Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau confirmed that the soccer match between Israel and Albania’s national teams was moved to a different stadium in fear of a terror attack planned by ISIS-affiliated suspects and called on Israelis to refrain from attending the match
Security around the Israeli national team has been reinforced Photo Credit: Reuters / Channel 2 News
Hours after it was reported on JOL News that a soccer match between the Albanian and Israeli national teams would be moved to a different stadium in fear of a terror attack, Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau confirmed this evening (Tuesday) that several suspects affiliated with ISIS were arrested after allegedly planning to carry out a terror attack during the game.
The Bureau reported that several suspects affiliated with ISIS were arrested in recent days in the Balkans. According to the Bureau, the suspects planned, together with other elements, a series of terror attacks at several destinations in the Balkan states, including at national soccer matches.
Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau clarified that despite the arrests and the altering of the match’s location, there is still a substantial threat of terror attacks in the area and advised Israelis to refrain from attending the match on Saturday. Meanwhile, a level 2 travel warning to Albania (a high concrete threat) was issued by the Bureau.
According to media reports from across the globe, 11 ISIS terrorists were arrested in Kosovo this week and 4 further suspects were arrested in the Albanian city of Shkodër, where the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match between Israel and Albania was initially scheduled to take place.
The Israeli national soccer team is expected to arrive in Albania on Thursday evening and spend around 48 hours there. Security around the national team has been reinforced and the team players and staff members have been instructed to stay in their hotel throughout their stay in Albania when not on the soccer pitch.