CATF Reports Jan. 4, 2017, 10:48am

Last week, British newspapers the Mirror and Daily Mail reported that Lavdrim Muhaxheri, an ISIS general infamous for his appearances in the group’s propaganda videos, had returned to Europe along with up to 400 members of the terrorist organization. The reports cite Italian newspaper “L’Espresso” which claimed sources inside the Italian intelligence services leaked information that Muhaxheri and between 300 and 400 members of ISIS traveled to Kosovo disguised as refugees.

Muhaxheri’s alleged return to Kosovo coincided with a foiled ISIS plan to attack the Israeli national soccer team during its mid-November match against Albania in Elbasan, the fourth largest city in Albania, leading many to believe Muhaxheri was the mastermind of the plot. While Kosovo police have rejected claims of the Muhaxheri’s 2016 reentry, stating that their information is that he remains in Syria, Muhaxheri is also believed to have turned up in Kosovo in 2013 before allegedly slipping back into ISIS-controlled areas in Syria.

The Kosovo Albanian national also known as Abu Abdullah al-Kosova, took an unconventional path to joining the ranks of ISIS fighters. Only shortly before traveling to Syria, Muhaxheri served on a U.S. base in Iraq in 2012. By 2014, Muhaxheri was a key figure in the terrorist group and an important ISIS recruiter preying on Albanians in Eastern Europe. While Muhaxheri’s whereabouts remain a topic of contention, reports of intelligence that a U.S.-designated ISIS leader previously seen beheading and executing prisoners may have made his way back to Europe, along with hundreds of ISIS rank and file soldiers, may add fuel to the already fiery debate over immigration to Europe.

From The Daily Mail:

“Muhaxheri, also known as Abu Abdullah al Kosova, is not only a Kosovo Albanian ISIS leader but also one of the most public figures because of his foreign roots and his efforts to recruit other foreign jihadi fighters.

He left for Syria in late 2012 and has appeared in several propaganda videos, calling Albanians to join jihad, and has uploaded photographs of himself appearing to decapitate a man, as well as a video where he kills a captive with a rocket.”

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