Skip to comments.Al-Qaida's Jihad in Europe : The Afghan-Bosnian Network
Posted on 03/31/2004 6:33:16 PM PST by Destro
Al-Qaida's Jihad in Europe : The Afghan-Bosnian Network
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288pp bibliog, index
Evan F. Kohlmann Senior Terrorism Analyst, The Investigative Project, Washington, DC
Why did so many of the September 11th hijackers spend time in Germany? How did terrorist sleeper cells plant themselves in cities like London, Paris, Rome, and Hamburg? What exactly is Al Qaidas connection to Europe? This is the first book to uncover the secret history of how Europe was systematically infiltrated by the ranks of the most dangerous terrorist organization on earth, as told by the terrorists themselves and the daring investigators who have tirelessly tracked them over the past decade.
Terrorist analyst Evan F. Kohlmann argues that the key to understanding Al Qaidas European cells lies in the Bosnian war of the 1990s. Using the Bosnian war as their cover, Afghan-trained Islamic militants loyal to Osama bin Laden convened in the Balkans in 1992 to establish a European domestic terrorist infrastructure in order to plot their violent strikes against the United States. As the West and the United Nations looked on with disapproval, the fanatic foreign 'mujahideen', or holy warriors, wreaked havoc across southern Europe, taking particular aim at UN peacekeepers and even openly fighting with Bosnian Muslims at times. Middle Eastern religious and charitable organizations, largely based in and funded from the Arabian Gulf, were responsible for bankrolling this effort, and providing travel documentation for would-be mujahideen recruits.
The 1995 Dayton Accords which brought a final, merciful end to the Bosnian war did nothing to deter the unwavering mission of the 'Afghano-Bosniaks'. Within a few months, home-grown terrorist sleeper cells appeared on the streets of Europes cities. Many of the cell members responsible for some of the most notorious terrorist attacks of the past decade spent their formative years waging jihad in the unlikely Muslim land of Bosnia.
Al-Qaidas Jihad in Europe unveils a new angle to the deadly international terrorist organization and includes recently declassified American and European intelligence reports, secret Al-Qaida records and internal documents, and interviews with notorious figures such as London-based Bin Laden recruiter Abu Hamza Al-Masri.
'Kohlmann's book is pathbreaking. Unlike other specialists, he examines both the Afghan and Balkan theatres. In his passion for high quality research, he places himself at high risk - he comes face-to-face with terrorist ideologues and operatives. He provides us unprecidented insights into the current threat facing the West. It is a must-read to understand the contemporary wave of terrorism.' Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside Al Qaeda and Head of Terrorism Research, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Singapore
Of course! Now I realize why Ronly Bonly bin Laden would never tell us which unit he supposedly served with over there, it wasn't an American unit but a mujahadeen one!
There is more:
* Mohammed Haydar Zammar, the man who recruited key 9-11 hijacker, Mohammad Atta, to the Al-Qaeda network, based his terrorist activities in Bosnia. Zammar also brought two of Atta's lieutenants into the Al-Qaeda network, namely Ramzi Binalshibh and Said Bahaji.
By M. Bozinovich
Evan Kohlmann's book on Al-Qaeda in Bosnia will, in all likelihood, become an unspoken taboo by the journalists and the media because it renders many of them idiots, particularly the ones who have invested a vast effort in manufacturing a romantic image of Bosnian Muslims struggling for "national" independence and, perhaps intentionally, ignoring the Bosnian hospitality to the al-Qaeda seeking to establish a stronghold in Europe. With only one brief big media mention, Kohlmann's Al-Qaeda's Jihad In Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network is already showing signs, much like the Cees Wiebes' book on spies in Bosnia, that any research on al-Qaeda in Bosnia is a mortal violation of the manufactured wisdom and thus deserving of a blackout in the media.
'I found there was much sympathy for the Bosnian Muslims, especially among journalists; and sometimes I think there is an inclination to silence things that do not fit with their view of the war.' concludes Cees Wiebes who's Intelligence and the War in Bosnia 1992-1995 explores a vast body of facts, including confidential interviews with high-level diplomats and military personnel whose stories question many of the prevailing dogma about that war. 'Some people seem pissed off that I did not take sides over the war in Bosnia. I suppose I was more interested in reporting all of the facts.'
While Wiebes' book examines multinational archives and had an unprecedented access to them because of the diplomatic stamp his Dutch government gave to him (in the interest of finding the truth on Srebrenica), Kohlmann's effort is more modest! The author examines virtually every public document where the word Bosnia is even remotely mentioned and attempts to make a comprehensible whole. Kohlmann connects, superbly, all the al-Qaeda publicly known dots on Bosnia and makes a readable whole of it. His references and bibliography, for example, are just as interesting as the narrative they produce.
Narrative of the Bloody
Whereas Wiebes describes how Iran, and other Muslim states, helped bring al-Qaeda to Bosnia under the watchful eye of Clinton whose policy of 'no instruction' on this matter in effect approved of it, Kohlmann does not shy away from narrating what these blood thirsty killers for Allah actually did in Bosnia.
- In 1992 a 13-year old Croatian was stopped by three al-Qaeda killers who cut off the ring finger of the boy's right hand.
- An American surgeon from California found that irregular Muslim soldiers, including al-Qaeda... routinely performed crude, disfiguring, non-medial circumcision of Bosnian Serb soldiers.
