Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov commented on June 12 on the case of the Plovdiv 16-year-old alleged to have been preparing a terrorist bomb attack, describing the devastating potential of the bombs and thanking those media that behaved ethically in reporting the case.
Bulgaria’s State Agency for Child Protection has initiated an investigation after media reports gave extensive details about the identity of the child and his family and an employee of a website interviewed the boy’s classmates without the consent of their parents.
The 16-year-old was taken into custody on June 6 and appeared in court on June 7. The court released him into the custody of his parents and he is being questioned by psychologists.
Borissov said that he had asked anti-terrorism explosives experts to examine the devices that the boy had been building. “They said that they were monstrous dirty bombs that explode and kill a lot of people”.
The bombs were “several times” stronger than the one used in July 2012 in a terrorist attack on Israeli tourists at Bulgaria’s Bourgas Airport, he said.
Asked whether it had been a mistake to announce the case of the boy – prosecutors, police and the State Agency for National Security held a news conference on June 8 – Borissov said that the case could not have been ignored or concealed because the teenager had appeared in court.
“We should not lose confidence in the institutions and at such times, we can nourish it,” Borissov said.
On the issue of the website that disclosed details about the boy, Borissov said that any good journalist could have gone around the streets of Plovdiv for an hour or two and found the information. The question was the temptation to report it, he said.
He thanked those media that had not disclosed the information. “They are the real media for me, I thank them.”
Asked where the idea of creating anti-terrorism centres had come from, he said: “We are preparing to establish one centre, where in one place we concentrate the services.
“Not that it is not so, but the case in Plovdiv gave us reason, so as to be able to confine the information to the maximum small number of people, by name.
“In the morning we had a security council meeting, the President’s people also took part. At the moment we are situating the place, when we are ready, we will finance it. We have separate funds, so we can do it very quietly. In these times very few people should work on the cases,” Borissov said.