Bulgarian police find stash of weapons linked to four suspected Hamas members

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Bulgarian police have uncovered a stash of weapons linked to four suspected Hamas members arrested in Germany and the Netherlands in December, according to German media reports and AFP sources.

Three suspected members of the Palestinian militant group were arrested in Germany on December 14 on suspicion of making preparations for an attack against Jewish targets in Europe.

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A fourth suspect was arrested in the Netherlands.

German prosecutors said the four men had been gathering weapons to be “kept in a state of readiness in view of potential terrorist attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe.”

Der Spiegel magazine on Wednesday reported that police had found photos of pistols, ammunition and magazines on a mobile phone belonging to one of the men.

The photos led investigators to a stash of weapons buried under a pine tree in southern Bulgaria, the magazine said.

German sources confirmed to AFP that a stash of weapons had been found in Bulgaria.

Bulgarian prosecutors and the interior ministry when contacted declined to confirm the report.

German prosecutors in December said the four suspects - one Egyptian, two Lebanese and one Dutch national - were “longstanding members of Hamas,” the Palestinian militant group whose unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel triggered the war in Gaza.

One of the suspects, named as Abdelhamid Al A., had been charged by senior Hamas leaders with locating a “depot with weapons in Europe, which the organization had covertly set up there in the past,” the prosecutors said.

“The weapons were due to be taken to Berlin and kept in a state of readiness in view of potential terrorist attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe,” they said.

Members of the group had allegedly “set out from Berlin several times to search for the weapons.”

The suspected stash is thought to be located in Poland but has not yet been found, according to Der Spiegel.

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