Bulgarian prosecutors charge three Syrians with terrorism
Bulgaria’s special prosecutor has lodged charges of terrorism against three Syrian citizens, the Prosecutor’s Office said on July 27 2016.
Prosecutors said that the three, who had obtained refugee status in Germany, had sought to travel via Greece and Turkey to Syria to join the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood and the “Islamic State of Iraq and Levant” (ISIL).
The statement identified the three as Almohammad Abdulhamid, Al Abdahah Fadi and Al Fahdi Yassim, aged 20, 22 and 25.
Evidence included a large number of photos of militants who were members of the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIL found in the mobile phones of the accused, and messages in the communications of the three accused.
In February 2016, the three had arrived in Greece from Germany and had attempted to cross into Turkey but were not allowed to. Since they could not reach Turkey via the Greek-Turkish border, they had decided to pass through Bulgarian territory on the way to Turkey.
The accused travelled by bus from Alexandropoli to Plovdiv, and on to Sofia. After staying at a hotel in the Bulgarian capital, they boarded a train from Sofia to Edirne in Turkey. At Bulgaria’s border town of Svilengrad, they attempted an illegal crossing into Turkey but were caught by Bulgarian Border Police.
The three were sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for three years, for attempting the illegal border crossing and were fined 200 leva (about 100 euro).
Subsequently, the three were charged with terrorism and taken into custody, on the basis of evidence including the questioning of eight witnesses, including some whose identities were being kept secret, as well as on the basis of forensic examination of their mobile phones.
The three are to appear in court on August 2. Should they be found guilty of the charges of terrorism, including terrorism against a foreign country, they could face up to 10 years in jail.