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Albanian man repatriated from Syria charged of terror

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo prosecutors on Tuesday filed terrorism charges against an ethnic Albanian man who is accused of joining a terror group in Syria. Prosecutors said in a statement that the man, identified as V.Q., joined the Islamic State group in June 2014 together with another person who was later killed. The statement said V.Q. went to Syria using illegal passages through neighboring North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. Once in Syria, he joined ISIS forces as a nurse in its military hospitals. Prosecutors say he posted propaganda videos on the internet that show him in military garb with a weapon and an explosives belt.

He also forced his 3-year-old son to appear in the video with an explosives belt and a Kalashnikov rifle and told him to shoot. The defendant was arrested in December 2017 and was among 110 Kosovo citizens repatriated from Syria in April.

The defendant is accused of joining a terror group and of child’s maltreatment. If convicted, he could face between five and 15 years imprisonment. Kosovo authorities say 30 of the country's citizens are still actively supporting terror groups in Syria.

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