From: Alice Taylor
US State Department: Some Progress Against Terrorism Despite “Poorly Functioning Justice System” and “Corruption”

The US State Department has noted that “corruption and barriers to information sharing among government agencies, insufficient intra-agency coordination, and a poorly functioning judicial system, continue to hinder Albania’s law enforcement efforts at all levels.

The remarks were made as a part of the 2019 Country Report on Terrorism, compiled by the Department.

Despite these issues, they found that law enforcement had increased efforts to counter potential terrorist threats through close cooperation with US agencies and INTERPOL. There were also “several successful interdictions of known or suspected terrorists.” It noted the alleged foiling of a potential attack planned by Iranian agents against MEK members living in Albania

Current threats to the country include FTFs returning from Syria and Iraq, Albanian youth being radicalised, and the threat of Iran against the controversial residence of Iranian opposition group MEK in Manze near Durres.

The Department noted that Albania was continuing to take steps to enhance border security, to detect and deny entry to terrorists and comply with international standards to improve the screening of air passengers.

In terms of Countering the Financing of Terrorism, the Department reported that Albania has scored 

‘low effectiveness” in three immediate areas including confiscation, terrorist finance investigation and prosecution, and proliferation finance sanctions. While in June 2019, the government enforced legislation to combat this, the report said further regulations and actions need to be taken so it can actually be implemented effectively.