Some residents of the so-called Kosovo who joined the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria remain active. Their group operating in Syria, a part of ISIS, has been dubbed the "strike group" and is also known as the ethnically pure group, which is at the same time the most violent.
"These soldiers have undergone military training and are highly prepared," reports Metro Gazeta and adds:
"The last active presence of jihadists from the region in Syria is the ethnic Albanian unit within the HTS. The Albanian community, called 'Katiba', which means a combat unit, is made up of Albanian fighters operating around the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib."
Other fighters originally from the Western Balkans participating in the war in Syria are found in other units, while Albanians are kept as ethnically pure units.
Unlike other countries that hand down high penalties to such fighters, the so-called the state of Kosovo is quite tolerant in this regard, with an average sentence of three and a half years in prison.
Accordingly, 40 percent of those who have been convicted of terrorism in the so-called Kosovo have already been released.
Security agencies's reports from 2018 give a pretty clear picture about how many Albanian citizens have fought for Islamic State in conflict zones in Syria and Iraq.
According to data, 144 people from Albania have joined ISIS. The data is astonishing considering that it concerns 79 men, 27 women and as many as 38 children. According to the agency, 26 male Albanian fighters have reportedly been killed in Syria and Iraq.
45 are no longer involved in the war, and 73 are still in the conflict zones.
Albanians started joining ISIS and the Al Nusra terrorist group in 2012. In 2014, the number of Albanian nationals who went to war was reduced because the prosecution and police carried out a campaign to arrest 11 people who disseminated Sharia propaganda, calling on Muslim believers to go to war.
(Telegraf.rs/Gazeta Metro/Koha Net)