A joint police operation in Albania, the UK, and France has culminated in the arrest of 19 people suspected of involvement in the Syrian conflict.
A joint police operation in three different European countries has culminated in the arrest of 19 people suspected of involvement in the Syrian conflict. The arrests were conducted in the UK, France, and, perhaps more alarmingly for Greece, Albania.
Albanian police arrested seven people, including two Islamic preachers, on charges of recruiting followers to fight in Syria and seized a cache of bullets and weapons, which according to prosecutor Eugen Beci “suspected of being involved in recruiting Albanian citizens to fight in Syria.”
The Albanian prosecutor added that there are an additional arrest warrants for six other people on the same charges.
Mr Beci stated that the two imams were suspected of trying "actively to indoctrinate various persons with radical ideologies to fight later as members of organizations blacklisted by the United Nations,” but didn't name them.
Among finds at a mosque, at a village near Tirana, where one of the imams preached, were15 bullets of various calibers and a military camouflage bag.
An AK-47 assault rifle with four magazines, an offensive grenade, 320 bullets and two radios were found in the house of another member of the group.
The seven are to face charges of "recruiting persons to commit terrorist acts" and the "incitement of hatred or quarrels between nations, races and religion
Meanwhile in the UK, three British men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences. Two men from Manchester, aged 29 and 18, as well as a 21-year-old woman from Trafford and a 29-year-old man from Oxford are in custody. One is the brother of Mohammad Azzam Javeed, who is missing in Syria, after having traveled there in the fall.
In Paris, meanwhile, prosecutors said seven men and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of planning to join radical Islamic groups fighting in Syria.