Skip to comments.Terrorism and the Western Balkans Al-Qaeda’s Global Network and its influence on Western Balkans
Posted on 07/25/2004 12:47:00 PM PDT by Darko
New book with the title: "Global Network of Islamic Fundamentalist - Modus operandi-Model Bosnia"
Countries of the Western Balkans have long been a target of Islamic fanatics aiming to create an opening for radical Islam to expand into Western Europe and the US. Cross-border cooperation of Islamic terrorists and extremists reveals much about the structure of their organization, their goals, and their methods. The biggest terrorist attack in history, September 11, was undertaken with the assistance of Islamic extremists directly or indirectly linked to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Keywords: terrorism, Al-Qaeda, Islamic extremists, humanitarian organizations, global network, Islamic fanaticism;
Introduction One should not look at the contemporary world for the roots of terrorism used as a means of fighting by Islamic extremists. Though it can be said that contributing causes of Islamic terrorism are social and economic circumstances and the ideological replacement of Communism by Islamic fanaticism, the main cause motivating Islamic fanatics for centuries has been the establishment of a global Islamic state - the Ummah. In this way, Islam itself has been abused as an excuse for the fanatics ambitions. There is also the issue of misinterpreting the Koran, mostly by those Muslims who publicly declare Islam a religion of peace while in private dedicate themselves to the pan-Islamic cause that simply excludes the existence of others. Among those who engage in religious manipulation without hindrance indeed, with approval of the highest religious authorities are terrorists of the Al-Qaeda network. Bosnian Muslims religious authorities and the international community ought to be very concerned that Al-Hussein Hilmi Arman Ahmad, a.k.a. Eslam Durmo, was at the head of 16 madrassahs during the Bosnian civil war, and six afterwards. He was identified as the ideological leader of the radical Islamic Wahhabi movement in Islamic terrorist circles. According to official Egyptian sources, Eslam Durmo is actually Al-Hussein Hilmi Arman Ahmad, born 14 January 1960 in Cannae. Egyptian authorities suspect him of felonies such as document forgery and the 1997 terrorist attack in Luxor. Durmo is also indicated as an associate of Osama bin Laden. As a member of El-mujahid unit of the Bosnian Army, which connected to heinous war crimes and atrocities against civilians and POWs, Durmo published a religious instruction book, titled Ideas that need to be corrected (Shvatanja koja treba ispraviti). This pamphlet was printed by the Kuwaiti so-called humanitarian NGO Islamic Thought Revival. What could this man, with a criminal past and terrorist ties, teach Bosnian Muslim youth about religion? Who allowed him to engage in religious instruction at all? The answer is not so elusive when one considers that many governments, Iran most of all, share Eslam Durmos opinions and beliefs. Former Iranian leader and president Ayatollah Khomeini publicly advocated Iranan leadership of a global Islamic revolution. In Qom, on 14 January 1980, reviewing a company of 120 Pakistani officers training for terrorism and sabotage operations, he said: We are in a war against infidels. Take this message with you I ask all Islamic nations, all Muslims, all Islamic armies and all presidents of Muslim nations to join the Holy War. There are many enemies that need to be killed or destroyed. Jihad must triumph. A religious leader, a terrorist or both? Long before anyone else, Khomeini began to attack Western targets with suicide bombers. He trained extremists to practice suicide attacks in Lebanon. Thousands of young Muslims from around the world were trained for suicide attacks at the Besheshita camp near Karay, west of Tehran. In addition to men, some 300 women were trained at this camp, under the instruction of Zahra Rahneward. There were many other camps for military and theological instructions, all in the function of pan-Islamic revolution. Former Iranian leader Khomeini is also the originator of the idea of using airplanes for suicide attacks. In the early 1980s, Iran had ordered a number of PC-7 airplanes for just this purpose. Pilots were sent to North Korea for suicidal training, and sent upon their return ton the newly established Shahid Chamran Airbase near Busheher. Members of these suicide squadrons were called the Pasdaran pilots. Other nations besides Iran have accepted the ideas of Islamic revolution. Initially, the fledgling terrorist network of Islamic extremists operated on two tracks. The first, and legal, relied on Islamic organizations such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the World Islamic League (RABITA) and Islamic Committee for Palestine, who practiced influence through mutual solidarity, financial aid and a network of connections in Western Europe and the US. The other, and illegal, focused on achieving the fundamental ideas of the Ummah through extremist groups practicing violence and terror, with the help of terrorism-sponsoring governments and the aforementioned organizations. Such groups were, for example, the Muslim brotherhood and Gamaa al Islamiyya of Egypt, and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) of Algeria. These and other terrorist groups of Islamic extremists help Muslims anywhere in the world who fight for Islamic extremist causes, offering them ideological and military assistance. That some of todays most notorious terrorists took part in the civil wars of the former Yugoslavia especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo-Metohia and the possible conflict in Raska casts a new light on the nature of these conflicts and the true aims of Islamic extremists in the Western Balkans. More alarmingly, these extremists have found military and political support from the West. For example, Issa Abdullah (a.k.a. Abu Abdullah), a naturalized US citizen of Palestinian origin and a Hamas member, who came to B-H to train mujahiddin with other US Special Forces instructors, proceeded to conduct terrorist activities unhindered, with the full knowledge of the Clinton Administration. Other members of Abdullahs group were assembled at a New Jersey mosque, and trained on a private property nearby. Officials who had a key role in bringing in the mujahiddin from North America to Bosnia and the Balkans are: Safet Catovic , Ivica Misic and Muhamed Sacirbey.
