Bulgarian Police Uncover Hamas Weapons Stash

Latest Developments

Bulgarian police uncovered a stash of weapons that Hamas-affiliated terrorists intended to use against Jewish institutions in Europe, Agence France-Presse reported on April 4. Authorities discovered the arms buried under a tree in southern Bulgaria. Bulgarian police were tipped off to the site by German police, who had arrested three Hamas members in December suspected of plotting terrorist attacks against Jewish targets. German police found photos of pistols, ammunition, and magazines on the phone of one of the suspects and used the photos’ digital trail to locate the weapons stash. Dutch police arrested a fourth suspect in Rotterdam connected to the same plot. Israel’s Mossad also provided information that led to the arrests.

The European Union and the United States have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization and applied sanctions on it.

Expert Analysis

“With the camera’s eye focused on Hamas’s terrorism in Gaza, it bears underscoring that proxies of the Islamic Republic of Iran seek to foment terrorism on European soil too and that it has a unit of its Revolutionary Guards dedicated to plotting these attacks. The recent arrests of Hamas operatives and seizure of a weapons cache are clear reminders of that. While Germany has not turned a blind eye to this threat, the rest of Europe should better reflect on the stark reality that Tehran’s malign goals extend far beyond Iran’s borders. We appease Iran, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and other appendages of the Islamic Republic at our own peril.” — Toby Dershowitz, Managing Director of FDD Action

“While much of Hamas’s operations in Europe revolves around raising funds and building support through sympathetic NGOs, the terrorist group appears to be preparing for attacks on Israelis and Jews. This shows the true nature of Hamas, as opposed to the curated image of resistance fighters many in the West are trying to promote.” — David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

Plots in Europe

In December, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a joint statement from the Mossad and Shin Bet that warned about “the expansion of Hamas infrastructure to Europe.” The Iran-backed Palestinian group has mounted a global effort meant to enable attacks on “Israeli, Jewish, and Western targets at any price,” the agencies added.

While the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has also long had a network in Europe, Hamas’s own network appears to be growing. Germany’s Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution — the country’s domestic intelligence agency — warned in 2022 that “Hamas sees Western countries such as Germany as a refuge in which the organization can concentrate on collecting donations, recruiting new supporters, and spreading its propaganda.” The agency also warned in 2023 that Hamas had 450 members in the country. Germany’s Ministry of Interior banned activities supporting Hamas in 2023 as well.

Burgas Terrorist Attack

Bulgaria, which shares a border with Turkey, was the site of a 2012 suicide bus bombing by a man with connections to Hezbollah. The bomber, identified as Lebanese-French dual national Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini, killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian Muslim driver and injured 32 other Israelis. In 2020, a Bulgarian court handed down life sentences in absentia to two men, Lebanese-Australian Meliad Farah and Lebanese-Canadian Hassan El Hajj Hassan, for helping the suicide bomber. Farah and Hassan escaped the country and their whereabouts are unknown.

Check Also

French President Macron Meets With Arab Delegation To Discuss Gaza

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed an Arab ministerial delegation …