Bulgarian Interior Minister: There was information last week on a terrorist threat

There was information last week on a terrorist threat, but it was assessed as of low probability and the threat of a terrorist attack in Bulgaria remains small, the country’s Interior Minister Valentin Radev said in a public television interview on June 5.

Speaking to Bulgarian National Television, Radev said that while the threat of a terrorist attack was seen as small, security measures had been strengthened.

Radev said that, as he was entitled to do by law, he had on June 2 called a meeting of the national operational staff.

“That was because there was data about a threat of a terrorist attack on the territory of the country. We increased our readiness to react, we have added two more services that are at ‘yellow level’. I won’t say which ones,” he said.

The Interior Ministry had stepped up its presence in places where large crowds of people gathered, Radev said.

Separately, Bulgaria’s National Assembly Speaker Dimitar Glavchev said on June 5 that security measures in Bulgaria were “identical” to those in other countries.

Commenting after the terrorist attacks in London on Saturday night, Glavchev said that in Bulgaria “there is no special danger – none”.

“There is no change in the security environment in Bulgaria, at least internally. We are at a heightened level of alertness, but we have been for some time,” Glavchev said.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, also speaking on June 5, said that “there is a risk is every country, doubtlessly. There are terrorist acts everywhere. How can we say that there is no risk for Bulgaria, given what happened at Sarafovo”.

Borissov was referring to the terrorist attack at Bourgas Airport in July 2012, in which five Israeli tourists, a Bulgarian bus driver and the bearer of a bomb died.

“There is no service in the world that can prevent this and stop it.”

Borissov said that a “useful move” would be to stop the wars. “Let’s stop this irrational ‘arms race’ because sooner or later this equipment will end up in a bombing somewhere in the Arab world. The result will be refugee wars and motivation of young people who grew up in Europe and who the services cannot catch,” he said.

“Of course, there is a threat to Bulgaria. There is no secure country and no country that can say that there is no risk to it. This is not a matter of frightening the population. The British services are among the best in the world that I’ve worked with. From the US through to Russia, Paris, Brussels, London – it’s a matter of time and place or some action by the country in question whether something will happen,” Borissov said.

“For a long time, terrorism has not been some random phenomenon. I gladly listen to our experts on television, but I don’t agree with a lot of them. The terrorists watch TV and observe the actions of European leaders and immediately carry out crimes.”

Borissov said that as Bulgaria had raised the issue of the integration of Roma people, so too European countries should raise the issue of the integration of Muslim communities.

“That’s the truth, it is not fashionable to say it, it’s even dangerous from a political point of view, but those are the facts,” according to the Bulgarian Prime Minister.

(Screenshot via BNT)




The Sofia Globe staff

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