- In 1993, al-Qaeda seized a Croat village of Miletici and proceeded to slaughter the villagers. One survivor, an 83-year-old Pavolic recalled the massacre, as 'their blood gushed out, it was collected in a bowl and ladled back over their heads as they died.'
- Videotapes circulate in Bosnia of the 'interrogation' of Serb prisoners that show them being held like animals and starved for days... Serb detainees were given knifes and ordered to kill each other... 'once they fell from wounds, Mujahadeen would decapitate them, with cleavers and chainsaws, and those who were still alive were forced to kiss severed heads that were later nailed to the tree trunks. Videos of these executions were sold in the store of the Zavidovici municipal "Cultural Hall."
Based in Zenica, the al-Qaeda members initially joined the Bosnian Muslim army on the ad-hoc basis but later were reorganized as a special, all-foreigners, unit within the Bosnian Muslim army. According to many sources cited by Kohlmann, the al-Qaeda was supported by the Bosnian government and was dully given Zenica's large Vatrostalna Factory building as a base for their training and other terrorist operations.
The city of Zenica was also a host to the unidentified inbound military flights that were loaded with military supplies for the Bosnian Muslims, thus presumably this al-Qaeda unit also received some of it. Cengic family that Wiebes describes as mafia with deep connections with Iranian intelligence controlled the airfield. Wiebes mentions anonymous Pentagon sources confidently citing General Wesley Clark as a concerned general on a phone daily with Bosnian Muslim general in Sarajevo going over intelligence debriefings on these matters as well as general daily military matters.
Bosnian leadership was so confident in its aid and comfort to the al-Qaeda that the Muslim President Alija Izetbegovic arrogantly dismissed all of the Washington's pressure to remove the Jihadists.
Illustrates Kohlmann: "... Richard Holbrooke was dispatched on an urgent diplomatic trip to Bosnia... Holbrooke met with [Muslim] President Alija Izetbegovic in Sarajevo to stress 'the absolute critical need' for the Bosnian government to remove any vestiges" of mujahadeen. Clinton suggested that Muslims would lose $200 million in aid if they don't and Izetbegovic nodded and understood the American concern.
By late 2000, the "Clinton administration was presented with a classified... report on the Bosniak issue; it warned of a problem of such size and scope that it 'shocked everyone'" so Albright was dispatched to talk to Izetbegovic and in 10 to 12 meetings with him, recounts a State Department official, he was told that "the entire U.S.-Bosnia relationship will change from friends to adversaries" if foreign mujahadeen is not removed out of Bosnia.
Izetbegovic later turned up in Zenica to preside over a Bosnian army military parade where "10,000 Bosnian troops and several allied 'elite units' (including foreign mujahadeen) marched in front of Izetbegovic and his commanders shouting Allahu Akhbar! and 'American tanks will not scare us!" Later, Izetbegovic wrote an angry letter to his senatorial friends, Bob Dole and Joseph Lieberman, that it is "incompatible with the moral principles of our people to expel the people [al-Qaeda] who fought on our side.
So much for Clinton's attempts to remove al-Qaeda out of Bosnia.
"Ultimately," wisely concludes Kohlmann, "American and European demands for the Bosnians to cast out their former Arab-Afghan allies went substantially unfulfilled until even after 11 September 2001. By then it was already too late - generations of new foreign mujahadeen were given safe haven, training, financing and ideological inspiration by supposedly demobilized Al-Qaeda fighters hiding in Bosnia."
Despite the overwhelming evidence that the democratically elected Bosnian Muslim government gave aid and comfort to Al-Qaeda, Kohlmann capriciously attempts to disassociate this guilt by citing a rather inconsequential and often ridiculous statements that Bosnian Muslims are not guilty of shielding al-Qaeda because they are European and, for example, Bosnian Muslims drink liquor and want to have sex with European girls.
A typical ridiculous example of this whitewash is the quote at the beginning of Chapter 10 that cites a Bosnian Muslim soldier as saying "We are European. I love to drink and I like seeing women in mini-skirts." ... a condescending definition of the European culture as drunk perverts as much as it is ridiculous.
Author's choice of condescending quotes of these type are compounded by his choice of repetitive paraphrase of a "Balkan expert" Stephen Schwartz as a supposed final authority on the matters Balkan. Schwartz, whose wife was a prostitute, is an ex-Trotskyite Jewish convert to Islam now calling himself Suleyman Ahmad and has made solemn vows to Islimicize Bosnia and Kosovo: "As I have told others, the remainder of my years will be dedicated to service of Allah. I have personally pledged to do all I can to help rebuild the masajid of Bosnia and Kosova. writes this Balkan expert who is also keen on concealing his Muslim identity from the public.
Despite the unfortunate that Kohlmann mars its potent analytical narrative with dubious analysts and inconsequential quotes, an astute reader should be able to conclude that Clinton chose a wrong ally in Bosnia, that he did not do anything to prevent the metastasis of al-Qaeda in Europe and his policy of 'no instruction' was in effect a pro-terrorist favor to Osama bin Laden whose terrorist network now includes the Balkans.
Richard Clarke's statement at the back cover of the Kohlmann's book should instead read: "The definitive account of a battle Al-Qaeda" hasn't lost yet, in "their attempt to add Bosnia and Kosovo to their Caliphate."