In Brief

Police foil Islamic State plot to attack Israel football match

Kosovo police discover explosives and a drone thought to be for use in Paris-style massacre

Police in Kosovo say they have thwarted three terrorist attacks by Islamic State, including a plan to set off explosives during the World Cup qualifier match played between Israel and Albania last Saturday.

Nineteen people were detained on 4 November when officers raided the homes of suspected terrorists and found explosive devices, weapons and electronic equipment.

They also discovered "religious material and literature from well-known authors recognised for their extremist ideology", according to the Kosovo police.

Albania and Macedonia have confirmed that a further six people were arrested in connection with the failed attack.

Officials believe that the plan was to set off explosives in the stadium while other members of the cells carried out simultaneous attacks in Kosovo, "similar to those that took place in France in November 2015", Albanian news website Albeu Sport reports.

Police raiding the homes of the suspects apparently discovered 281g of TATP, a highly explosive powder used in many terror attacks, and a drone, which they believe could have been used to transport deadly explosives during the game.

Saturday's match, which ended in a 3-0 victory for Israel, was moved from the northern Albanian city of Shkoder, near the Montenegrin border, to a stadium 85 miles away, in Elbasar.

At the time, authorities said only that the location of the match had been changed for "security reasons".

Newsweek says the terror suspects were in contact with IS figure Lavdrim Muhaxheri, the self-declared "commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq" who "gave orders for an attack."

"Hundreds of people from Kosovo and Albania are known to be active in IS fighting groups in Syria and Iraq," says Sky News, and "at least 200 people have been detained or investigated in Kosovo over their alleged links with IS in recent years".

However, both Kosovo and Albanian authorities say they have the problem under control, claiming that none of their citizens have joined the rebel groups in Syria and Iraq over the past year.

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