AP NEWS

North Macedonia: 7 plead guilty to joining, fighting for IS

March 20, 2019

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Officials in North Macedonia say seven of the country’s nationals have pleaded guilty to joining the Islamic State group and fighting with it in Syria and Iraq.

The North Macedonian prosecutor’s office said late Tuesday the men on trial in a Skopje criminal court were arrested last August in Syria by members of the international coalition fighting IS.

They were subsequently handed over to North Macedonian law enforcement agencies.

All were charged with membership of an extremist group, while one also allegedly recruited for IS.

If convicted, they face up to five years in jail.

The prosecutor’s office said verdicts will be announced on Thursday.

North Macedonian authorities say more than 130 of the country’s nationals have joined IS. The predominantly Orthodox Christian Balkan state has a large Muslim minority.