October 4, 2012
BUCHAREST -- Radical Islamist leader Omar Bakri has warned that terrorist attacks would be launched against Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and other countries in the region.
The reason for this, the Syria-born extremist told Bulgaria's newspaper 24 Chasa, is that those were "territories that belong to Islam".
Bakri further explained: "When Islam enters a territory, it becomes Islamic, therefore Islam is under obligation to eventually liberate it."
The Mediafax news agency is also reporting that he listed all "Muslim territories" as follows: "Spain, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia":
"Spain, for instance, is a Muslim territory. Eastern Europe as well. Romania, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia... but due to its decision to send troops to Afghanistan and Iraq and its military cooperation with Israel, Bulgaria is also a legitimate target."
Bakri, who lived in London for 20 years, has been banned from returning to Britain after he left the country in the wake of the terrorist attacks in July 2005. He is considered to have "strong ties with Al Qaeda".
Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean reacted to the statements by saying that his was "primarily a Christian country", and that "there was no need to comment on various statements that have nothing to do with reality".
However, this official noted that Romania took on various strategic projects, such as NATO's missile defense shield, and that it was a strategic partner to the U.S. and NATO that planned on remaining "a faithful ally, regardless of risks".