North Macedonia authorities prevented a planned “terrorist act” by supporters of Islamic State, the Balkan state’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement Friday, February 15.
“In order to disrupt the terrorist attack and accomplish the preventive function, the Ministry of the Interior drafted a plan of measures and activities, thus providing appropriate orders for their implementation,” the ministry said.
Authorities said they exchanged intelligence information with a “partner nation” regarding the potential plans and intentions of ISIS supporters to carry out a terrorist act.
To thwart the attack, authorities carried out searches in several locations and seized “objects and devices related to the possible attack, the statement said.
Превземени мерки за спречување можен терористички напад.https://t.co/EYxwpAQiW3
— Oliver Spasovski (@o_spasovski) February 15, 2019
“The Ministry of Interior continues to implement actions, measures and activities that are working to ensure the safety of citizens,” the ministry noted.
According to a 2016 estimate, around 150 Macedonian nationals travelled to fight alongside jihadists in Iraq and Syria. Most hailed from Macedonia’s ethnic-Albanian minority, who make up around a quarter of the 2.1 million population.
The flow of jihadists from the Balkan region to Iraq and Syria slowed significantly in 2016.
Last May, eight Muslim extremists were convicted of plotting a terror attack in neighboring Albania on Israeli footballers and fans during a 2016 World Cup qualifier.
Previously known solely as Macedonia, the Balkan state this month added “North” to its name as part of a deal to end a long-running diplomatic row with Greece.
With reporting from AFP