Bulgarian Interior Minister: Tipoff received via diplomatic channels on plans for terrorist attack
Bulgaria had received an alert via diplomatic channels of plans for a terrorist attack in the country, Interior Minister Roumyana Buchvarova told reporters on December 5.
“We have information via diplomatic channels about three or four such persons, who have been identified, their documents checked and probably are no longer on our territory. All measures are being taken,” Buchvarova said.
She said that Bulgarian security services had identified the individuals and were working on the matter but there had been no arrests.
Buchvarova did not answer a question whether the individuals were from refugee centres.
This past weekend, some British media reports and posts on social networks alleged that Afghanistan nationals living in the UK were preparing a terrorist attack in response to the events at the Harmanli refugee centre on November 24.
At the Harmanli centre, Bulgarian police quelled an uprising involving mainly Afghan citizens. Nineteen of the Afghans face criminal charges of hooliganism and vandalism.
Buchvarova also responded to a claim on breakfast television on December 5, by socialist-backed vice-president-elect Iliyana Yotova, that Bulgaria was preparing to build an additional three refugee camps.
The Interior Minister said that what was planned was not refugee camps, but “hot spots” that would be under the control of the State Agency for Refugees.
Locations were being considered, one probable one being near the former frontier post near Lesovo. Only terrain around the building would be used, not the building itself, Buchvarova said. The sites of the other two had not been decided, she said.
“This is not about centres but about sites where vans and possibly tents will be deployed,” Buchvarova said.
In a statement a few hours after Buchvarova’s comments, the Special Prosecutor’s Office – the body in charge of investigating terrorism in Bulgaria – said that it had received no information about the preparation of a terrorist attack in Bulgaria.
“Such information has not been presented to the prosecution by the Interior Ministry,” the statement said.
- Update: Buchvarova subsequently clarified that it had been found that the reports about a planned terrorist attack in Bulgaria were not true.