Kosovo Rescues Boy Whose Jihadi Dad Took Him to Syria

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SLATINA, Kosovo - An 8-year-old boy from Kosovo was reunited with his mother late on Wednesday after intelligence and security forces brought him back from Syria where he was taken by his jihadi father and kept for five months, officials said. Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said in a statement that Kosovo's Intelligence Agency "successfully located, found and returned" Erion Zena to Kosovo. He said the operation was "complicated and dangerous," but didn't give any further details. It was authorized by Thaci and the country's President Atifete Jahjaga.

A reporter witnessed when the boy was ushered into a waiting room at Pristina's international airport by two men in civilian clothes where his mother Pranvera Zena waited. "It feels like a dream," Pranvera Zena said after the reunion. The boy appeared confused as his mother approached him and hugged him. He then sat on her lap and showed her his toy soldiers and a toy tank. The boy was taken to Syria in June 2014 by his father Arben Zena against his mother's will. The case received wide attention in Kosovo after the boy's mother made a public appeal to her husband to return her son.


- The Associated Press