Links between 9/11 and the Al-Qaeda network in Bosnia-Herzegovina Officials of the Muslim-Croat Federation in B-H never released any information to the US investigators or lawyers representing the families of 9/11 victims, because such information would cast a new light on the entire B-H conflict. They would have made it obvious that the war was a jihad, a religious war waged against Bosnias Christians by the Islamic extremists. The Interpol office in Wiesbaden, Germany sent a request to the Bosnian authorities on 18 September 2001 to verify the identity of a certain Mr. Atta, who according to their information used to reside in the hamlet of Bakotić, 8 km outside Maglaj, in 1999. Attached to the request was the photo of Mohamed Atta, and a note to verify it through a certain Mehmed Hasanić, a resident of Bakotić. This means Mohamed Atta was trained in B-H; it is known that he left B-H for Hamburg, from where he proceeded to the United States and his ultimate mission to destroy the Twin Towers.
FIVE KEY AL-QAEDA MEMBERS WHO DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY TOOK PART IN 9/11 AND ARE LINKED TO BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA Sheikh Omar abd-al Rahman (convicted of the 1993 attack on the WTC) was connected with the so-called humanitarian organization TWRA, which was a cover for terrorists. Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic made personal guarantees for TWRAs general director and personal friend Elfatih Hassanein, so he could open an account with Die Erste Osterreich Bank in Vienna, Austria in 1993. Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who recruited Mohamed Atta into Al-Qaeda, had a terrorist base in Bosnia. Zammar is also responsible for recruiting two of Attas lieutenants, Ramzi Binalsahib and Said Bahaji. Osama bin Laden received a Bosnian passport from the Embassy in Vienna, Austria. Many other Al-Qaeda members were issued B-H passports, which enabled them to continue their terrorist activities. Abu al-Maali (Abdelkader Mokhtari), a senior Al-Qaeda operative, was stationed in Bosnia until recently. Just a few years ago, US officials used to call him Osama Bin Laden, Jr. Bensayah Belkacem was arrested in Bosnia in October 2001. Numbers saved in his cell phone connected him with at least one top-rank associate of Bin Laden. Al-Qaedas role in radical Islamic activities and events in Bosnia has been frequently mentioned in US media and official government reports since the 9/11 tragedy.
REPORT OF THE JOINT INQUIRY INTO THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 BY THE HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE
Page 131. ..Al-Hazmi first traveled to Afghanistan in 1993 as a teenager and came into contact with a key al-Qaida facilitator in Saudi Arabia in 1994. In 1995, al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar traveled to Bosnia to fight with other Muslims against the Serbs. Al-Hazmi probably came into contact with al-Qaida leader Abu Zubaydah when Zubaydah visited Saudi Arabia in 1996 to convince young Saudis to attend al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan. Sometime before 1998, al-Hazmi returned to Afghanistan and swore loyalty to Bin Ladin. He fought against the Northern Alliance, possibly with his brother Salem, another of the hijackers, and returned to Saudi Arabia in early 1999, [page 138] where, [ ], he disclosed information about the East Africa embassy bombings. Al-Mihdhars first trip to the Afghanistan training camps was in early 1996. (131)
Mohamed Atta lived at Marienstrasse 54 in Hamburg with Bin al-Shibh, Essabar, and Bahaji. Director Tenet testified that, after Bin al-Shibh failed to obtain a U.S. visa, another cell member, Essabar, tried [on two occasions in December 2000] and failed to obtain a visa in January 2001 to travel to Florida while Atta and al-Shehhi were there. Uncorroborated sources report that Essabar was in Afghanistan in late September 2001. Bahaji left Germany on September 3, 2001 for Pakistan. Uncorroborated sources also placed him in Afghanistan in late September 2001.
DCI Tenet testified that Muhammad Heydar Zammar was an acquaintance of members of Attas circle in Hamburg, where Zammar lived. Zammar, a German citizen born in Syria in 1961, was described by DCI Tenet as a known al-Qaida associate, active in Islamic extremist circles since the 1980s, who trained and fought in Afghanistan in 1991 and in Bosnia in 1995 and returned to Afghanistan a number of times between 1995 and 2000.
