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Kosovo police helped FBI in US terror probe

 Baki Sherifi, grandfather of Hysen Sherifi, gestures in front of the family home in the eastern Kosovo town of Gnjilane Wednesday, July 29, 2009. U.S...
 Baki Sherifi, grandfather of Hysen Sherifi, reacts in front of the family home in the eastern Kosovo town of Gnjilane Wednesday, July 29, 2009. U.S. ...

Kosovo US Terror Arrests

Baki Sherifi, grandfather of Hysen Sherifi, gestures in front of the family home in the eastern Kosovo town of Gnjilane Wednesday, July 29, 2009. U.S...

Kosovo US Terror Arrests

Baki Sherifi, grandfather of Hysen Sherifi, reacts in front of the family home in the eastern Kosovo town of Gnjilane Wednesday, July 29, 2009. U.S. ...

Kosovo police said Thursday they cooperated with the FBI investigation that led to the arrest of a Kosovar in the United States who has been accused of plotting with six Americans to carry out terror attacks in other countries.
Police also said Hysen Sherifi, 24, a native of Kosovo and a legal U.S. resident, had no criminal record in Kosovo and was not considered to have been a security threat here.
Sherifi was the only non-U.S. citizen of the people who were arrested on Monday in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The other six are Americans, including Daniel Boyd, 39, and two sons. U.S. authorities claim Boyd was the ringleader of a group that was engaging in military style training and gearing up for a "violent jihad," but prosecutors have not described their targets or timeframe. If convicted, the men could face life in prison. An eighth suspect is believed to be in Pakistan.
U.S. prosecutors said Boyd received terrorist training years ago in Pakistan and brought the teachings back to North Carolina, recruiting followers willing to die as martyrs waging a jihad, or holy war.
"For the moment there are no indications or information that there could be any threat of a potential terrorist attack in our country," Kosovo police spokesman Besim Hoti said of Sherifi and the other suspects being held in North Carolina.
He also said in an interview that police had cooperated with the FBI by giving it information on Sherifi, adding that "our notes had registered no criminal background for this person."
Sherifi is an ethnic Albanian who grew up in Kosovo, the predominantly ethnic Albanian-populated region that declared independence from Serbia last year _ with the support of the United States and major EU nations.
Sherifi's grandfather and his neighbors said they could not believe the 24 year old could have been plotting terrorism in the United States, a country that is loved in Kosovo for leading the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia that ended its rule in Kosovo.
"I do not believe he is one of them," Baki Sherifi, the suspect's grandfather, told AP Television News. "This is something unbelievable. We live in this neighborhood for centuries, and the whole family never expected such news. We are all shocked. What more can I say?," the tearful 70 year old said outside his mosque in Gnjilane, 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Pristina, Kosovo's capital.
Like many other Kosovars, Hysen Sherifi, his parents and his two sisters had moved to the United States 10 years ago during the Kosovo war. Last year, he was married, and his wife is expecting a baby.
Police said Hysen, who was visiting Kosovo a year ago, was expected to return early next month and join his relatives after they got back from a vacation in neighboring Albania.
"Everybody in the neighborhood is shocked. We feel sorry for the family. We cannot believe that has happened," said Hakim Rasimi, who lives near Baki Sherifi in Gnjilane.
Other family members, who have been following the case closely on television and the Internet, declined to be interviewed until charges have been filed in the case in North Carolina.
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AP Television News cameraman Florent Bajrami contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-10-19 05:34 GMT+08:00