Seven Macedonian citizens, who were detained while fighting in ISIS, pleaded guilty at the trial that began today in Skopje.
Little is known about the group, which was handed over to Macedonia last August, after being captured in the Middle East by US led coalition forces. They are charged under the law Macedonia adopted at the peak of the ISIS Caliphate, meant to criminalize joining foreign military forces.
– The defendants left the territory of the Republic of Macedonia with the intent of joining paramilitary formations and undertook training in Syria, and participated as ISIS fighters in battles in Syria and Iraq, the Skopje court cited the charges today, to which the group plead guilty.
On top of participating in ISIS, the group also secured funding and tried to recruit additional fighters online. It is estimated that some 150 Macedonian citizens, most of them ethnic Albanians, joined ISIS, and that several dozens of them were killed in battle.