Former Kosovar Jihadist Recounts Syrian Odyssey

Share

Hits: 919

Ridvan Haqifi (left) and Lavdrim Muhaxheri (right), two ISIS Kosovo Albanian commanders. | Photo: ISIS propaganda video

Albert Berisha, a former Kosovar jihadist who travelled to fight in Syria, appeared before a Pristina court on Monday to recount his version of the story and maintain his innocence.

Berisha, who graduated in political sciences from the University of Pristina and holds a Masters degree from the University of Tirana, was arrested in 2014 and is charged with participating in terrorist organisations. This crime is punishable with a minimum of five years in prison.

Berisha said he went to Syria from October 6 to 20, 2013, to help the Syrian opposition in their struggle against Bashir Al-Assad’s regime but never engaged in fighting.

On arrival in Syria, he asked to join other Albanian-speaking formations to “avoid language barriers”, and was taken to meet Lavdrim Muhaxheri, the ISIS commander of Albanian fighters.

“I swear by God, that I had never heard of him or met him before,” Berisha said, when the prosecution asked whether he knew Muhaxheri before that meeting.

Berisha claimed he searched the internet during the two available daily hours of electricity, trying to understand where he had ended up and came across a video of Muhaxheri.

“It was then when I understood that he was part of the Islamic State organisation, so I decided to leave and join the Ahrar al-Sham group,” Berisha said.

As escaping ISIS proved almost impossible, according to Berisha, he used Facebook to contact a friend in Kosovo to arrange an exit plan.

“He then sent me an SMS saying a relative of mine was sick and I had to return home, which I used as justification to return to Kosovo,” the suspect told the court.

Berisha claimed he then joined Ahrar al Sham, saying he also checked the US State Department list of terrorist organisations, to make sure the group was not included among them.

“The group was being financially supported by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and indirectly supported with weaponry from the US,” Berisha recounted.

While Ahrar al-Sham does not appear on Western lists of terrorist organisations, it is recognised as such by Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia. Other sources say the group has affiliations with Al Nusra – Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria and Iraq.

Berisha said that when he returned to Kosovo after Muhaxheri granted him permission to leave, an Albanian from Skopje told him that other “Albanian recruits at ISIS had expressed regret for not having killed” him.

Berisha said he spent little time with Ahrar al-Sham because of increased tensions between this fighting formation and ISIS, and he did not want to become part of the fighting between the two formations.

Around 100 people have been arrested in Kosovo since September 2014 on charges of active membership of, or affiliation to, Islamist groups including ISIS and Al-Nusra.

More than 50 are currently on trial. The latest estimates from the authorities are that about 300 Kosovo Albanians have joined ISIS and Al Nusra.


