Man arrested after attempted arson of Plovdiv mosque

Police in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv arrested a 31-year-old man who attempted an arson attack on the city’s historic Dzhumaya mosque.

The man threw flammable liquid on the windows of the mosque in the early hours of January 6 and struck a match. The flames were extinguished by a security guard.

Police arrested the alleged perpetrator at a fuel station, where he is said to have stolen petrol ahead of a repeat attempt to set the mosque on fire.

Additional security was put in place at Dzhumaya mosque after a February 2014 attack on it by an anti-Islamic mob. During that incident, windows were broken and there was minor damage to the interior of the mosque.

Regional Prosecutors have initiated fast-track proceedings against the alleged perpetrator of the January 6 attack.

The man, currently in 72-hour detention, is to face charges including attempted arson of property of significant historic and artistic value, as well as of theft of fuel. Should he be found guilty, the maximum sentence would be three to 10 years in jail.

Local media said that the man had previous convictions for hooliganism and assault in 2005 and 2006, for which he had been jailed, while he also had a first-instance conviction from September 2014 for rape and molestation.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.