10,000 Passports Seized in Bulgaria Were Bound for Islamic Terrorists-Truth! & Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Officials in Bulgaria seized a box of 10,000 fake Syrian passports that were going to be given to Islamic terrorists to gain entry into Europe.
It’s true that 10,000 fake Syrian passports were seized in Bulgaria, but there’s no indication that the passports were going to be given to Islamic terrorists.
The rumor that 10,000 fake Syrian passports had been seized in Bulgaria started with a report that appeared in the German newspaper Der Tagesspigel about the refugee crisis fueling a black market for stolen or forged Syrian passports:
Fake or real Syrian passports have become a coveted commodity on the black market in Germany and other countries. In Bulgaria, the police recently (seized) 10,000 false Syrian passports. The documents will be sold for a lot of money to prospective customers because they are important for a successful application for asylum in the West.
Many of the approximately two million Syrians who arrived in recent years in Turkey, have no valid identity papers more. Some lost their passports during the escape, others never had papers: The Kurds in Syria, for example, were not considered as citizens, but as stateless persons of Damascus long.
In other cases, the passes are long expired – in young Syrian men who have not yet performed their military service, the pass is valid for only two years. Few refugees venture out into the Syrian embassy or consulate in Turkey or elsewhere, to apply for an extension.
For a long time it was not a big problem. But since Germany and other countries to the Syrian refugees promise almost automatic recognition of their asylum application, Syrian passports for the refugees have suddenly become very important and worth a lot of money.
Many of the refugees who fled Syria because of the civil war don’t have passports. Either they were never issued a passport, they didn’t take their passport with them when they fled, or their passport has expired. Because Germany and other countries require Syrian migrants to show proof of identification and citizenship before they’re accepted, so there’s been a huge surge in demand for fake Syrian passports. And, in many cases, even actual political refugees from Syria need to buy Syrian fake passports — so the claim that all of those passports were going to Islamic terrorists is false.
Also, migrants from other Middle Eastern and African countries are posing as Syrians to gain asylum in Germany and other European countries need to purchase fake or stolen passports, according to the report:
Not only Syrians are interested in Syrian passports. Even as refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will (pose as) Syrians to secure in this way a recognition as asylum seekers in Western Europe.
So, it’s true that there’s a huge black market for fake Syrian passports, and that Bulgarian officials seized 10,000 fake passports. It’s not true, however, that those 10,000 passports were going to be given to Islamic terrorists.
That rumor started after a story appeared at the New Observer website that reported Bulgarian officials had seized 10,000 fake Syrian passports.
Then, Walid Shoebat linked to the story on his blog site and (falsely) reported that, “Bulgarian police discover boxes owned by Muslim refugees going to Germany, and in them they find 10,000 fake passports that Were going to be given to Islamic terrorist.”
However, German reports don’t indicate that the passports were being smuggled by Muslim refugees — they were actually being smuggled by people looking to exploit the refugees. And there’s no indication that the Syrian passports were going to be given to an Islamic terrorist since so many actual political refugees from Syria need fake or forged passports to gain asylum in Germany.
Did Bulgaria seize 10,000 Syrian passports bound for Islamic terrorists?