Eight Kosovars jailed after foiled attack on Israeli football team

(L/R): Kenan Plakaj, Arton Ahmeti and Leutrim Musliu are among eight Kosovars jailed for planning to carry out a terrorist attack on the Israeli football team and fans in Albania where a qualifying match for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, against the national team, was due to take place. (AFP)
Updated 18 May 2018
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Eight Kosovars jailed after foiled attack on Israeli football team

  • The plan was thwarted when Kosovo police got wind of the plot and tipped off Albanian authorities who moved the game from a stadium in Shkoder, near the border with Kosovo, to a town closer to the Albanian capital, Tirana.
  • The prosecution said the group had planned to attack the Israeli team with explosives and automatic rifles.

PRISTINA, Kosovo: A Kosovo court has sentenced nine Kosovar Albanians, eight to jail, for planning a foiled attack against the Israeli football team during a 2016 qualifying World Cup match in neighboring Albania.
Pristina court Judge Hamdi Ibrahimi on Friday sentenced the leader of the group, Visar Ibishi, to 10 years in jail. Seven others got between 1-1/2 to 6 years imprisonment. One was slapped with a €2,500 ($2,950) fine.
The prosecution said the group had planned to attack the Israeli team with explosives and automatic rifles. Police found explosive devices, weapons, electronic equipment and extremist literature at their homes.
The plan was thwarted when Kosovo police got wind of the plot and tipped off Albanian authorities who moved the game from a stadium in Shkoder, near the border with Kosovo, to a town closer to the Albanian capital, Tirana.
The prosecution said some of the defendants received orders to carry out an attack from Lavdrim Muhaxheri, a prominent Daesh member from Kosovo and the self-declared “commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq.”
Muhaxheri was killed in Syria, police and family members say. Kosovo authorities say about 180 citizens are still active with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a law introducing jail sentences of up to 15 years for anyone found guilty of fighting in wars abroad. 


Australia police make arrest in Israeli student murder case

Updated 8 min 55 sec ago
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Australia police make arrest in Israeli student murder case

SYDNEY: Australia police on Friday arrested a man in relation to the murder of Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe, some two days after her body was found in Melbourne.
The 21-year-old was killed on the way home from a comedy show in Melbourne just after midnight on Wednesday, with her body found in bushes near a tram stop by passers-by several hours later.
A 20-year-old man from the outer suburbs of Melbourne was arrested at 11.20am Friday, police said.
“Homicide Squad detectives have arrested a man as part of the ongoing investigation into the death of Aiia Maasarwe,” Victoria Police said in a statement.
“Police would like to thank the public for their assistance with the investigation.”
Police on Thursday said Maasarwe was killed in a late-night attack while she was speaking on the phone with her sister.
They described the murder as a “horrendous, horrific attack.”
Campaigners on Friday called for an end to the “epidemic of violence against women” ahead of a vigil in memory Maasarwe.
Several memorials are to be held on Friday, including one where mourners dressed in black will hold a silent vigil on the steps of the Victorian state parliament.
Another memorial plans to fill the 86 tram, which Maasarwe was believed to have ridden on her way home, with red roses that were reportedly her favorite flowers.
Some of the organizers were the same ones who organized a vigil for Eurydice Dixon, a 22-year-old local comedian who was killed in a Melbourne park last year as she was going home.
“We’re as angry as we were last time,” organizer Jessamy Gleeson told Melbourne’s Herald Sun on Friday, adding more needed to be done to keep women safe.
“We shouldn’t have these one-off vigils. There needs to be continued engagement and conversation about violence against women.”
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison took to Twitter on Friday, calling the crime “an incredibly shocking, despicable and tragic attack.”
“My heart goes out to Aiia’s family and friends and everyone whose life she touched.”