Four people in Kosovo convicted for planning terrorist attacks, including in Belgium
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    Four people in Kosovo convicted for planning terrorist attacks, including in Belgium

    Four Kosovan Islamists were sentenced on Wednesday to prison for planning terrorist attacks against NATO soldiers and orthodox churches in Kosovo. 

    They were also planning to target non-disclosed locations in Belgium and France. 

    Three men and one woman, two of whom are Belgian nationals, have been convicted for having connections to IS.

    They have been handed sentences of 12 months to 10 years in prison, according to a press release issued by the Pristina tribunal. 

    Back in October, they were charged with planning terrorist attacks against NATO soldiers in Kosovo, four orthodox Serbian churches and two nightclubs in the Serbian enclave of Gracanica. The weapons of choice were explosives and suicide bombers.  

    They were also accused of planning to hit targets in France and Belgium. 

    The vast majority of the 1.8 million people who live in Kosovo are Albanian Muslims. Around 120,000 Serbians (orthodox Christians) live in the divided town of Mitrovica (north) and in a dozen or so enclaves. 

    Prosecutors said plans for the attacks on the churches had advanced the furthest, but they were fortunately “prevented by the arrests.” 

    The leader of the group, 26-year-old Belgian national Bujar Behrami, was arrested in September. The three others, 26-year-old Belgian national Gramos Shabani, 26-year-old Resim Kastrati and 25-year-old Edona Haliti, were arrested in June. 

    Two other people received lighter sentences for not informing authorities about the Defendant’s plans, despite being aware of them. 

    Around 300 Kosovars left to fight in Syria and Iraq. Around 70 have been killed and 120 are currently in prison. 

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times