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News 27 Jul 16

Fraud Left Ansbach Bomber Homeless in Bulgaria

Syrian Mohammad Daleel, who blew himself up near a music festival in Germany, complained of living on the streets with no money as a refugee in Bulgaria on national television in 2013.

Mariya Cheresheva BIRN Sofia
Mohammad Daleel. Photo: Amaq

A 2013 report broadcast on the Bulgarian National Television, BNT, shows Ansbach suicide bomber Mohammad Daleel claiming he was a victim of fraud that left him homeless on the street.

Three people suffered serious injuries after he detonated a self-made bomb in his backpack in front of the Eugens Weinstube bar in the centre of Ansbach, in southern Germany.

Daleel declared loyalty to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in a video filmed prior to his suicide attack on Sunday, July 24. 

Media reports in Germany have claimed that Daleel, deemed psychologically unstable, spent time in a psychiatric facility.

Daleel told BNT that in autumn 2013 he paid a sham lawyer 200 dollars to take him out of the unnamed refugee center where he had been living and register him at a private address in Sofia.

Instead, Daleel was taken to the refugee center in the Ovcha Kupel area of Sofia and abandoned there with no money or shelter.

“A man gave me a non-existing address. Now I have no living conditions. Friends from the refugee center in Ovcha Kupel give me food and water, whatever remains from their aid,” he is filmed complaining to a reporter.

After German authorities announced on Monday that Daleel was due to be deported to Bulgaria, on Tuesday the head of the Bulgarian State Agency for the Refugees, Petya Parvanova, revealed that Daleel had indeed arrived in Bulgaria in 2013 and had been granted humanitarian protection.

Daleel spent six months in Bulgaria until his asylum procedure was completed. He reached Germany in 2014.

Parvanova refused to reveal more details from Daleel’s dossier, citing the ongoing police investigation, but explained to Nova TV that there were no signs of his radicalization with the refugee agency and the security services.

The fraudulent scheme that Daleel allegedly fell victim to was common in Bulgaria in 2013, when the country suddenly found itself unprepared for the deluge of refugees.

In the last months of 2013, over 10,000 migrants and refugees entered Bulgaria, which did not have the infrastructure, resources or expertise to meet their needs. Volunteers and NGOs largely provided relief efforts.

Since 2014, the country began sealing its borders to refugees by building a 133-kilometre barbed wired fence along its border with Turkey and deploying extra police forces to patrol against illegal migration.

In February 2016, Bulgaria allowed the army to participate in border patrols.

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