For all the attention paid to the emergence of homegrown Islamist terrorists in Belgium, France and other European countries, one of the continent’s biggest radicalization problems is taking place on its fringes.
Kosovo, the tiny Muslim-majority Balkan nation of just 1.8 million, has produced more foreign fighters per capita than any other Western nation since ISIS declared its now-defunct caliphate in 2014. Some 413 Kosovo citizens, including women and children, have joined that group and other Islamist extremist factions since the war in Syria began in 2012.
As it attempts to join the European Union, Kosovo has been under pressure to stamp out its radicalization problem — and authorities say they have succeeded. Since 2013, Kosovar police say they have indicted more than 120 terrorism suspects and arrested many more, including well-known conservative imams suspected of recruiting people to fight abroad.
“Now we don’t see terrorism as a threat,” said Kujtim Bytyqi, one of the government’s senior security policy analysts and the head of Kosovo’s strategy to counter violent extremism. “There is total silence. All imams, even if they want to say something, are afraid of the government.”
But many of those suspected terrorists, convicted under an older counterterrorism law in which prison sentences averaged between three and five years, are now being freed. And some say attempts to rehabilitate them have come up short.
“We are growing stronger and getting smarter,” said Fitim Lladrovci, 28, a former ISIS fighter and inmate, referring to extremists. “Terrorists will not be reintegrated, and there may be attacks here.”
Anne Speckhard, who directs the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism, said that Lladrovci’s contempt for rehabilitation and strengthened radical beliefs probably are emblematic of “some other returning militant jihadis well beyond Kosovo.” The trend, she said, “bodes ill for all of us.”
It’s a potentially ominous development for deradicalization efforts across the continent. “We have to provide a deradicalization model for the whole of Europe,” said Garentina Kraja, a senior external researcher for the Kosovo Center for Security Studies. “We’re a Muslim-majority society but we’re secular Europeans. So it feels like if there’s an example to be found somewhere, this is where we can provide a response.”
Kosovo may also be an entry point into the European Union to launch attacks, said Daniel Koehler, the director of the German Institute on Radicalization and De-radicalization Studies. In early June, Kosovo authorities arrested a couple suspected of planning attacks on NATO troops in Kosovo as well as on public places in France and Belgium.
Since April, the US Justice Department has helped implement rehabilitation programs in Kosovo’s prisons for suspects facing terrorism charges. Before then, however, the country had no comprehensive program for rehabilitating returned fighters, according to the 2018 Kosovo European Commission report.
“Most European countries have much more stable programs in place. In Germany, the UK and France, there is a long history of social welfare and prison infrastructure much stronger than in Kosovo,” Koehler said. “Kosovo is still recovering from its 1998-99 war against Serbia, and suffers corruption in the public sector and problems with rule of law.”
The new US-run program sends government psychologists, sociologists, social workers and moderate imams from the Islamic Community of Kosovo to work with inmates jailed on terrorism charges.
Originally published in August 2018
Source: Washington Post
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.
Kosovostan today: Mass building of new mosques
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established to prosecute culpable individuals for crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.
Its mandate calls for “end(ing) impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern.”
US and Israeli officials are guilty of the highest of high crimes. Yet none of their officials ever were held accountable – not by their own courts or the ICC.
The international body operates on the principle of complementarity. It can only prosecute when governments won’t or can’t – even against officials of non ICC-member countries like America and Israel.
On December 31, 2000, Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute ...
One of the claims of Albanian historiography is that the Central Balkan tribe – Dardanians, who settled in the southern portion of the territory of the Roman Province of Moesia Superior and northwestern part of the Roman Province of Macedonia, should be considered as one of the Illyrian tribes and an ancestor of the Albanians. With respect to this point, Albanian historians refer to the German linguist Norbert Jokl who wrote, according to the research of historical toponomastics, that the ancient cradle of the Albanians was Dardania, from where they moved westward to their present territories in late Roman times. ...
At the age of 15 on a riverbank he was shot eight times just for being Serbian. He survived and a few days later during the religious holiday of Transfiguration he was out of his coma. But until now he has not received an answer to his question: who shot the children bathing in the river near the Kosovo village of Gorazdevac on August 13, 2003? In his interview to the Voice of Russia Bogdan Bukumiric tells a wonderful story of his rescue.“It is not so scary to die as to be buried alive” – this is the inscription on ...
Note: First published by GR in February 2015 in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo Terror Attacks.
The barbarous phenomenon we recently witnessed in France has roots that go back to at least 1979 when the mujahedeen made their appearance in Afghanistan. At that time their ire was directed at the leftist Taraki government that had come into power in April of 1978. This government’s ascension to power was a sudden and totally indigenous happening – with equal surprise to both the USA and the USSR.
