Bulgaria files terrorism charges against three Syrians who tried to cross into Turkey, heading to join ‘Islamic State’

Bulgarian Border Police arrested three Syrians trying to cross illegally into Turkey, allegedly intending to join Daesh, the terrorist self-proclaimed “Islamic State” organisation, the Interior Ministry said on February 15 2016.

The three Syrians were caught near Bulgaria’s Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint in a special operation led by the Special Public Prosecutor’s office on February 9.

The ministry said that according to initial information, the three had been granted refugee status by Germany.

They had crossed the Greek-Bulgarian border, arrived in Sofia and settled in a hotel. A day later, they had travelled to Svilengrad, a Bulgarian town close to the borders with Greece and Turkey.

After the three were arrested, the District Prosecutor’s Office in Svilengrad lodged charges against them of attempting to cross the state border illegally and they were ordered into 72-hour detention.

On February 12, the District Court in Svilengrad sentenced them to six months in jail, suspended, and a fine of 200 leva (about 100 euro) each.

The Interior Ministry said that it had been established that the three Syrian citizens were affiliated to Daesh and intended to join the terrorist group.

The three had arrived in Greece in early 2016 and had made an unsuccessful attempt to cross into Turkey.

The ministry said that on February 15, the Special Public Prosecutor had asked the Special Criminal Court to order the three Syrians into custody pending trial on charges under the Criminal Code section 108a, which covers terrorist crimes, including against a foreign state. In this case, a guilty verdict would result in imprisonment of up to 15 years.



The Sofia Globe staff

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