The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) has announced the arrest of Khzr Karim Friad (38), an Iraqi national, under accusations of terrorism on December 13. The Anti-terrorist Brigade within the SRI identified the suspect and held him in custody somewhere in the proximity of the UK Embassy in Bucharest, according to a statement of Sorin Sava, SRI spokesperson. News reports suggest that the suspect had a knife and was targeting the UK Embassy.
“The foreign national of Iraqi origin, a resident of Finland, was identified and held in custody Thursday, December 13 […]; the suspect was carrying several non-firearms”, stated Sava. “He was then transferred to the responsible authorities within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who took him for questioning by the Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigation Department (DIICOT) prosecutors,” said Sava. The suspect was held in temporary custody for 24 hours, before a court decision to detain him for 29 days was issued.
Khzr Karim Friad was under SRI surveillance from as soon as he entered the country up until his arrest in Bucharest. “The Iraqi national entered Romania on December 7- 8 this year; since that moment and up to his detention on December 13, he was continuously monitored by the SRI,” noted the SRI spokesperson. Based on the evidence gathered, the SRI says the suspect had been involved in extremist-terror acts and that he had undergone military training, as well as that he was intent on conducting a terrorist attacks against diplomats representing EU and US states. The terror attack alert level for Romania however remains “blue-cautious”.
Romanian citizens who want to report suspicious situations or the presence of suspicious packs/abandoned luggage in busy areas can call 0800 800 100, the local anti-terrorist green line, available 24/7.
This came soon after two other terrorism suspects were caught in Romania. Earlier in December, Police arrested two students in Sibiu on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack. Mohammed Ramzan and Mohammed Adeel, both from Paksitan, were studying at the Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu under the Erasmus exchange program.
A spokesperson from Romania’s intelligence services (SRI) said that two foreign nationals had been arrested and detained ahead of deportation due to the threat they presented to national security. Media reports suggest that the two suspects are connected with an extremist group affiliated to Al-Qaeda and that they were planning an attack during the upcoming holiday season.
Despite the two recent reports of alleged terrorists found in Romania, the country is at the safer end of the terrorism scale in the world. A recent report on the impact of terrorism around the world, the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, deems Romania as among the most threat free places on the planet. Romania came equal bottom in the ranking for 2011, among a group of over 40 countries that experienced zero impact from terrorism last year. Out of the 158 countries studied, Romania was one of 31 that experienced no terrorist impact between 2002 and 2011 and the threat going forward is perceived as very low.
Ioana Jelea firstname.lastname@example.org