Bulgaria has detained a French citizen suspected of links to terrorism on Paris’s request after he tried to cross into Turkey, according to the Bulgarian prosecutors’ office.
The French authorities demanded the detention of 18-year-old Clement Michel after he breached a restriction to leave France, the prosecutors’ office spokeswoman Rumiana Arnaudova said. Le Figaro newspaper and other French media said Michel was a Muslim convert who had visited jihadist websites.
Bulgarian authorities, who detained Michel at the border with Turkey, expect to receive a European arrest warrant in Bulgarian, not only in French, thereby opening a procedure for the extradition of the suspect.
In July, Mourad Hamyd, a relative of one of the Islamist militants who attacked the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris last year, was detained in Bulgaria after a Paris court issued a European arrest warrant against him. A month later, Bulgaria decided to extradite Hamyd, suspected of wanting to join Islamic State, to France.
Thousands of West Europeans have traveled through Turkey in the past few years to join Islamic State and other militant Islamist groups fighting in neighboring Syria.