Kosovo cuts water supplies after ISIL ‘poison’ plot

Arrest of five men prompts halt on water supplies, but tests find no evidence of toxic contamination.

Kosovo police officers escort a man suspected of having fought with Islamist insurgents in Syria and Iraq as they arrive at a court in Pristina
Kosovo arrested more than 40 people last year suspected of planning to travel to Syria [Reuters]

Authorities in Kosovo have cut off water supplies to tens of thousands of people in the capital Pristina after an alleged plot by supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group to poison supplies.

Officials from the city’s water board said supply was cut early on Saturday “because of security issues” and that supplies had been tested for suspicious substances.

Al Jazeera Balkans reported that the tests carried out by the Kosovo Institute for National Health had detected no sign of toxic content.

The move follows the arrest of five people linked to ISIL, who were accused of planning to poison a reservoir, according to the Reuters news agency. 

Kosovo moves to stop Syria volunteers

Police say officers patrolling the Badovac reservoir saw three of the men, whose identities have not been revealed, behaving suspiciously. The reservoir supplies almost half of Pristina, a city of more than 200,000 people. Another two suspects were arrested elsewhere in Kosovo. 

Kosovo has been on a heightened state of alert in recent weeks after Kosovan members of ISIL appeared in propoganda videos alongside other members from the Balkans warning of attacks against targets including water supplies.

“If you can, take poison and put it in their meal or in their drink. Make them die, make them die of poisoning, kill them wherever you are…you can do it,” one man is heard imploring ISIL supporters.

Kosovo arrested more than 40 people in August last year to prevent them from joining factions fighting in the civil war in Syria.

Between 100 to 200 Kosovans are believed to be fighting with ISIL in Syria and Iraq, including prominent member Lavdrim Muhaxheri, who has appeared in a number of ISIL videos. 

Lavdrim Muhaxheri appeared in an ISIL propoganda video burning his Kosovan passport [YouTube]
Lavdrim Muhaxheri appeared in an ISIL propoganda video burning his Kosovan passport [YouTube]
Source: Al Jazeera, Reuters