In a statement issued on Thursday, Kosovan police said that 18 people were arrested in the Balkan nation and six more across both Albania and Macedonia. Police said explosive devices, weapons, electronic equipment and a drone were recovered.
According to police, the groups were coordinated by two Albanians who are part of IS in Syria.
Police said the suspects were in contact with an IS member, the self-declared “commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq”, Lavdrim Muhaxheri, from whom they received orders to attack.
The statement said that the cell was “planning to commit terrorist attacks in Kosovo and also [an attack] against the Israeli football team and their fans during the Albania-Israel match.” It also referred to “synchronised terrorist attacks”.
Albania moved the World Cup qualifying match with Israel on Saturday from the northern city of Shkoder, to a venue near the capital Tirana due to fears of a possible attack by militants. Israel won Saturday’s match 3-0.
At least 200 people have been detained or investigated in Kosovo over their alleged links with ISIS in recent years.