Terrorist attack targeting Israeli soccer team in Albania thwarted



The flag of Albania. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Albanian authorities have arrested 11 suspects believed to have planned a terrorist attack during an upcoming soccer game featuring Israel's national team.

Israel's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Albania, scheduled for Nov. 12, was relocated following Tuesday's arrests to ensure the safety of players and spectators.

The suspects are affiliated with Islamic State, local media reported.

According to reports, 20 other suspects were questioned over the alleged plot, which was thwarted by Albanian security forces assisted by other international agencies, including Israel's Mossad.

The Counterterrorism Bureau at the Israeli Prime Minister's Office confirmed that a threat had been made against the Israeli national soccer team. The bureau said the event still faces a "Level 2, concrete threat" despite being relocated, and urged Israeli fans against traveling to the match.

The Albanian Football Association reportedly asked FIFA, the international soccer federation, to move the match from the stadium in Shkoder to Elbasan, 25 miles outside the capital of Tirana, as the Elbasan stadium is easier to secure. FIFA granted the request.

Posted on November 9, 2016 .