It has been reported that U.S. and German officials believe that Zammar is a pivotal figure in understanding the genesis of the September 11 attacks. DCI Tenet told the Joint [page 141] Inquiry that Zammar was taken into custody by the Moroccans [ ] when he traveled to Morocco to divorce his wife and that he was moved from Morocco into Syrian custody, where he has remained. It has also been reported that Zammar has provided details about the September 11 attacks to U.S. investigators. According to the DCI, Zammar has said that he met Atta, al-Shehhi, and Jarrah in the late 1990s in Hamburgs al-Qods mosque and he persuaded them to travel to Afghanistan to join the jihad. DCI Tenet testified that Atta may have traveled to Afghanistan for the first
The NSA Director also cautioned in his testimony, If these hearings were about the war that had broken out in Korea or the crisis in the Taiwan Straits that had taken us by surprise or if we had been surprised by a conflict in South Asia or if we had lost an aircraft over Iraq or if American forces had suffered casualties in Bosnia or Kosovo, in any of these cases I would be here telling you that I had not put enough analysts or linguists against the problem. We needed more analysts and linguists across the agency, period. 383 TOP SECRET
Al-Qaedas modern organization based on the Bosnia model The Western Balkans has been a region of interest to Islamic extremists for decades. Numerous Muslims living in the so-called Green Traverse represent both a recruitment pool and a springboard for attacks in Western Europe. Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and the Raska region (a.k.a. Sanjak) are frequently used as Jihads gateway into the European heartland. The notion is not new, only more visible today than ever before. One tactic the Islamic fanatics implemented in the Western Balkans was population warfare. When Muslims are a minority, they seek to increase their numbers through high birthrates sometimes ten times those of the non-Muslim populace. Once they attain a majority in a desired territory, they invoke the popular claim of Islamic fanatics: Allahs law on Allahs land . Thus in mid-1994, the top Bosnian Muslim cleric (Reis-ul-ulema) Mustafa Ceric issued a decree ordering Bosnian Muslim women to bear at least five children . Studies of Islamic extremists activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Balkans in general, their international connections, and the consequences of their political, propaganda and terrorist activities (including war crimes) have provided valuable insights into the global Islamic terror network. According to the available information, the Al-Qaeda network seems to consist of several committees. Every committee is an important link in the chain, engaged at the local, national and international level. International activity includes the recruitment of individuals with substantial political power, which can be used to further Islamic fundamentalist objectives. The Financial Committee has the task to provide the Networks funding. Fundraising methods differ from place to place, but rely mainly on accounts directly or indirectly available to Osama Bin Laden and the funds provided through the wide network of humanitarian organizations which use their charity as a cover for fundraising and recruitment of future terrorists. This committee is also in charge of money transfers . One of its methods is the hawala system, where money and other commodities are transferred directly, without the involvement of banks. Such transactions are virtually impossible to trace. Basic funding derives primarily from the production and distribution of narcotics specifically heroin, which is produced in Afghanistan, then distributed to Western European and US markets through a sophisticated network. One Kosovo Albanian was recently arrested at the Bajakovo border crossing between Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro, in possession of 48 kg of heroin. By and large, Kosovo Albanians are not Islamic fanatics, but as heroin smugglers, they are an important link in Al-Qaedas chain. Profits from the heroin trade are also very difficult to trace. Funds thus obtained are put to use in pursuit of Islamic fanatics darkest aims. Al-Qaeda and other organizations act locally, but think globally. For example, the newly established Islamic terrorist organization, LIVO, whose striking fist is the Uzbekistan Islamic Movement, is pursuing the plan for establishing Islamic states and eventually, the Caliphate in Central Asia, funded and aided by the Financial and the Military committees of Al-Qaeda. The Law and Religion committee focuses on justifying terrorist activities. In conjunction with the Media committee, it promotes the view that everywhere in the world, Muslims are constantly victims, and even when they do commit atrocities, those are fully justified as self-defense and righteous Jihad. The ultimate aim is to foment conflict between all Muslims and the rest of the civilized world. The Media Committee coordinates with the owners of pro-fundamentalist media and activists inside major media outlets to spread Islamic fundamentalist propaganda. The basic function of this Committee is to justify the activities of Islamic fundamentalists. The main weapon is to claim that Muslims are always and everywhere the exclusive victims of violence. Of course, truth is completely different, because the Islamic fundamentalists initiate violence for the purpose of establishing the pan-Islamic Ummah, a theocracy that excludes the existence of other religions. For example, in Kosovo-Metohia Islamic extremists among the Kosovo Albanians, with Al-Qaedas help, have managed to create a perception that the Albanian majority was endangered by the Serb minority. Thanks to the work of the Media Committee, the secession and terrorism of Islamic fundamentalists among the Kosovo