Bulgaria’s State Agency for National Security (SANS) said that it had expelled four German citizens for involvement in support for a terrorist organisation.
In a statement on April 20, SANS said that eight days earlier, its officials had – with the assistance of Interior Ministry staff – detained five German citizens, one of them a minor, at the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint.
The group had been travelling by train from Bucharest to Istanbul.
According to SANS, the behaviour of those taken into custody had “revealed signs of radicalisation characteristic of the so-called foreign terrorist fighters”.
The statement said that SANS had information that four of those detained were involved in supporting a terrorist organisation operating in Syria and Iraq. The minor was meant to reach the territory of Syria to join the terrorist group.
The German authorities had banned them from leaving Germany to prevent their joining the Syrian and Iraqi groups.
One of the detainees had used a passport belonging to another German citizen.
Given the well-founded suspicion of involvement of the five German citizens in a terrorist organization, information about their activities and the purpose of their travel, it was deemed that their presence in Bulgaria was a threat to national security, SANS said.
The four adults were taken into 24-hour custody, and then expelled on the orders of the chief of SANS. The minor German citizen was handed over to employees of the Social Assistance Directorate pending handing over to family members in Germany, the agency said.