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Tajik arrested in Albania ordered held in custody

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An Albanian court on Saturday decided to keep a 24-year old Tajik under arrest for 40 days while the authorities prepare the paperwork for his extradition to Germany where he is accused of belonging to a cell that planned attacks on behalf of the Islamic State group.

The Tirana court’s decision on Komron Zukhurov comes two days after his detention in Tirana. A federal court in Germany has issued an international arrest warrant for Zukhurov accusing him of being part of a terror group that had planned attacks in Germany.

His Albanian lawyer, Asllan Dogjani, denied that, saying Zukhurov came in February to meet with his aunt living in Albania. He added that Zukhurov handed himself in to police. Last month, four other Tajiks suspected of being members of IS, were arrested in Germany on the same charge. German authorities said they joined IS in January 2019, received instructions to form a cell in Germany and were planning an attack on American military facilities.

A 30-year-old thought to be their leader, Ravsan B., has been jailed in Germany since March 2019 on unspecified charges. German authorities allege that, to finance an attack, he accepted a $40,000 contract to assassinate someone in Albania, but the plan failed.

Dogjani denied the defendant had planned any attack in Albania. Zukhurov has asked to be extradited to Germany, where he had been living for the past two years, on condition that he is not sent back to Tajikistan.

The lawyer claimed Zukhurov was tortured in Tajikistan, showing pictures to the court, but not clarifying the reasons why.

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