In April of 1978 the Afghan army deposed the country’s government because of its oppressive measures, ...
The U.N. Organization was established in 1945 for the very security reason – to preserve the peace in the world. We believe that the governmental bodies and administrative structures of the U.N. have to be composed by the proved democratically oriented politicians and magistrates but above all this requirement has to be applied to the post and function of the U.N. Secretary-General. Nevertheless, in the history of the U.N. there is at least one (extremely) problematic appointment to the post of the U.N. Secretary-General: Kurt Waldheim from Austria.
On the official website of the U.N. about its fourth Secretary-General one can ...
Twelve years ago, March 24th, 1999, marks the commencement of NATO’s aerial bombardment of Yugoslavia. The bombings which lasted for almost three months, were followed by the military invasion (under a bogus UN mandate) and illegal occupation of the province of Kosovo.In the course of the last week, the so-called international community, backed by the UN Security Council has called for the bombing of Libya, a sovereign country, allegedly to protect the lives of civilians under the logo of “Responsibility to Protect”.The covert operations, the military strategies applied in Libya not to mention the process of media disinformation bears a canny ...
Here are before-and-after pictures, at https://twitter.com/MAL0mt/status/701077438525263873/photo/1, of what the U.S. government has achieved, in the Middle East:
What’s especially interesting there, is that in all of these missions, except for Iraq, the U.S. was doing it with the key participation of the Saud family, the royals who own Saudi Arabia, and who are the world’s largest buyers of American weaponry. Since Barack Obama came into the White House, the operations — Libya, Yemen, and Syria — have been, to a large extent, joint operations with the Sauds. ‘We’ are now working more closely with ‘our’ ‘friends’, even than ‘we’ were under George W. Bush.
As President Obama instructed his military, ...
Last movie by famous French movie maker Paul Moreira on Canal+ (France) broadcasted 01/02/2016.
Some French citizens are now shocked after discovering the truth about the Odessa massacre and the Euromaidan bloody coup in 2013/2014.
Interview to Paul Moreira:
Preview screening on January, 20th 2016 at FIPA Biarritz 29th edition, selected out of competition in Reportages and Investigation – Panorama of Creation category.
Without them, there would have been no Ukrainian revolution.
In February 2014, paramilitary groups fought against the police in the streets of Kyev and ousted President Yanukovych. They settled a new government.
According to the western media, they were the revolution heroes. They ...
The leak of a secret BND dossier on Hachim Thaci which reports that the newly-elected Kosovan President had links to a contract killer and was involved in the trafficking of people, arms and drugs is more confirmation that Western politicians have chosen to support Thaci in the knowledge of his criminal past.Wikileaks has leaked a secret German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) dossier on Hachim Thaci that dates back to 2005, after the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leader had served the first of his two terms in office as Kosovan Prime Minister.The dossier reports that Thaci, who has recently been elected president of Kosovo, was one of the leaders of organized ...
As the U.S. and NATO casualties rise from the war in Afghanistan, with 2010 being the deadliest year of the nine-year war for the U.S., the question needs to be asked of how we got involved in that interminable and unwinnable conflict? The Afghan war has been dubbed Barack Obama’s War but its origins go back much earlier. Is the U.S. military disaster in Afghanistan an instance of blowback?
What is the standard definition of “blowback”? The U.S. intervenes illegally in a volatile and unstable scenario and over time the consequences of that criminality come back to reek havoc on U.S. ...
“ … war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.”(Howard Zinn, 1922-2010.)
“All war represents a failure of diplomacy.” (Tony Benn, MP. 1925-2014.)
“No country too poor, too small, too far away, not to be threat, a threat to the American way of life.” (William Blum, “Rogue State.”)
The mention of one tiny country appears to strike at the rationality and sanity of those who should know far better. On Sunday, 6th August, for example, The Guardian headed an editorial: “The Guardian view on sanctions: an essential tool.” Clearly the average of five thousands souls a month, the majority ...
On September 16, 1982, Christian Lebanese militiamen allied to Israel entered the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila and the adjacent neighborhood of Sabra in Beirut under the watch of the Israeli army and began a slaughter that caused outrage around the world. Over the next day and a half, up to 3500 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, mostly women, children, and the elderly, were murdered in one of the worst atrocities in modern Middle Eastern history. The New York Times recently published an op-ed containing new details of discussions held between Israeli and American officials before and during the massacre. They ...
In the thousand year long-history of Serbs, Kosovo and Metohia were for many centuries the state center and chief religious stronghold, the heartland of their culture and springwell of its historical traditions. For a people who lived longer under foreign rule than in their own state, Kosovo and Metohia are the foundations on which national and state identity were preserved in times of tribulation and founded in times of freedom.The Serbian national ideology which emerged out of Kosovo’s tribulations and Kosovo’s suffering (wherein the 1389 St. Vitus Day Battle in Kosovo Polje occupies the central place), are the pillars of ...
