Police say the ringleaders of the attack plot were members of ISIS
The thwarted plot included an attack on the Israeli soccer team and fans
Kosovo police say they thwarted an ISIS attack plot against Israel’s national soccer team and other targets.
The ringleaders behind the planned attacks were members of ISIS in Syria, police said.
According to police, the plot involved synchronized terror attacks in Kosovo and the Balkans, one targeting Israel’s national soccer team and fans during the Albania vs. Israel match on November 12.
Days before the match, officials announced it would be held at a new location – a stadium in Elbasan, Albania – for “security reasons.”
In a statement Thursday, police said they had arrested 19 people believed to be planning the attacks.
The arrests were made between November 4 and November 15, a police spokesman said.
Authorities said they also seized weapons, explosives and extremist religious materials during various raids tied to the alleged plot.
Eighteen of the suspects are Kosovo nationals and one is Macedonian. One suspect was released after 48 hours. The other 18 will be detained for 30 days for interrogation, officials said.
Israel’s foreign ministry and the Israeli Football Association declined to comment.
CNN’s Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.