Seven inmates escaped from a high-security prison over the weekend in western Kosovo, and police backed by NATO helicopters launched a manhunt throughout the province, authorities said Monday.
The convicts, on a scheduled walk in a yard at Dubrava prison late Saturday, were supported by an armed group who shot at guards….Two senior prison officials and two prison guards were arrested on suspicion of involvement, Elshani said. No injuries were reported.
Police said they found six unused rocket launchers and shell casings from automatic rifles at the site of the gunbattle. The inmates, some convicted of terrorism, murder and theft, were believed to still be in the province, but police have notified authorities in neighboring countries.
Kosovo Police Service (KPS) spokesman Veton Elshani told B92 the group was lead [sic] by Faton Hajrizi.
“Hajrizi is known to the public as a suspect in the murder of a Russian KFOR soldier in 2000,” he said, adding that Burim Basha, Amir Sopa, Astrit Shabani, Ramadan Shuti, Davit Morina and Lirim Jakupi were also among the escaped convicts.
Among the escapees were Ramadan Shiti, a Saudi-born suspected Islamist terrorist expelled from his native country for allegedly plotting an attack on senior public figures, and Lirim Jakupi, a leader of the rebel Albanian National Army — a group of guerrillas who fight for a greater Albanian state in the Balkans.
Wait a second, wait a second. There are Albanians actively engaged in securing a Greater Albania? But we were told for two decades that this was just a Serbian myth — propaganda to dupe the internationals into thinking that there’s a bigger picture to Kosovo independence. And yet in his book The Coming Balkan Caliphate, Chris Deliso writes:
Emboldened by their victory over the Serbs in Kosovo, irredentists sought to take the next step….Indeed, as Ali Ahmeti, the chief of the Albanians’ so-called National Liberation Army (NLA), told a Western journalist in March 2001, “our aim is solely to remove [Macedonian] Slav forces from territory which is historically Albanian.” Long after the conflict, one of Ahmeti’s former commanders would state, “like all wars, ours was for territory — not because of some ‘human rights’ problem!” Nevertheless, skilled Albanian propagandists were able to portray the war as a Kosovo redux — another struggle for human rights waged by an oppressed people…
Five prison guards have been charged with aiding Saturday’s break-out, and four other people have been arrested on suspicion of providing covering fire for the escape outside the prison walls with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.
The United Nations, which has around 1,300 police officers in the province, has no direct role at the prison. But the escape is an embarrassment for the mission and the 16,000-strong NATO-led peace force.
One of those who broke out was armed with a pistol, while another was making his seventh escape from prison. A Kosovo police spokesman acknowledged the convicts might already have slipped across the province’s porous borders into neighbouring Macedonia, Montenegro or Albania.
Jakupi’s task is said to be preparing the grounds for Macedonia’s destabilization in the event of Kosovo’s partition. Apparently, a large amount of money has been collected for the implementation of this scenario, which is also supported by political entities in Kosovo and Macedonia.
Two more incidents shook our northern border in the Kosovo area this month. Gosince police station came under attack in early August, while arms from the same station were stolen several days later…Unofficially, a few days prior to these incidents, the security services had noticed movement of two uniformed groups in that area.
In the Sunday Times piece, a spokesman for something called the Foreign and Commonwealth Office “rejected suggestions that the break-out would disrupt further the international search for a solution to Kosovo’s status but said that the incident showed the urgency of progress to end the impasse over its future.”
Let’s briefly examine this statement. Whereas some of us rational folks suspected that as the Albanians got closer to their goal of independence this year, and another Albanian state — even a partitioned one — was within their reach, they’d pull “a Palestinian” by sabotaging their goal via violence at the last minute. Well, the latter part of the prediction came true — the violence — but not the sabotage. Yes, they’re amping up the violence, but they’re not sabotaging anything — just the opposite: they’re getting the international community to hurry up and give them what they want. Which means they pulled the classic Palestinian: As you get closer to your goal, you reject it coming from the internationals and you start Intifadah 2 — and double the media’s and internationals’ sympathy.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here