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Bulgaria: Man, 21, gets 4-year sentence for terror training

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/06/2017

SOFIA, Bulgaria — A court in Bulgaria has sentenced a 21-year-old man to four years in prison for planning to commit an act of terrorism.

Sofia's Special Criminal Court on Monday found John "Ivan" Zahariev, a dual Australian-Bulgarian citizen, guilty of training as a terrorist with the intention of carrying out a terrorist act.

Zahariev had a Christian upbringing in Australia, but later converted to Islam. He has been in custody since September, when he was arrested for training at shooting ranges in Bulgaria with the alleged intention of going to Syria to join jihadi groups.

Zahariev denied the charges. After the verdict, he said he had been subjected to a show trial and that no evidence connected him to the Islamic State group.

Zahariev says he will discuss with his lawyer whether it is worth appealing the verdict.

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