Saturday, December 09, 2006


Podgorica, 8 Dec. (AKI) - Montenegro's special prosecutor for organised crime, Stojanka Radovic, on Friday indicted 18 ethnic Albanians, including five United States citizens, for planning terrorist attacks in the southern Malesia region, aimed at putting it under ethnic Albanian control. The group planned to take over police stations, border crossings to Albania and all key institutions in Malesia, with the aim of expelling the non-Albanian population and creating an ethnic Albanian controlled territory.

The operation called the Flight of Eagle, which is an Albanian national symbol, was averted a day before it actually carried out its plans and maximal sentence for the crime, if convicted, would be up to 15 years in jail.

The group was arrested on September 9 on the eve of parliamentary elections in Montenegro, and planned to start terrorist activities during the election night with the help of former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK), the indictment said.

Radovic said the group was financed by ethnic Albanian immigrants in the United States, based in Detroit, and five members of the group came from that area. The US has taken an interest in the case and has sent a team of doctors and legal experts to supervise the investigation.

Radovic said the police found a large quantity of weapons and explosives hidden in Malesia caves, river canyons and homes of the indictees, presumably brought by UCK members from Serbia’s predominantly ethnic Albanian southern Kosovo province. UCK started a rebellion against Serbian rule in 1998 and the province was subsequently put under United Nations control.

Ethnic Albanians make about five percent of the tiny Balkan country of Montenegro’s 620,000 population and are concentrated in the Malesia region, bordering Albania and around southern town of Ulcinj.

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