State prosecutors filed criminal charges against a 20 year old man from Skopje who is suspected of “participating in a foreign army”. This article in the Criminal Code is used against Macedonian citizens who participated in ISIS and similar Islamist groups.

The man is identified as A.B., and he was in touch with one Macedonian citizen who is now in Syria and with one returnee. He discussed his plan to join the Jabhat al Nusra islamist group and was preparing to travel to Syria.

A.B. went to Turkey in November 2019 and tried to cross the border into Syria on November 6, where he was detained by Turkish police and sent to a deportation camp. He was returned to Macedonia and is now detained in Skopje.

It’s estimated that some 150 Macedonian citizens, most of them ethnic Albanian Muslims, have joined ISIS and similar islamist groups during the Syrian civil war.