Eight Kosovo Albanians Jailed for Foiled Attack on Israeli Soccer Team

israeli soccer
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty

(AP) PRISTINA, Kosovo — A Kosovo court has sentenced nine Albanians, eight to jail, for planning a foiled attack against the Israeli soccer team during a 2016 qualifying World Cup match in neighboring Albania.

Pristina court Judge Hamdi Ibrahimi on Friday sentenced the leader of the group, Visar Ibishi, to 10 years in jail. Seven others got between 1-1/2 to 6 years imprisonment. One was slapped with a 2,500-euro ($2,950) fine.

The planned attack in November 2016 was said to have been coordinated by two Albanians in Syria fighting with the Islamic State group.

The World Cup qualifier in was originally due to take place in the northern town of Shkodra. The match eventually took place in Elbasan, about 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the Albanian capital Tirana, under a massive security presence.

Police found explosive devices, weapons, electronic equipment and extremist religious literature at their homes.

Kosovo authorities say about 180 citizens are still active with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq.

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