Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - Bulgaria

Bulgaria's Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) remained vigilant against terrorist financing and cooperated with the United States on identifying and investigating terrorist assets. The FIA regularly distributed lists of individuals and organizations linked to terrorism to all banks in Bulgaria, the Ministry of Interior, Customs, and the Border Police. The FIA was active in efforts against all mandated UNSCR-designated terrorists and terrorist organizations, and cooperated on USG-designated individuals and organizations. The FIA advised the banking sector to use the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) website as a reliable information resource for individuals and organizations associated with terrorism. The FIA provided feedback, including information on the response level of Bulgaria's banks, to the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN).

In 2006, the Bulgarian Parliament passed amendments that further strengthened the FIA's investigative powers, enabling it to obtain bank information without a court order or a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR). In late 2007, as part of legislation creating the new State Agency for National Security (DANS), the FIA was transferred from the Finance Ministry to DANS. The legislation lacked clarity on the independent and investigatory powers of the FIA, potentially complicating its Egmont compliance and undermining its ability to execute its mission and uphold its international commitments. Aware of the issue, Bulgarian officials were considering additional legislative and regulatory measures at year's end.

In December, the Bulgarian parliament adopted the State Agency for National Security Act, under which DANS will consist of four chief directorates: Internal Security, Counterintelligence, Technical Operations, and Economic and Financial Security. It will split off the current National Security Service from the Interior Ministry, Military Counterintelligence from the Defense Ministry, and the Financial Intelligence Agency from the Finance Ministry. These services will be incorporated into DANS. The new agency will exercise control over the stay of foreigners in Bulgaria, which was previously handled by the National Security Service.

Bulgaria signed and ratified the Council of Europe's new Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism in 2006, which entered into force on June 1, 2007. Bulgaria's religious leaders, including leaders of the nation's Muslim community, spoke out strongly against terrorism.

The Bulgarian government continued its high level of cooperation with the United States in preventing acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens in Bulgaria and elsewhere. This included sharing information on potential terrorist threats and a heightened level of protection for USG facilities. Bulgaria's Defense Ministry, Interior Ministry, Nuclear Regulatory Agency, Ports Authorities, and Civil Protection Agency participated in a multinational field exercise and command post exercise led by the Department of Defense's Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the FBI on handling a terrorist attack scenario involving WMD.

Bulgaria has contributed approximately 150 troops to Operation Iraqi Freedom and 400 troops to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

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