday.

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Tags: Bulgaria, terrorism, strategy, extremism, radicalisation, Iraq, Syria, Africa, IS, DANS, Rumyana Bachvarova, EU, refugee flows


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