Albania orders extradition of Tajik terror suspect wanted in Germany
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The district court in the capital, Tirana, reportedly decided on June 12 that 24-year-old Komrom Zuhurov should not be extradited to Russia, where he is also wanted, or to his native Tajikistan, where he claims he was tortured.
RFE/RL says Albania announced it had arrested Zuhurov on April 30, two weeks after German authorities said they had detained a group of Tajik nationals suspected of forming an IS cell that plotted attacks on German soil.
Zuhurov was the subject of an international arrest warrant issued on April 21 by a federal court in Karlsruhe, Germany.
German prosecutors said Zuhurov was a member of the same group whose members are suspected of planning attacks on behalf of the IS group, including on U.S. Air Force bases in Germany and an unidentified individual they deemed critical of Islam.
Meanwhile, Zuhurov’s defense lawyer, Asllan Dogjani, denied his client was part of the cell. Dogjani said that before his arrest, Zuhurov had lived in Germany for two years and went to Albania in February to see his aunt, adding that the young man had turned himself in.
Recall, German police have arrested five Tajik nationals on suspicion that they were members of an Islamic State (IS) terror group cell that had been planning attacks on US forces stationed in Germany,
German prosecutors released only the first names and last initials of the suspects — identifying them as Azizjon B., Farhodshoh K., Muhammadali G., Sunatulloh K, and Ravshan B. and that they ranged in age from 24 to 32.
German authorities also said Ravshan B. was thought to be the ringleader of an IS cell in Germany.
Sources in Tajikistan told RFE/RL that the alleged ringleader’s full name was Ravshan Boqiyev. They said he had lived in Dushanbe prior to leaving for Russia several years ago.
Four of the suspects were arrested at different locations in the western German state of North Rhine Westphalia during police raids that involved some 350 officers early on April 15. German prosecutors said three of the suspects — all from Tajikistan — were arrested on April 15 in the city of Siegen and in the towns of Heinsberg and Werdohl in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The fourth suspect, Ravshan Boqiyev, was already in custody after being detained in March 2019.
The men are all aged between 24 and 32, and came to Germany as refugees. They reportedly joined IS in January 2019 and were instructed by the IS group to form a cell in Germany.
German prosecutor said the attacks were not planned for the immediate future but that the group had already acquired firearms and ammunition, as well as secured directions and precursors for making a bomb from the Internet.
To help finance the terror plans, German prosecutors said the ringleader and another suspect traveled to Albania to carry out a $40,000 contract killing, but the operation fell apart and they returned to Germany.
The men are alleged to have been in contact with two high-ranking IS figures in Syria and Afghanistan.
The government in Dushanbe says about 2,000 Tajik nationals have traveled to Syria and Iraq in recent years to join IS militants. Some of them have returned to Tajikistan, taking advantage of an amnesty offered by the government.
Source: Asia Plus