Kosovo Court Remands Five Terrorism Suspects in Custody

Pristina Basic Court on Tuesday handed down a 30-day custody remand to Ardian Gjuraj, Nuhredin Skenderi, Ergim Syla, Mentor Bellaqa and Shkodran Krasniqi, two days after they were arrested on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks in Kosovo.

Prosecution documents obtained by BIRN show that the five suspects are alleged to have had different roles within the alleged terrorist group - four of them are suspected of planning attacks while another is suspected of the unauthorised import, export and supply of weapons and explosive devices.

The documents claim that the five men were part of a radical Islamist group. All of them have been arrested before for being members of such groups, the documents say.

It's alleged that since March 2021, they have been trying to build an organisational structure to commit terrorist attacks in Kosovo.

Weapons seized by police during the operation to detain the terrorism suspects. Photo: Kosovo Police

"By contacting a high-ranking person within the structure of terrorist organisation, ISIS [Islamic State]- External Office, [one suspect] was engaged in providing hand grenades, explosive and firearms with ammunition aimed at committing terrorist acts in Kosovo," says the document that launched the investigation, dated August 27, 2021.

One of those arrested, Ardian Gjuraj, was sentenced to a year and five months in prison for terrorism in February 2018 but was released after five months by the Court of Appeals.

His indictment specified that while living in Germany during 2014-2015, Gjuraj became a supporter of the so-called Islamic State.

His father, Kujtim Cerkini, reported Gjuraj to the police and the German authorities extradited him to Kosovo in April 2015.

According to the same...

Continue reading on: