40 suspected extremists arrested in Kosovo

Forty people suspected of having taken part in the fighting in Syria and Iraq and supporting terrorist organisations were arrested by the Kosovo police across the province early on Monday.

(kosovocompromisestuff) Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The suspects from Pristina, Pec, Gnjilane, Urosevac, Prizren and Kosovska Mitrovica were arrested following an assessment that their activities pose a danger to national security and to protection of constitutional order.The arrests took place after a total of 60 locations across Kosovo had been searched. They are suspected of having committed crimes against the constitutional order and security in Kosovo.Evidence that includes explosive devices and weapons has been seized in the police crackdown, the Kosovo police said in a statement, adding that the crackdown is continuing.Sixteen people from Kosovo have been killed in the fighting in Syria and Iraq, the statement said.The Kosovo government said in a statement that it supports the police crackdown - undertaken in cooperation with Kosovo's Prosecution Office - and urged the citizens to vigorously oppose any form of extremism.Most arrested were members of Al-Nusra and ISIS Most of the extremists arrested in Kosovo on Monday took part in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq and were members of the terrorist organisations Al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the police had been on their tail for two years, Kosovo's prosecutors in charge of the case said on Monday.The Kosovo police said earlier on Monday they had arrested 40 people across Kosovo suspected of involvement in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq and of supporting terrorist organisations.Kosovo's special prosecutors Blerim Isufaj, Sulj Hodza and Sevdije Morina and police spokesperson Baki Keljani held a news conference in Pristina regarding the event.The investigation is much broader, will continue in other segments and include more people, they said.The large-scale operation included all the local police departments in Kosovo and resulted in 60 searches and seizure of a large quantity of physical evidence, like firearms, explosives, electronic devices and passports, they stated.The legal basis for the arrests lies in the suspects' membership in organisations listed as terrorist by the UN, they explained.The operation was conducted without incident, except in two cases, where family members prevented the completion of all the procedures. The families of the other suspects cooperated for the most part.Acting Chief Special Prosecutor Sevdije Morina said some officials of the Islamic Church were also under investigation.Isufaj pointed out that most of the arrested had been members of ISIS and Al-Nusra.The police said earlier they had arrested suspects from Pristina, Pec, Gnjilane, Urosevac, Prizren and Kosovska Mitrovica after determining that their activities undermined national security.The statement also says 16 people from Kosovo died in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.