IBNA Exclusive/Document of the Albanian government: Albania is threatened by religious extremism

IBNA Exclusive/Document of the Albanian government: Albania is threatened by religious extremism

Tirana, 13 July 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

Albanian authorities fear possible religious based terrorist attacks, due to the country’s being a full member of NATO and due to the fact that it contributes for peace and global security by sending its military troops in war zones such as Iraq, Afganistan, etc.

These claims are made in the document “Military Strategy in the Republic of Albania”, which IBNA has secured in full and is bringing it to you in detail.

This strategy is confirmed to have passed in the Albanian parliament and has been approved in the form of a law on Albania’s military strategy.

The document suggests that “its geographical position exposes Albania to threats that stem from instability in the Middle East and North Africa”.

“The penetration of political conflicts and especially religious based conflicts, different traffics and illegal migration remain a key challenge for the security of the country”, reads the document that IBNA brings to you.

The document also suggests that due to NATO’s accession, Albania fears religious terrorism. “Albania is exposed to the possible threat of a terrorist attack as a result of it being a NATO member and its contribution for peace and global security”.

According to the document, ideological, religious or nationalist extremism fuels terrorist activities.

Albanian authorities also identify other problems amid the population: “Extreme ideologies are fueled by ignorance, poverty, lack of state services and the many regional and international ties. These causes offer the necessary groups for the recruitment of vulnerable individuals, who get involved in international conflicts. Due to its expansionist tendency, extremism can threaten cohesion and values of the Albanian society and the region”, the report suggests, revealing the government’s strategy which has been approved in parliament, which in turn is largely controlled by the left wing.

The document suggests that the conventional threat to Albania, is not exempted, although it has gone done significantly. “Due to the obligations stemming from article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, Republic of Albania can be involved in a conventional conflict in cases when independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country or of any of the allies is threatened. The developments in the Alliance’s borders, the misuse of national minorities for political purposes and change of borders in violation with international law, show the existence of this threat”, Albania’s Military Strategy says.

Terrorism is a serious and direct threat for security, stability and international stability.

Religious and criminal extremist groups continue to spread in different areas of the globe, they exploit areas lacking stability and failed countries, turning into a potential threat for security.

Modern technology of information and the possibility of terrorist access to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons have increased the threat of terrorist attacks.

Based on these suspicions, which are identified by many countries of the world and media, the document of the Albanian government warns that “regional tensions affected by other ideological, political religious and cultural factors can inspire extremist groups, which aim at spreading extremist ideologies and the undertaking of terrorist acts in the Euroatlantic area, including Republic of Albania”. The document also illustrates the fact that “the latest developments in the southern wing of the Alliance make terrorism a threat which is present for both Albania and the member countries of the Alliance”.

On a regional level, the Military Strategy assesses that the Balkan region has entered the path of European and Euroatlantic integration, with all the complex political, nationalist dynamic, ethnic tension and the existence of other phenomena such as extremism, corruption, organized crime and illicit traffics, which can act as possible causes for instability.

“The Balkan region remains a crossing point toward Europe for illegal migrants, narcotics, weapons, ammunition and explosives, targeted by terrorist, extremist or criminal terrorist groups inside or outside of the region. The countries of the region are engaged in guaranteeing the rights of different ethnic groups, but as a result of the economic crisis, political polarization, the growth of nationalist sentiments and lack of trust, can spark tension and cross ethnic violence, which can have consequences for the region. Organized regional crime, corruption and oligarchic interests threaten the stability of the region. The consolidation of these elements which have an extremist tendency can threaten peace, stability and security in the region”, suggests the government document.

Based on these arguments, the government says that the reform in the security system and defence aim at further consolidating respective institutions.

In this context, Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania will back the reforms of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Albania for their further modernization and consolidation, in order to fulfill the constitutional mission.

The military strategy was reviewed for the last time in 2007. 8 years later, the state changed the document. According to the law, this strategy must be reviewed after five years and depending on the developments of national security and international environment. /ibna/