The mainstream media (MSM) has declared war on alternative media websites labeling them “Fake News” ever since Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump. The New York Times editorial board expressed their frustration in an article calling for the censorship of alternative and social media‘Facebook and the Digital Virus Called Fake News’ which claimed both social media platforms (Facebook and Google) has not been aggressive enough in blocking fake news sites:
Most of the fake news stories are produced by scammers looking to make a quick buck. The vast majority of them take far-right positions. But a big part of the responsibility for this scourge ...
After the referendum’s results held in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on September 30th this year and the Western reactions on it (by the EU & NATO) it is absolutely clear that this small Balkan country is finally proven to be the Western puppet colony without its own real Government and above all the national sovereignty. To remind ourselves, the people of Macedonia were called to express their wish to change or not a state’s name into the Northern Macedonia and, therefore, its national name into the Northern Macedonians, in order to avoid further obstructions by neighboring Greece in ...
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 ...
US-backed forces overthrow Goulart in Brazil (1964) Left-wing nationalist Joao Goulart became the democratically elected president of Brazil in September 1961, setting alarm bells clattering in the liberal Kennedy administration. Goulart began implementing structural reforms in the massive resource-rich South American country, that would help integrate the general population into society. (1) The United States was loathe to sit helplessly by as this movement came within “our hemisphere”, as President John F. Kennedy described it. Goulart, also known as “Jango”, was hostile toward US capitalist democracy that seeks to primarily serve elite powers.Shortly before his death, Kennedy had been preparing the groundwork to oust Goulart, ...
Is Vladimir Putin the most popular Russian leader of all time?
It certainly looks like it. In a recent survey conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center, Putin’s public approval rating soared to an eye-popping 86 percent, which is twice that of Obama’s when he left office in 2016. And what’s more surprising is that Putin’s popularity has held up through a severe economic slump and nearly two decades in office. Unlike most politicians, whose shelf-life is somewhere between 4 to 8 years, the public’s admiration for Putin has only grown stronger over time.
And the phenom is not limited to Russia either. According to a recent survey by the pollster YouGov, “Putin is the third most admired man in Egypt, the fourth in China, ...
The end of the Cold War era in 1989 brought during the first coming years a kind of international optimism that the idea of the „end of history“ really can be realized as it was a belief in no reason for the geopolitical struggles between the most powerful states. The New World Order, spoken out firstly by M. Gorbachev in his address to the UN on December 7th, 1988 was originally seen as the order of equal partnership in the world politics reflecting „radically different international circumstances after the Cold War“.
Unfortunately, the Cold War era finished without the „end of ...
One way to understand the effect of 9/11, in most general terms, is to see that it allowed the agenda developed in the 1990s by neoconservatives—-often called simply “neocons”—to be implemented. There is agreement on this point across the political spectrum. From the right, for example, Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke say that 9/11 allowed the “preexisting ideological agenda” of the neoconservatives to be “taken off the shelf . . . and relabeled as the response to terror.”1 Stephen Sniegoski, writing from the left, says that “it was only the traumatic effects of the 9/11 terrorism that enabled the agenda ...
The International Criminal Court (ICC) Does Not Prosecute War Criminals
Refuting a Greater Albania’s Mythomania: The Ancient Balkan Dardanians – The Illyro-Albanians, the Daco-Moesians or the Thracians?
The Killing of Serbian Children in Kosovo: The Story of a Survivor
Terrorists or “Freedom Fighters”? Recruited by the CIA
A Biography of Kurt Waldheim (Austria) – A Fourth U.N. Secretary-General
Remembering the NATO Led War on Yugoslavia: Kosovo “Freedom Fighters” Financed by Organized Crime
America’s Recent Achievements in the Middle East
Documentary Movie “Ukraine: Masks of the Revolution” (2016, by Paul Moreira)
German Intelligence Service had Mafia Dossier on Kosovan President since 2005
Blowback: Afghanistan and Bosnia
North Korea, an Aggressor? A Reality Check
The Sabra & Shatila Massacre
Kosovo History – First Part
The Lie of the 21st Century: How Mainstream Media “Fake News” Led to the U.S. Invasion of Iraq
The Western “Math-Gangsters” and the Kosovization of Macedonia
Albanian Highlanders and Kosovo
Forgotten “Anniversaries” of U.S. Sponsored Military Coups against Democracy
A Geopolitical Convergence Between the US and Russia
Neocon Imperialism, 9/11, and the Attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq