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.


Karzai urges Ghani to drop truce as pre-condition for talks with Taliban

Updated 21 January 2020

Karzai urges Ghani to drop truce as pre-condition for talks with Taliban

  • Ex-president says Taliban offer to reduce violence a ‘major development’

KABUL: Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has urged President Ashraf Ghani to drop the pre-condition of cease-fire to begin talks with the Taliban amid high hope that the US and Taliban delegates will sign a deal following more than a year of secret discussions.

Speaking in an interview with BBC local service, Karzai said the government “should not block intra-Afghan dialogue under the pretext of cease-fire.” He said the Taliban offer for reduction in violence as the group says is nearing to ink the deal with American diplomats in Qatar, was a “major development.”

He said Ghani needed to accept the Taliban offer.

Ghani says truce is a must ahead of starting any negotiations with the Taliban calling reduction in violence a general term and arguing that such a call by the Taliban political leaders in Qatar only goes to show that they have control over field commanders back in Afghanistan.

The Taliban say the group will announce truce when the intra-Afghan dialogue begins which will happen after Washington sets timetable for withdrawal of the troops.

Washington at least on one occasion called off the talks with the Taliban in Qatar due to Taliban attacks back in Afghanistan as discussions continued in Qatar despite none of the warring sides having committed to halt offensives during the talks.

Ghani’s government has been sidelined from all rounds of talks between the Taliban delegates and US diplomats led by Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar. There has also been rift between Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who shares power with the president in the National Unity Government, on the pre-condition of cease-fire.

Unlike Ghani, Abdullah is happy with reduction of violence. Talking in a meeting of council of ministers, Abdullah on Monday indirectly said Ghani had taken the peace process in his monopoly.

 “Peace is not one person’s monopoly, one person’s wish — but it is a collective desire, and the people of Afghanistan have the right to take a position regarding the peace process,” said Abdullah.