PRISTINA, Kosovo – Two Albanian men charged with funding terrorist activities and recruiting people for Islamic extremist groups in Syria and Iraq have been arrested, Kosovo police said Wednesday.
Police said Wednesday that one man identified only as P.D. was arrested a day earlier ain Prizren, 50 miles south of the capital, Pristina. He is suspected of recruiting two persons who were stopped by police and prevented from leaving the country in December.
The other, a businessman identified as F.R., was arrested in Ferizaj, 22 miles south of Pristina. He has been investigated since 2014 on suspicion of recruiting and funding people who went to Syria and Iraq, some of them reportedly dead or already arrested.
Police say that his businesses in Pristina and two other cities were used "to support financially and logistically people involved in recruiting for terrorism, including persons well-known for spreading extremist ideology, or persons who have traveled or tried to go to conflict zones."
Many persons recruited by the businessman have been arrested and charged of terrorism, "some of them are already at the conflict area in Syria and Iraq while a number of them, including some employed in his businesses, have been reported dead at the conflict zones." Police have confiscated documentation and electronic devices used by the suspect.
If convicted of funding terrorism and recruiting, the men face sentences up to 20 years imprisonment. A few hundred Kosovo-born volunteers are believed to have gone to join the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, mainly passing through Turkey.