4 Albanians arrested for recruiting for Islamic State group

Albanian police say they have arrested four people for reportedly recruiting members for the Islamic State group and for funding rebel groups in Syria.

A statement Saturday said the four were arrested Friday after five Albanians and 11 foreigners were questioned and released as part of a regional operation that involved neighboring Kosovo and Macedonia.

The suspects are accused of recruiting people to go to Syria to join IS extremists, supporting the group financially and inciting hatred, charges that may get them up to life in prison if proven.

About two-thirds of Albania's 3.2 million people are Muslims. Despite calls from mainstream religious leaders not to join rebel groups in Syria, scores of Albanians are believed to have joined Islamic extremist groups in Syria and Iraq.