Kosovo holds suspects over Israel football attack plot

Kosovo-born Lavdrim Muhaxheri is the ISIS-affiliated terrorist commander who planned attacks on Israeli soccer players

Kosovo holds suspects over Israel football attack plot

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Kosovo court on Friday ordered seven people suspected of plotting terrorist attacks to be detained for a month, officials said, as media reports said they planned to attack a weekend football match involving Israel.

The order follows a series of arrests in Kosovo and neighbouring Albania and Macedonia in which a total of 15 suspected extremists have been detained.

The seven belonged to one network that notably planned to attack a stadium in the northern Albanian town of Shkodra during the country's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Israel on Saturday, media reported.

The match will now be held in the central town of Elbasan for "security reasons." 

Earlier this week Israel said ISIL had been planning attacks in the Balkans and specifically warned its citizens not to attend the upcoming Israel-Albania football match.

The local Kosovo tribunal did not elaborate Friday on when and how the suspects were arrested.

Those detained also planned attacks in Kosovo "against international and other security institutions," a tribunal statement said.

They were plotting "terrorist attacks" with their counterparts from Albania and Macedonia against the same targets in the two countries. 

Earlier this month Albanian police detained four people on suspicion of financing terrorism, recruiting IS fighters for Syria and spreading "terrorist propaganda".

Macedonian officials said Thursday that two citizens were arrested during a regional police operation against suspected Islamic extremists.

The network in Kosovo consists of around 30 members and is a branch of a wider group in Albania and Macedonia, media reports said, adding that other members remained at large.

 

Last Mod: 12 Kasım 2016, 14:51
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