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Kosovo Bans 16 NGOs Linked To Jihadists

The Kosovar government has banned sixteen non-governmental organisations thought to be linked to Islamist groups, according to media reports from within the country.

The Interior Minister of Kosovo, Skender Hyseni, signed an executive ruling revoking the licenses of the 16 NGOs following an investigation by the Kosovo Intelligence Agency, which stated that these NGOs could be involved in the recruitment of young people to fight alongside terrorist groups such as the Islamic state and in disseminating extremist propaganda.

Hyseni said Kosovo is taking all the necessary precautions against possible terrorist attacks, but stressed the need to avoid panic.

According to the Prime Minister’s security adviser, Edon Myftari, Kosovo is currently threatened by potential terrorist attacks.

“Our country is part of the coalition against the Islamic State,” Myftari said, “and it is therefore appropriate to adopt security measures like other countries in the region,” adding that all institutions in Kosovo should increase security measures to prevent any possible attack.

Myftari said that the number of people of Kosovo joining the Islamic state has decreased significantly. Kosovo is the fifth country in the world for the number of citizens who have joined the Islamic State, and the second in the Balkans, after Bosnia-Herzegovina. This year 83 Kosovar citizens joined the jihadist organization.

The Balkan countries are trying to stem the flow of returning jihadis, who often turn to recruiting militants for the cause when they return home. Kosovo police are coordinating with officials in neighboring Albania and Macedonia where extremist networks are believed to have spread.

According to Interior Ministry spokesman Behar Haziraj, the information was classified and thus he could give no comment.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome

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