Europe

Bulgaria Charges that Three Iranians with Israeli Passports Attempted to Enter from Turkey

Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry told the Sofia Globe that three Iranians carrying forged Israeli passports were intercepted trying to enter the country from Turkey, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

The three, aged 21, 28, and 32, were detained as they attempted to enter via the Kapitan Andreevo crossing, a major entry point for Europe. They were transferred to a detention center, where “fast-track proceedings” were initiated against them to deport them quickly.

It wasn’t the first time that Iranians have been caught using fake Israeli passports.

In July of this year, Esmaeil Kazem Hosseinitaghi, 42, was detained with a phony Israeli passport in India and deported to Katmandu, from where he had crossed into India. According to reports, Hosseinitaghi had obtained the fake document in Turkey and had planned to travel to Europe.

Hosseinitaghi had told immigration officials that it was easier to travel in Europe with an Israeli passport and that he was seeking to settle in Europe because he faced unspecified security threats in Iran.

There have been numerous recent cases of Iranian nationals attempting to enter Europe using fake passports.

The attempt of three Iranians to enter Europe on false passports comes a month after The Washington Post reported that the attempted Paris terror attack this past summer has “sparked growing anxiety” in numerous European countries, the United States, and Israel, that Tehran has stepped up its intelligence activities abroad in preparation for more “audacious” terror attacks.

Subsequent to the report in the Post, Denmark revealed that it had thwarted an Iranian attempt to assassinate the leader of a separatist group.

[Photo: AP Archive / YouTube]