Text of report by Zija Miftari entitled "ShPK without comment on allegations about Kosova serving as transit country for Al-Qa'idah" published by Kosovo Albanian newspaper Koha Ditore on 21 April
Prishtina [Pristina], 20 April: The Kosova [Kosovo] Police Service [ShPK] refuses to comment on whether the Al-Qa'idah terrorist organization has been using Kosova as a transit country, as the CIA said in a recent analysis, published by the US Associated Press.
On Thursday [20 April], ShPK spokeswoman Sabrije Kamberi said that this was a matter for the intelligence services and that the police did not comment on it. "Because such reports involve intelligence and security activities, we do not comment on them until a suspect is arrested," she said.
Kamberi explained that no one suspected of being connected to the Al-Qa'idah organization had been arrested as yet. She said that the ShPK expected the public to help with information about terrorists.
"Now and again, the police receive information from the public and we continue to encourage them to provide us with information," she said.
According to the analysis by the CIA and the Croatian intelligence agency, published by the Associated Press, extremists financed by narcotics smuggling have tried to move into Western Europe from Afghanistan via Turkey, Kosova and Albania.
The CIA's 252-page analysis says terrorists have been taking advantage of the poorly guarded borders and relatively fragile security to move and meet freely and perhaps even to plan attacks on other parts of Europe.
The ShPK has a special department for securing the borders and ShPK officials say it has been doing its job well.
The ShPK information officer said that there had been cases of people attempting to leave Kosova illegally through border crossing points, Prishtina's international airport and "mountain routes". Kosovars usually try to leave the country via the airport with false passports, visas or other documents, she explained.
"Those Kosovars who are caught attempting to leave the country with false documents are held by the police until their files are prepared for the courts and they are later released in consultation with the prosecution authorities," Kamberi said.
Police say they have no difficulty in verifying the identity of Kosovars with false papers. "The identity of a person using false documents is verified by fingerprints," Kamberi said.
Every person who has an identification card in Kosova is obliged to give fingerprints when providing the personal information required for the ID and these are registered in a database. According to Kamberi, the police possess this database.
As for foreigners who are caught attempting to enter Kosova illegally, they are refused entry and returned to their home country. But the police official did not explain how the police identify someone caught in Kosova with a false passport from another country.
The joint analysis of the CIA and Croatian intelligence service says that the Algerian connection is the strongest in the Balkans and mentions the Bensyah Belkacem case, where an Algerian with Bosnian citizenship, who is being held in detention by the US Army in Guantanamo, is suspected of making some telephone calls to Abu Zubaydah, head of operations in Afghanistan and an associate of Bin-Ladin.