Albania charges Iranian man for alleged terror links

April 1, 2022 GMT

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian prosecutor’s office said Friday it has charged an Iranian man of supporting terror organizations and abusing computer data.

The Special Structure Against Corruption and Organized Crime, a prosecutor’s office in charge of special crimes and those committed by senior officials, said the case against Bijan Pooladrag has been sent to the court. The statement did not give more details on the defendant or when he was arrested.

More than two years ago, Albania expelled two Iranian diplomats for allegedly engaging in illegal activities while violating their diplomatic status and threatening the country’s security.

The Iranians were suspected of illegal activities related to a World Cup qualifying match between Albania and Israel in 2018. About 20 people were arrested in Albania and Kosovo following that match, which officials say was threatened by an alleged terrorist plot.

Albania is also home to more than 2,000 members of the Iranian exile opposition group Mujahedin el-Khalk, which moved there from Iraq.