Thursday, 14 December 2017 | News today: 14

Chavkov: Macedonia would effectively respond to possible terrorist threats

The Republic of Macedonia has established a strong professional structure as part of the Interior Ministry (MoI), which is communicating and sharing information with relevant services in the region and beyond on daily basis. This is in itself a guarantee that Macedonia would effectively prevent or respond to likely terrorist threats, said Interior Minister Mitko Chavkov.

He was asked by journalists whether Macedonia was a possible target for terrorist attacks and whether the country was ready to prevent and, if need be, respond to such an act.

“The prospect of terrorist attack is real. No expertise is needed to come to this conclusion, one simply has to examine the existing indicators. So far, we have demonstrated high professional capacities in tackling terrorist and violent groups in an effective way,” Chavkov stated Thursday at a promotion of 24 new vehicles donated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to the Border Police.

According to him, the whole society needs to be mobilized as part of the national strategy for prevention and fight against terrorism. The situation in Europe and beyond, the Minister added, indicates that there’s no room to be elaborating these issues and to be improvising, instead concrete preparations for a possible terrorist attack have to be made, because they are very much real.

“There have been cases in the past involving violent extremism or terrorism, and the public was duly informed about all police actions responding to these cases. There have been court procedures and closed court cases involving terrorist attacks in Macedonia. Last year, a case was processed as regards foreign fighters who have joined IS in Syria or participated in conflicts elsewhere in the region. This year, the cases codenamed Cell 1 and 2 are still active and they cover several individuals who have returned from Syria, and individuals who have assisted in recruiting foreign fighters. All of these cases point out that threats from individuals or from a group are real in Macedonia. However, these threats cannot be always predicted, they are changeable and complex threats, which cannot be predicted on time,” elaborated Minister Chavkov.