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Terror suspect wanted in Italy arrested in Albania

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Terror suspect wanted in Italy arrested in Albania
File photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
11:13 CEST+02:00
Police have arrested a 28-year old man in Albania following a request from Italy where he is sought for "terrorist activities".

Suspect Bledar Ibrahimi was arrested in the central Albanian town of Elbasan, Albanian police said in a statement.on Tuesday.

He is "considered a dangerous person for public security in Italy and is suspected to be involved in terrorist activities in Italy and Egypt," they said.

The arrest was made following an international arrest warrant issued in March by an Italian prosecutor "for participation in a terrorist organisation", the police said, adding that the suspect would be extradited in the coming days.

Expelled from Italy in 2016, Ibrahimi lived with his grandfather, according to Albanian media, which also reported suspected links with Islamic State militants.

"No truce for criminals and fanatics who import war to Italy," Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini tweeted, thanking Italian special forces and police as well as the Albanian authorities.

In 2014 nine other people, including two imams, were arrested for having recruited and financed the departure of volunteers for jihad. They are currently on trial.

From 2012 to 2014 between 100 and 120 Albanian citizens joined jihadists in Syria and Iraq, according to police sources.

Some took their families with them, and more than a dozen subsequently returned to Albania.

At the peak of its "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq, IS attracted thousands of foreigners to join it. But it has since lost almost all of its territory, including its de facto capital in Syria, the northern city of Raqa.

Since then, US-backed forces have been detaining foreign IS members in both Syria and Iraq.

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