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Alleged terrorist in Arges denies accusations, under arrest for 30 days

The Romanian in Arges County, allegedly to have joined the Islamic State, has been arrested for 30 days. The alleged terrorist, Ionuţ Cătălin Bălan, said on Friday that he is ‘in for a bluff’. Asked by the journalists present at the Pitesti Court of Appeal by whom, Ionuţ Cătălin Bălan answered: “by a Jordanian”.

The magistrates of the Pitesti Court of Appeal have decided to issue a 30-day arrest warrant for the man.

When he was taken to court, Ionuţ Cătălin Bălan refused to leave the police car but later he was convinced by the investigators. He was asked by journalists if he wanted to go to the ‘Mihail Kogalniceanu’ Romanian-American Military Base, but he refused to answer.

Asked if he had ever been to any airbase and if he was in for something, Ionuţ Cătălin Balan answered negatively in both cases.

According to DIICOT, during the searches conducted on Thursday at his residence, religious books, agendas, storage devices, as well as Arabic documents were found. At the hearings, the man partially admitted the allegations.

The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) Pitesti conducted three searches in Arges in a terrorism-related file, the suspect ‘Ibrahim’, a Romanian citizen was remanded, being accused of entering the area of ​​a Romanian military objective to collect information in order to be deliver it to a ‘Salafist and pro-jihadist entity’ in another EU country.

The 39-year-old Romanian has radicalized after spending several years in another EU country where he has developed ties with a jihadist group. He had the domicile in Lunca Corbului, but actually lived in Muşăteşti commune.

The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) began investigations on him in 2015, when he informally studied a Romanian military objective (according to sources – military base Mihail Kogalniceanu in Constanta County). This information was collected in order to be sent to an entity involved in the Bataclan attacks in November 2015, in view of a terrorist attack.  He carried out online propaganda for the Islamic State (Daesh), but also personally, by trying to convince others to fight in Syria for the IS. He posted on the web the attacks and executions (including decapitations) conducted by Daesh, declaring adherence to the terrorist organization, hotnews.ro reports.

Sources say he converted to Islamism when he was in 2015 imprisoned in France.

According to sources close to digi24.ro, the Islamic connections are in Belgium and France.

 

About Valeriu Lazar