Like in previous years, Kosovo proceeded with the military recruitment of terrorists in 2017, for terrorist organizations operating in Syria and Iraq, sources reported. According to a State Department report issued in 2-17, 403 people from Kosovo joined the so-called Islamic State and the Al-Nusra Front (Syria’s al-Qaeda branch) organizations. Out of these, 74 were killed, 133 returned to Kosovo, while 196 still remain in the war zones in Syria and Iraq.
According to the source, the biggest problem identified until now, linked to the recruiting of militants for the so-called Islamic state by Kosovo is the religious propaganda and the authorities' inability to dismantle the recruited trafficking networks.
Moreover, the report says that for Serbia, it has made progress in countering terrorism and preventing its citizens from being recruited in order to go to the Middle East and join terrorist groups.
The report further said that the government of Serbia, with the adoption of a national strategy for the period of 2017-2021 with a view to averting terrorist threats, has paid particular attention to electronic security.
The Independent’s Robert Fisk wrote in a report earlier that Bosnia and Serbia had been sending weaponry to Saudi Arabia, which was used in the Syrian unrest to support al-Qaeda groups.
Saudi Arabia has often been accused of arming the rebels in Syria, and religious publications from Riyadh have been found in towns formerly held by the Islamist groups. Besides, Saudi Arabia has demanded the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and his government in Damascus.
Fisk said he entered three former military barracks of the Islamist groups in February 2017, noting that inside one of these, lying half-concealed amid iron fragments and field dressings, he found piles of discarded documents containing firing instructions for machine guns and mortars, all of them in English.
“They also included weapons shipment papers and arms instruction booklets from Bosnia and Serbia, the pages still damp from winter rains and some stained by footprints.”