Regional Terrorism | Database
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Regional Terrorism and Foreign Fighters

Database

The Terrorism and Foreign Fighters Database, developed by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, contains information about all convictions for domestic terrorism in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as verdicts from trials of people accused of going to fight in the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, from 2010 until the end of 2020.

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Location of trial
Total cases
Location of crime
Sentence total
Bosnia and Herzegovina
45
Domestic16
Syria28
Ukraine1
176years
Albania
12
Domestic3
Syria9
146years
Serbia
23
Syria7
Ukraine16
70years
Montenegro
2
Syria1
Ukraine1
1years
North Macedonia
29
Domestic11
Syria18
164years
Total
111
Domestic30
Syria63
Ukraine18
556years
Balkan States Find Prosecuting Terrorism a Challenge
Haris Rovčanin, Fatjona Mejdini, Samir Kajošević, Xhorxhina Bami, Siniša Jakov MarušićPodgorica, Priština, Sarajevo, Skoplje, Tirana

Since the mid-1990s, more than 200 people have been sentenced to more than 1,100 years in prison in six Western Balkans countries for terrorist acts, or for leaving to fight in a foreign war, according to BIRN analysis.

But their record of sentencing is uneven, and experts interviewed by BIRN say each country faces significant challenges in dealing with foreign fighters and their families who have returned, or are expected to return.

More than 160 fighters have been jailed for joining the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, part of a wave of foreign fighters from the Balkans that prompted Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Montenegro to outlaw such actions in 2014 and 2015. Kosovo and Serbia have sentenced the largest number of foreign fighters, while Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia have had the most convictions for domestic terrorism.

Albania has yet to convict any returning foreign fighter in the second instance. There have been no final verdicts for domestic terrorism in Montenegro, according to BIRN’s findings.

About
The Terrorism and Foreign Fighters Database

The Terrorism and Foreign Fighters Database, developed by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, contains information about all convictions for domestic terrorism in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as verdicts from trials of people accused of going to fight in the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

The database also contains a case-by-case overview which includes photographs and videos, utilising BIRN’s extensive coverage of these cases, as well as a resource centre which offers video explainers and PDF booklets on how to report on violent extremism and terrorism.

This database was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its content is the sole responsibility of BIRN and does not necessarily reflects the views of the European Union nor of Hedayah.
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