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Kosovo Charges Nine With Plotting Terror Attacks In Balkans

Kosovo charged nine men on June 15 with plotting terror attacks in Kosovo and at a World Cup soccer match between Israel and Albania last year.

The men were among 19 detained in a series of arrests in Kosovo and neighboring Albania and Macedonia ahead of the game in November, which was moved for security reasons from the northern Albanian town of Shkodra to a site closer to the Albanian capital, Tirana.

The suspects are accused of planning to "carry out a terrorist attack against footballers and fans from Israel who were coming to Albania for the match in November," Kosovo's prosecutor's office said in a press release.

It said they further aimed to "destabilize and destroy the fundamental political, constitutional, economic, and social structures of Balkan states and then create their own Islamic State."

The prosecutors said two of the suspects were charged with plotting terrorist attacks against local and international officials in Kosovo, while another was charged over fighting with militants in the Middle East.

Another pair was charged with collecting weapons and illegally producing an explosive, triacetone triperoxide, which was the same explosive used in attacks in Paris and Brussels.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters