Bulgaria to extradite terrorist suspect to Germany

SOFIA Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:04am EST

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria is to extradite a 27-year-old Afghan man to Germany where he faces charges of being a member of a foreign terrorist group, a Bulgarian court said on Tuesday.

Sulaiman Sidiqi, an alleged al Qaeda member who has dual Afghan-German citizenship, was arrested on Saturday on a European Union warrant in Bulgaria's southern city of Plovdiv in a joint operation by the Bulgarian and German security services.

Sidiqi had been on trial in Hamburg, but jumped bail and disappeared in mid-February, a German court official said. It was not immediately clear how or when he had reached Bulgaria. The trial in Hamburg has continued in Sidiqi's absence.

Bulgarian security services have said Sidiqi had previously trained in a military camp on the Afghan-Pakistani border, but that he had not engaged in any terrorist activities in Bulgaria.

"Today Sulaiman Sidiqi gave his consent to be handed over to the relevant court authorities of Germany," the regional court in Plovdiv said in a statement.

It said it would issue a final ruling on the EU arrest warrant for Sidiqi, issued by Hamburg prosecutors, on Tuesday.

According to Sidiqi's indictment at the Hamburg trial, he belonged to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Waziristan, Pakistan, from April to July 2009, and was a member of Al Qaeda in the same area from August to November of the same year.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; additional reporting by Alexandra Hudson in Berlin; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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