Kosovo Police Say Terror Attack on Israeli Team Prevented

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) -
FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 file photo, Albanian special police guard a hotel where the Israeli soccer team are staying, ahead of the World Cup qualifier soccer match against Albania, in downtown Tirana.  Kosovo police said Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 they prevented simultaneous attacks by the Islamic State group, including on the Israeli national soccer team that played a World Cup qualifier in neighboring Albania. A police statement said plans were in place to attack Saturday's match in Albania, and at the same time attack another target in Kosovo. Nineteen people were detained in Kosovo on Nov. 4, of whom one has since been released, police there said. Albania and Macedonia announced six more people detained. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina, File)
Albanian special police guard a hotel where an Israeli sports team were staying, in downtown Tirana last week. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina, File)

Kosovo police say they prevented simultaneous attacks by the Islamic State terror group, including on an Israeli sports team that played in neighboring Albania.

They said in a statement Thursday that 18 people were arrested in Kosovo and six more in Albania or Macedonia. At the suspects’ homes and premises police found explosive devices, weapons and electronic equipment.

The groups in the three countries, coordinated by two Albanians who are part of the IS terror group in Syria, had “clear targets on who and when should be attacked,” police said.

The venue of last weekend’s game was changed for “security reasons” from the northern city of Shkoder, near the border with Montenegro, to Elbasan, much nearer to the capital, Tirana.