Risk assessment on national security and the state’s/civil society’s ability to counter the emergence of religious radicalism and violent extremism in Albania

The Albanian Institute of International Studies (AIIS), with the support of the Open Society Foundation (OSF) in Albania, is developing a policy-oriented research analysis on the emergence of religious radicalism and extremism in Albania. This risk assessment and analysis aims at advancing a series of recommendations to relevant stakeholders, such as government agencies, civil society and religious institutions, as means of initiating countering violent extremism (CVE) programs to prevent the rise of religious radicalism and violent extremism in Albania. With the emergence of the Islamic State (a.k.a ISIS or ISIL), recruitment of foreign fighters in the name of a global ‘jihad’ has gained tremendous attention from the international community during this past year. According to initial intelligence, it is believed that there are over 150 Albanian citizens and over 200 ethnic Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia who have joined terrorist organizations, most notably ISIS, in response to the call for a global jihad in Syria and Iraq.