Source: Balkan Insight

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

Photo: ISIS propaganda video

READ MORE!
Other People’s Cultural Assets Are Up for Grabs
The rapacious conduct of the big hyenas is being replicated by their camp followers. Not to be outdone, Kosovo Albanians are laying claim to Serbian cultural monuments in Kosovo.A controversy has recently erupted in Mexico, of the type that may quite often be seen in other similarly defrauded countries. Its focus is the magnificent quetzal-plumed headdress of the last Aztec emperor Moctezuma which, contrary to the misleading impression encouraged by the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, is not displayed there at all. It is actually located, of all places, in the Ethnological Museum in Vienna, Austria.The impression is misleading ...
READ MORE
America’s “Long War” Against Humanity
America’s hegemonic project in the post 9/11 era is the “Globalization of War” whereby the U.S.-NATO  military machine –coupled with covert intelligence operations, economic sanctions and the thrust of “regime change”— is deployed in all major regions of the world.  The threat of pre-emptive nuclear war is also used to black-mail countries into submission.This “Long War against Humanity” is carried out at the height of the most serious economic crisis in modern history. It is intimately related to a process of global financial restructuring, which has resulted in the collapse of national economies and the impoverishment of large sectors of ...
READ MORE
America’s Culture War Mercenaries
USAID is spending $300,000 to fight traditional Christian morality in the Republic of Macedonia.A reader passes along a government document putting out bids for a contract. Here’s the top of the document:Apparently the (former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia, a small Balkan nation that emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia, is insufficiently progressive on LGBT issues. So the American government is spending $300,000 to undermine the traditional Orthodox Christian culture of the country. Excerpts from the document (emphases mine):Macedonia has ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Human Rights Convention. Through ratification of these human rights treaties, Macedonia has ...
READ MORE
“The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration?” [Review of John Marciano’s Book]
In classical mythology, the Acheron is one of the rivers of the Underworld. It marks the boundary between the living and the dead. The ferryman Charon ferries the dead across the Acheron to a place where they lose memory. Nothing of what made them human remains—happiness, suffering, love, hatred, guilt, regret, redemption, betrayal, forgiveness. From Gilgamesh to Odysseus to Aeneas, the living heroes of the epic descend into the Underworld at a point of despair in the sense of their quest. Burdened by a fate that requires momentous courage and tragic self-sacrifice for the sake of their people’s survival, they resent ...
READ MORE
Remember the Golan Heights?
During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Syrian forces had surprised Israel and were fast approaching the edge of the steep Golan Heights, captured by Israel during the 1967 war. It seemed as if Syrian armor and infantry would retake Golan, then pour down into Israeli Galilee. Soviet recon satellites observed Israel moving its nuclear-armed, 500km-range Jericho missiles out of protective caves and onto their launch pads. At the same time, Israel was seen loading nuclear bombs on their US-supplied F-4 fighter-bombers at Tel Nof airbase. Believing Israel was about to use nuclear weapons against Syria and Egypt, Moscow put huge pressure on both ...
READ MORE
Before the U.S. Congress: HM King Peter II’s of Yugoslavia Speech at the Capitol in 1942
A highlight of Peter II’s 1942 official state visit to the U.S. was his speech before the U.S. Congress. That speech solidified and affirmed Yugoslavia as an ally of the U.S. during World War II.Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had issued a statement in support of Peter II and the Yugoslav government.FDR’s message of April 8, 1941 emphasized that the U.S. would provide aid and assistance to Yugoslavia:“The people of the United States have been profoundly shocked by the unprovoked and ruthless aggression upon the people of Yugoslavia. The Government and ...
READ MORE
Vladimir Putin is the Only Leader the West has
A Reuters news report under the names of presstitutes Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold shows how devoid the West is of honest, intelligent and responsible journalists and government officials. http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nato-summit-idUKKCN0ZN2NN First we will examine the dishonesty or incompetence of the reporters and then that of Western government officials.Emmott and Siebold describe NATO as a “Western defense alliance.” Since the Clinton regime NATO has been an alliance for waging offensive war, a war crime under the Nuremberg rules established by the United States. Under the NATO banner a number of countries have been bombed, invaded, and had their governments overthrown by ...
READ MORE
U.S. Crimes of Genocide Against North Korea
The crimes committed by the US against the people of Korea in the course of the Korean War but also in its aftermath are unprecedented in modern history.“We Killed Off – What – Twenty Percent of the Population. We Burned Down every Town in North Korea…”The above quotation is from General Curtis Lemay, who coordinated the bombing campaign (1950-53)Who is a Threat to Global Security? The US or the DPRK?The public perception of the entire population of  North Korea is that the US is a threat to their national security.During the Korean War, the DPRK lost more than 25% of ...
READ MORE
Russophobia – Symptom of US Implosion
There was a time when Russophobia served as an effective form of population control – used by the American ruling class in particular to command the general US population into patriotic loyalty. Not any longer. Now, Russophobia is a sign of weakness, of desperate implosion among the US ruling class from their own rotten, internal decay.This propaganda technique worked adequately well during the Cold War decades when the former Soviet Union could be easily demonized as «godless communism» and an «evil empire». Such stereotypes, no matter how false, could be sustained largely because of the monopoly control of Western media ...
READ MORE
NATO’s 1999 “Humanitarian Bombing” of Yugoslavia: Month Two
March 2018  marks the 19th anniversary of  NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia.For over a month Canada has been bombing Yugoslavia. Without a parliamentary resolution, without a declaration of war and without a shred of legality Canadian war planes are attacking the nation that stood at the forefront of the fight against both Hitler’s Nazis and Mussolini’s fascists during World War II.The Nuremberg trial ruled that “to initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime.” Yet this is precisely what Canada and its NATO allies have done.The Canadian government said it was bombing ...
READ MORE
“Responsibility To Protect” (R2P) was not Valid in Kosovo and isn’t Valid in Ukraine
