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.