Kosovan capital Pristina was left without water over the weekend as authorities reacted to Islamic State threats to poison the reservoir that provides drinking water to 100,000 people.
Water authorities cited “security issues” when they turned off water to the capital city on Saturday after five were arrested at or near the reservoir after Islamic State videos were uncovered threatening to target the water supply. Police have declined to give much detail on the arrests and security operation surrounding them, other than three of the men were caught by officers acting suspiciously at the banks of the reservoir, and a further two were arrested away from the body of water.
The fact three were caught at the reservoir itself suggests the attack was only averted in the nick of time – regardless samples were still being tested for toxins by authorities. The Guardian reports a police insider who said two of the men arrested were ‘known’ to the Kosovan security services and had already been arrested before on terrorism charges after their return from Syria last year.
Although majority Muslim country, the Kosovoan constitution guarantees religious freedom and the present government has made efforts to support the United States’ efforts to attack the Islamic State. Writing in a recent Guardian column, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi called the country “one of the most pro-American nations on earth” and said the nation was fully behind the campaign against the Islamic State.
Despite the efforts of the government, actual Kosovans continue to drift to the Islamic State in droves. Dozens were arrested for terrorism last year, and at least 300 are known to have left the country to fight – and that from a country with a population of 1.8 million – around the size of the Leeds-Bradford district area in England.
At least 30 Kosovans are thought to have been killed in the service of ISIS.
Follow Oliver Lane on Twitter: Follow @Oliver_Lane or e-mail to: email@example.com