Bulgaria probes Daesh-inspired school student planning bomb attack

Bulgarian prosecutors on Saturday said they had opened a probe into a bomb attack being planned by a student from an elite high school who was inspired by Daesh. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 08 June 2019

Bulgaria probes Daesh-inspired school student planning bomb attack

  • The suspect had managed to make explosives from commonly accessed materials and that too in the space of a week
  • The student has been released after arrest and is receiving counselling

SOFIA: Bulgarian prosecutors on Saturday said they had opened a probe into a bomb attack being planned by a student from an elite high school who was inspired by Daesh.
The student was “extremely intelligent” and lived in Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second city, deputy prosecutor general Ivan Gueshev said, adding that this was the first investigation of its kind in the country.
“Several home-made explosive devices were found at his home, including a bomb made with pipes and electric wires (of a type) often used in the United States,” he said.
“Furthermore, 14.5 kilogrammes (32 pounds) of the explosive used in attacks in Belgium and France, were found in a plastic container surrounded by nails to cause maximum destruction,” he added.
Gueshev did not identify the explosive but said it was the same as the one used in a 2012 attack on Israeli tourists at the airport in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Burgas, in which six people died and more than 30 were injured.
“This appears to be a classic case of the recruitment and radicalization of a minor” on the Internet, he said.
A Daesh flag was also found in a room which was serving as the workshop.
The suspect had managed to make explosives from commonly accessed materials and that too in the space of a week, Gueshev said.
He did not say if the attack targeted Plovdiv, which is currently the European capital of culture and attracts many tourists.
The student has been released after arrest and is receiving counselling.
Bulgaria, which neighbors Turkey, is used by many extremists to travel and return from the Middle East but no national has so far been caught for planning attacks on home soil.


India begins examination of plane’s black box after deadly crash

Updated 58 min 46 sec ago

India begins examination of plane’s black box after deadly crash

  • Air India Express plane overshot runway of the Calicut International Airport in heavy rain
  • Company to pay compensation to the families of the deceased

NEW DELHI: Indian investigators on Sunday began examining the black box of a Boeing-737 that overshot a runway on its second attempt, killing 18 people in the country’s worst aviation accident in a decade.
The Air India Express plane, which was repatriating Indians stranded in Dubai due to the coronavirus pandemic, overshot the runway of the Calicut International Airport in heavy rain near the southern city of Kozhikode on Friday.
The aircraft fell into a valley and broke in half.
In an interview with Reuters partner ANI on Sunday, Anil Kumar, head of India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, said the country would open the recovered transcripts to international investigators, as well as manufacturer Boeing.
“Only after conducting a thorough and unbiased probe, can we tell what exactly happened,” Kumar said.
The 2,700-meter runway at the airport is known as a “table-top,” an aviation term for runways with steep drops at one or both ends.
They leave little room for error should a pilot overshoot the runway, either through human error or mechanical failure.
Late on Saturday, Kumar told CNN-News18 in an interview that the pilot made an aborted landing attempt into a headwind and then made a second approach with a tail wind, landing 1,000 meters down the runway.
An air traffic control official familiar with the crash confirmed this version of events, adding it is unusual to attempt a landing at the airport with a tailwind, which is typically used for takeoffs.
“The length of the runway in Calicut is around 2,700 meters and the plane touched the ground after crossing 1,000 meters of the length, leaving less room to bring the aircraft to a halt,” the official, who declined to be named as he is not authorized to speak to the media, said.
“It was windy and rainy and the runway surface was wet. In such instances the weather is dynamic.”
“An aircraft typically lands and departs in a headwind as a tailwind increases the plane’s speed.”
A spokesman for Air India did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has already said it will pay compensation to the families of the deceased.