Security in Bulgaria: A Country too Unimportant for Terrorists?

Written by on August 4, 2016 in Bulgaria, Politics - 1 Comment

In pre-E.U. Bulgaria, before 2007, shootings in the streets of Sofia, and even detonations of small bombs were stories hardly anyone was surprised about. Of course everyone worried. We knew mafia hitmen were murdering other mafia members, in most cases. But, anyone who would have walked the wrong street at the wrong moment, could have been hit by accident. Nowadays, these kinds of shootings and bombings do occur, but not nearly as often anymore. It seems, the mafia is concentrating on trying to keep a low profile, which might be good, for the security of the rest of us.

But, what we mostly think of, when it comes to security, is terrorism committed by radical Islam (yes, radical Islam, not Islam as a whole). There has been one single terror attack of this kind in Bulgaria: On July 18th, 2012, Hezbollah terrorists murdered five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian bus driver at Burgas Airport. According to media reports, Bulgarian intelligence and Mossad tracked down most perpetrators.

Whether expats and Bulgarians alike are safer in Bulgaria, than in any Western European country, is a big question. On the one hand, Bulgaria may not be an “important” country, because of its small size. If that is the case, one could assume that it might be just as unimportant to terrorists.

On the other hand, it is important, to us, to Bulgarians, to everyone living here, but also to terrorists, for the following reasons:

– According to recent media reports, terror organizations purchase forged passports and other documents in this country a lot.

– Bulgaria’s geographical location makes it an entry point, not only for drugs from Afghanistan and elsewhere, but also for weapons from the Middle East.

– The corruption at the borders makes it easier to smuggle anything and anyone into the country.

– Bulgaria’s proximity to its neighbour Turkey might have disadvantages in this regard as well.

Bulgarian prosecutors have recently charged suspected terrorists. One thing is for sure: They are here.

So, is Bulgaria safer or not? British tourists seem to believe it is. According to a Mail Online article published recently, the tour operator Thomas Cook announced, Bulgaria was one of the new tourism hotspots, due to security concerns in connection with other destinations, such as Turkey or Belgium.

Taken everything into consideration, Bulgaria does not really seem to be safer than other European countries.

By Imanuel Marcus

Photo by Antoni Georgiev



About the Author

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. Please click to support our advertisers!

One Comment on "Security in Bulgaria: A Country too Unimportant for Terrorists?"

  1. Dimitar Dyankov August 15, 2016 at 11:58 PM · Reply

    The global peace idex ranks Bulgaria at 29th and the UK at 47 and the US way bellow that. This report takes into account many different aspects of the safety of a country like crime and foreign relationships.

Leave a Comment