Kosovo President Hails Round-up of Suspected Militants

The President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, on Monday praised the country's police for rounding up 40 suspected Islamist militants, saying that “Kosovo will not be a shelter for extremism.”

“We will never allow our country to become a source of criminal and terrorist acts that threaten peace and stability,” she said.

Police suspect that the 40 persons they arrested earlier on Monday are members of ISIS, or IS, as it is now known - the militant Islamist organisation fighting to establish a Sunni Caliphate in the Middle East, and against which the US recently launched air strikes to halt its advance into the Kurdish region of northwest Iraq.

"The operation was conducted after evaluating the danger and importance [of the suspects] for national security," police said.

According to the police, around 60 houses were searched during operations that took place in different towns and cities, including the capital, Prishtina, Ferizaj, Gjilan, Prizren, Mitrovica, and Peja.

Kosovo Police said they also confiscated arms and explosives as material evidence.  

A number of Muslim Albanians from the Balkans have joined the sectarian conflict in Iraq and Syria.

In a press release, the police said that 16 Kosovars had died in fighting in Syria and Iraq so far. On Sunday, it was reported that 18-year-old Patriot Matoshi, from Kosovo, had been killed in the conflict in Syria.  

The International Center for the Study of Radicalization, ISRA, a think tank based in King's College, London, believes that some 300 Albanian fighters, from Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania, have joined militant groups in Syria, including Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State, or IS.

Recently, Lavdrim Muhaxheri, a Kosovo Albanian who...

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