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Bulgaria has dedicated terrorism provisions in its criminal code. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Terrorism is defined and criminalized in the Bulgarian Criminal Code with respect to a series of predicate offences as follows:

Anyone who commits a [certain specified] crime for the purpose of causing disturbance or fear among the population or threatening or forcing a competent authority, a member of the public or a representative of a foreign State or international organization to perform or omit part of his/her duties...Art. 108a(1), Criminal Code of Bulgaria.

In 2003, Bulgaria adopted the Measures against the Financing of Terrorism Act. 

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Bulgaria has adhered to most of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention Signatory


Bulgaria has also adhered to most of the main European treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2003 Protocol amending the 1977 European Convention State Party
2005 Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party
2015 Additional Protocol to the 2005 Convention Signatory

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

Anyone who commits a terrorist offence in violation of Article 108a of the Criminal Code "shall be punishable for terrorism by imprisonment from five to fifteen years; and where death has been caused, the punishment shall be imprisonment from fifteen to thirty years, life imprisonment or life imprisonment without a chance of commuting".

Amendments in 2011 to the Criminal Code provided for punishment for recruiting or training individuals or groups of people for the purpose of committing a terrorist act and enlarged the number of crimes to be treated as terrorism. The Criminal Code also provides for punishment for setting up, leading, or participating in organised terrorist groups as well as for using the territory of Bulgaria for the preparation of terrorist acts abroad. The Code also contains provisions on the punishment of open incitement to terrorism and threatening to commit terrorist acts.

According to Article 3(1) of the Criminal Code, it is applicable to all crimes committed on the territory of Bulgaria. The Criminal Code is applicable to Bulgarian citizens for crimes they may commit outside the country as well as to foreign nationals who commit crimes outside the country where the crimes affect the interests of Bulgaria or its citizens. It also governs crimes committed by foreign nationals outside the country, when this is envisaged in an international agreement to which Bulgaria is a party.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

In June 2020, Bulgaria established a new interagency counterterrorism unit at the State Intelligence Agency. The unit comprises representatives of the State Intelligence Agency, the Ministry of Interior, the State Agency for National Security (DANS), the Military Intelligence Service, the Customs Agency, and the Prosecution Service.

A National Plan on Combating Terrorism was adopted by the Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers in 2008 (and amended in 2010). Its goal is to minimize the terrorist threat by strengthening cooperation between the relevant national authorities. The National Plan provides a set of measures focusing on prevention and protection from terrorism. 


Bulgaria Criminal Code (amended through 2015)