Over just a two day timespan, 43 suspected jihadists were arrested in Kosovo–the landlocked southern European country that borders Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Albania.
Following the arrest, Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaja announced that “Kosovo will be no safe haven for terrorists.”
Police cracked down after Kosovo-based jihadi Lavdrim Muhaxeri posted social media pictures of himself beheading a 19-year old teenager in Syria, where he is fighting for the Islamic State terror group.
Kosovo authorities believes somewhere between 100 and 200 of their nationals have left Pristina to wage holy war in Iraq and Syria for the Islamic State. Some reports allege that the number is closer to over 300. In the past few weeks, 16 bodies were returned to Kosovo from Iraq Syria.
A Kosovo police spokesperson Baki Kelani told German newspaper DW: “Over the last few weeks, we have arrested 43 suspected extremists. We are in the middle of the investigation, but there are more arrests expected to be made in the next few days.” He continued, “The security situation in Kosovo is stable. The police and other security structures in Kosovo are in the position to ensure order and security in the country.”
Kosovo is largely populated by Sunni Muslims, with the Islamic population accounting for ninety-percent of the country’s 1.8 million citizens.
Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said to DW: “In Kosovo there will be no place for extremism, radicalism, and terrorism. Kosovo is a free and independent country that will, with the help of the European Union and the USA, continue to fight for good and against evil.”