A Facebook page is promoting Albanian jihadists fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, ISIS, the militant organization battling to create a Sharia-based state in the Middle East.
The Facebook page, set up in February, which currently has 429 likes, hails the activities of ethnic Albanian jihadists fighting in Syria, and appears to serve as an information point in Albanian for the fighters.
In a post on May 6, a communiqué announced the truce announced by the al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra with the ISIS.
“On the request of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Nusra front, which is a branch of al-Qaeda, has suspended operations against ISIS,” the post informs its readers, adding further details about the truce hatched between the two militant groups.
Other posts accompanied by pictures promote Albanian jihadists fighting with ISIS. In a message on May 4, seven heavily armed men pose in a picture, described as Albanian jihadists.
“Albanian mujahedeen, may Allah protect them,” the post reads.
One of the men in the picture, Lavderim Muhaxheri, an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, has featured repeatedly in ISIS propaganda as the leader of Albanian fighters within the Islamist militant group.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, was founded in the early years of the Iraq war. It pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda in 2004, becoming known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The group, made up of a number of insurgent groups, aims to establish a Sunni caliphate in Iraq but has since expanded its goals to include war-torn Syria as well.
The International Center for the Study of Radicalization, ISRA, a think tank based in King’s College, London, believes that some 300 Albanian fighters, from Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania, have joined groups linked to al-Qaeda in Syria, including Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS.
The Albanian authorities in March arrested eight people, including two radical imams, suspected of recruiting Albanian jihadists to join militant groups in Syria.
Meanwhile, an Albanian from Ferizaj, in Kosovo, was reportedly behind a horrific suicide bombing in Iraq that killed at least 25 people.