The same arguments used to justify a western ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Kosovo in 1999 could be used to support a Russian intervention in Ukraine. This article originally appeared at Irrussianality Yesterday, I gave a talk on ‘The Folly of Military Intervention’ at McGill University. Afterwards, one of the students asked me a question about parallels between the wars in Kosovo in 1999 and Ukraine in 2014/15. As I answered, I found myself thinking about the scale of the humanitarian crises in both cases and what this means for supporters of so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’. In 1999, NATO aircraft bombed Yugoslavia for three months. The aim, ...
READ MORE
Israel Stamps Approval on Europe’s Largest Post-WWII Ethnic Cleansing
Back in February, we warned about the prospect of Israel selling F-16s to Croatia, a state in which WWII revisionism and Holocaust denial are running rampant, and memories of the Nazi puppet Independent State of Croatia are routinely glorified. In the meantime, that has become a done deal. But there is more. Not only will Israel sell half a billion dollars worth of fighter jets to Croatia, but on August 5, three Israeli F-16s, crewed by Israeli pilots, took part in a parade to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the “Operation Storm,” in which more than 2,300 Serbs were killed, including more than 1,200 civilians, among which more ...
READ MORE
Albanian Highlanders and Kosovo
South-East Serbia's province of Kosovo-Metochia (KosMet) is an autochthonous Slavic, in particular Serb, land. Now, the focal question became how this province became “disputed land”, and, in particular, what it has to do with ethnic-Albanians? In the following text, this issue is going to be considered in more details, from the geographical, (pre)historic, anthropologic, religious, and political points of view. We start with the geography, in particular, the physical geography of West Balkans.Kosovo Liberation Army, August 1998, Klechka village, KosMetThe region of Dinaric Alps It is known that physical and mental structures of a particular population are determined by many ...
READ MORE
Israel’s Failed Attempt to Start WWIII
There is one thing that Israel fears more than anything else in Syria. The loss of its ability to fly its F-16’s with impunity and hit whatever targets it wants claiming defensive measures to stop Iran, their existential enemy. Israel finally admitted to carrying out over 200 such missions over the past 18 months, only a few of which ever made any kind of international media, recently. And with the sneak attack on Latakia which involved using a Russian IL-20 ELINT war plane as radar cover Israel has now not only raised the stakes to an unacceptable level, it has also ensured ...
READ MORE
NATO’s Protected EuroKosovo (Photos not seen at CNN)
Save... and many more pictures!Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
Recognize the Genocide that Happened—And the One Now Beginning
The United States, Europe, and their partners must officially recognize the Mountainous Karabagh Republic within its constitutional frontiers.Stepanakert, Mountainous Karabagh — I no longer know what to do on April 24—or where to go. This is the day Armenians across the globe commemorate the genocide in 1915 that destroyed the Armenian people and its homeland of thousands of years.Those killing fields, the homes of my grandparents, are located in historic western Armenia—now eastern Turkey. But a century later, this very region has erupted in all-out war. Turkish forces are on the offensive again, this time, Armenians having been eliminated, against ...
READ MORE
Making Balkan Caliphate: The Wahhabies – A New Danger for the Balkan and European Security
Editor’s note:This article was written and originally published in January 2015.      „God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle is our way, and death for sake of God is the highest of our aspirations“Jihadi credoWest Europe before the 2014 Christmas became once again a target of several mini-terrorist acts by the radical Islamists among whom the Wahabbies are the most active and dangerous. On Tuesday, December 23rd, Germany’s security service warn of the highest terrorist threat in decades as the German participation in the anti-ISIS struggle became the reason for potential terrorism. ...
READ MORE
Clash of Imperialists: 21st Century Competition and Confrontation by the Great Powers
Led by the US and NATO, the clash of imperialist powers accounts for the absence of stability not just in the Middle East and Africa, but also the Ukraine and parts of Asia. Behind the rhetoric of democracy, national security, and anti-terrorism there are direct diplomatic and indirect diplomatic efforts through government-financed and pro-business NGO’s. There are overt and covert military operations carried out by the US, EU, China, Russia and their less powerful allies motivated by aggressive intentions for spheres of influence and markets. Behind the “war on terror” and regional conflicts around the world rests the reality of ...
READ MORE
Rape and War: The US Experience
On July 9, 2006, the U.S. Army charged five US soldiers with the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, and the murder of her parents and 5-year-old sister. This brutal and senseless war crime raises the issue of rape in war. The lynchpin of US propaganda and infowar spin is that Soviet troops raped German women when the Red Army took Berlin in 1945. This was meant to take away from the Russian military achievement in taking Berlin. The Russian soldiers were “rapists” while US soldiers were “liberators”, handing out chocolate bars, chewing gum, ...
READ MORE
Kosovo – Mafia – Fascism – Jihad
Hiding Genocide in Kosovo: A Crime against God and Humanity is not a typical book of the current events or international affairs genre. Nor is it a journalistic exposé. It is simply a book of stories, true stories of what has taken place in Kosovo since the end of the 1999 war: shooting, beheading, burning, bomb attack, maiming, rape, abduction, torture, desecration, theft, mutilation, and harassment. While Western policymakers (the U.S., EU, UN, NATO, OSCE, etc.) delude themselves that they are buying the goodwill of the Muslim world by the sacrifice of a small Christian community in Kosovo, the perpetrators ...
READ MORE
Other People’s Cultural Assets Are Up for Grabs
America’s “Long War” Against Humanity
America’s Culture War Mercenaries
“The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration?” [Review of John Marciano’s Book]
Remember the Golan Heights?
Before the U.S. Congress: HM King Peter II’s of Yugoslavia Speech at the Capitol in 1942
Vladimir Putin is the Only Leader the West has
U.S. Crimes of Genocide Against North Korea
Russophobia – Symptom of US Implosion
NATO’s 1999 “Humanitarian Bombing” of Yugoslavia: Month Two
“Responsibility To Protect” (R2P) was not Valid in Kosovo and isn’t Valid in Ukraine
Israel Stamps Approval on Europe’s Largest Post-WWII Ethnic Cleansing
Albanian Highlanders and Kosovo
Israel’s Failed Attempt to Start WWIII
NATO’s Protected EuroKosovo (Photos not seen at CNN)
Recognize the Genocide that Happened—And the One Now Beginning
Making Balkan Caliphate: The Wahhabies – A New Danger for the Balkan and European Security
Clash of Imperialists: 21st Century Competition and Confrontation by the Great Powers
Rape and War: The US Experience
Kosovo – Mafia – Fascism – Jihad
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS