"Radical Islamist" extradited to Macedonia

SKOPJE -- The Kosovo police (KPS) on Wednesday extradited Shukri Alia, described as "one of the greatest ideologists of radical Islam in the region", to Macedonia.

A view of Skopje (Tanjug, file)
A view of Skopje (Tanjug, file)

Alia has been sentenced to three years in prison by a Macedonian court for harassing Muslim priests when he in 2005 tried to force a change of leadership of the Islamic Community of Macedonia.

Alia was also previously arrested in the town of Debar "along with a large quantity of explosives", while the police treat him as a suspect in the murder of a taxi driver near the village of Vizbegovo.

The Macedonian police (MUP) also said that they were not ruling out the influence of this Kosovo-born ethnic Albanian on the persons arrested for killing five people near Skopje on Good Friday.

Spokesman Ivo Kotevski said that Alia, who is a Macedonian citizen, appeared to have "initiated unrest" in the wake of the suspects' arrests.

The reason the police are investigating his involvement, Kotevski said, was because "operative information place him as one of the main ideologists and mentors of radical Islam followers in Macedonia".