Friday, April 24, 2015

Albania charges local youth with trying to join Syria rebels

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian authorities say they have charged a young man with allegedly trying to join Muslim extremists fighting in Syria.

Police say the 18-year-old was detained in Greece for illegally entering the country from Albania, and promptly handed over to Albanian authorities who arrested him Thursday.

Although Albanian officials say some 70 local people are believed to have joined extremists from the Islamic State group fighting in Syria, the teenager is the first to have been arrested and charged.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years to jail.

Nine Albanian Muslims, including two preachers, are on trial for recruiting for Syrian rebels.
About two-thirds of Albania's 3.2 million people are Muslims. Mainstream religious leaders have called on believers not to join rebel groups in Syria.

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