Albania arrests woman wanted in Italy for terror conviction

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TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A woman wanted in Italy for trying to recruit people to join the Islamic State group was arrested in Albania’s capital on Saturday, police said.

Lubjana Gjecaj, 43, will be extradited to Italy where a court in Milan has sentenced her to three years in prison for association with terror groups, Albanian anti-terror police said. She was taken into custody in Tirana, where she lived.

Local media reported that Gjecaj, a mother of three children, helped to marry other people in both Albania and Italy and then sent them to Syria through Turkey to join IS.

It is believed she was part of a terror cell discovered in 2014 in Italy after the marriage of an Italian girl with an Albanian man. Ten people were arrested at the time in Italy.

Authorities say that no Albanians have joined extremist groups in Syria and Iraq in the last four to five years.

Earlier, scores of Albanians joined radical groups in Syria and Iraq though mainstream religious leaders urged believers not to become members.

About two thirds of Albania’s 2.8 million inhabitants are Muslims.

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