Albanian prosecutors urge heavy jail time for 9 Muslims

Albanian prosecutors have asked for 15-to-20 years of jail time each for nine Muslims, including two preachers, accused of recruiting and sending more than 70 men to join rebel groups in Syria.

The nine Muslims, who were arrested two years ago, are accused of recruiting, training and inciting hatred mainly in the capital, Tirana, from two mosques that were not recognized by the country's Muslim community.

About two-thirds of Albania's 3.2 million inhabitants are Muslims. Mainstream religious leaders have asked their believers not to join rebel groups in Syria. Still, scores of Albanians are believed to have joined Islamic extremist groups in Syria and Iraq.

The court's verdict is expected within a month.