Bulgaria’s State Agency for National Security, police and gendamerie had by the early afternoon of November 25 arrested at least three people in a simultaneous operation against alleged “radical Islamists” in four cities and towns – Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Smolyan and Haskovo.
One of those arrested, Ahmed Musa Ahmed, taken into custody in Pazardzhik after police raided homes and other buildings, already has a conviction for allegedly preaching radical Islam and anti-democratic ideology. Ahmed, who is appealing against his conviction, told reporters on November 25 that he had done nothing wrong.
More than 40 addresses in Pazardzhik were searched. Books and computers were confiscated while investigators also seized e-mail records.
The operation in Pazardzhik took place in Iztok, a mainly Roma quarter of the town, and similarly, the operation in Plovdiv was carried out in Stolipinovo, a residential area where Roma people live.
Local media said that in Assenovgrad, the imam of the Roma neighbourhood, named in reports as “Stefan”, had been arrested.
Unconfirmed media reports said that the large-scale operation by SANS, police and prosecutors was directed against people who allegedly had preached radical Islam, advocated holy war and support for the so-called “Islamic State”.
(Photo, of a mosque in Assenovgrad: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)