Albanians were presented as a struggle for freedom. One of the main objectives of the Islamic fundamentalists global network is to create a perception in the world public opinion that Muslims are always the victims, in order to justify conflict and conquest. Victim status is thus claimed for Kosovo Albanians, their co-religionists in Kashmir, Palestine, Russia (Chechnya), Sudan, Tanzania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Malaysia, East Timor, etc. In addition to recruiting and training the Jihadi suicide bombers, the Military Committee also coordinates, plans, and commands terrorist activities throughout the world. It organizes logistical support for the attacks, sets the objectives and maintains communication with terrorist cells, all for the purpose of accomplishing the ultimate objective a global Islamic state, Ummah, built by jihad and atrocities in the name of Allah. One of the first camps training the members of the global Islamic terror network was in Iran, established by Imam Khomeini personally. The first commander of the camp was Sheik Abbas Golru, a prominent member of the Syrian-run Palestinian terrorist organization al-Saiqa . The NGO Committee coordinates an entire network of NGOs connected by the shared ideals of Islamic fundamentalism and common funding. These organizations often have names that lack any Islamic identification. The goal of these organizations is to infiltrate the civil society of countries such as the US, UK, France and Italy, but also countries such as Tanzania and Nigeria. These NGOs have many purposes, but the main one is to raise funds for Islamic fundamentalists and influence the public opinion of the host countries. Many of these NGOs are cover for Islamic countries intelligence operations. Islamic countries used to have rudimentary intelligence operations, but that situation has changed. They have a defined goal the creation of the Ummah. They have a defined enemy all those who do not follow the Koran, non-Muslims, infidels. They have a defined method of struggle terrorism. This is truly a frightening danger to modern civilization, one the entire world should be concerned about. The Government Committee recruits government officials of target nations, contributes financially and otherwise to the campaigns of recruited elected officials, and coordinates with intelligence services of terrorism-sponsoring nations . This Committee pursues the goal of establishing the Ummah by working through government institutions both nationally and internationally. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is a typical example of how the Islamic fundamentalist network is protected internationally. The organization has over 60 members, and is currently the strongest international voting bloc in the United Nations. It is extremely important to note that every committee can function autonomously. The model depicted above is a basic scheme of Al-Qaeda, which is defined as all organizations serving the cause of Islamic extremists. Al-Qaeda does not have a supreme command, but a supreme objective. Its instructions are what the Islamic extremists believe is contained in the Koran. All this makes Al-Qaeda unpredictable. Only observation and analysis of the committees actions at all levels can explain the consequences of their activities. After several decades of activity worldwide, it is becoming increasingly clear who finances the terrorists, what sort of global propaganda they employ and with whose assistance, and how entire nations are being demonized at Al-Qaedas behest. [Wartime Bosnian Muslim officials] Haris Silajdzic and Muhamed Sacirbey used to pay large sums of money to public relations firms, such as Ruder Finn LLC, to demonize Serbs. It is entirely clear today where this money came from.
The White Al-Qaeda in Bosnia-Herzegovina Information available to experts on international terrorism indicate that B-H is at this time one of the most dangerous countries in Europe, as it represents a nursery for potential Islamic terrorists the so called white or European Al-Qaeda. Money from Islamic countries that is laundered through humanitarian organizations finances the religious education of at least 100,000 young Bosnian Muslims. In addition to such education, which follows the interpretations of Wahhabi Islam, there is another type of training in various officially registered camps throughout the B-H Federation. There, the young and carefully selected Wahhabis attend additional courses in marksmanship, explosives and martial arts. Organizations such as Furqan, the Active Islamic Youth, the Muslim Youth Council and others differing only in name and primary donors, but otherwise interchangeable teach young Muslims computer and Internet skills, so they could establish contacts with their coreligionists worldwide. Knowing all this, the former head of UN Mission in Bosnia Jacques Paul Klein recently said that some 200 mujahiddin in Bosnia did not represent a danger, because they can be easily controlled. Klein knew it would be a lot more difficult to stop the spread of young Bosnian Wahhabis throughout Europe, youths who consider Osama Bin Laden and the mujahiddin role models.
Al-Qaedas Network: Iran to the Balkans, via Turkey Investigation of the recent suicide attacks on British and Jewish targets in Istanbul has shown that some of the terrorists involved had been trained in Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the other hand, Iran has given a new identity to the spiritual leader of Afghan Taliban, Mullah Omar. A few months ago, Iran released from prison several high-ranking Al-Qaeda members, and there are indications they were behind the terrorist attacks in Istanbul. The Iranian regime has long been known as a financier and sponsor of terrorists exported all over the world, especially in the Balkans. It is well known that Iran had sent a Republican Guard unit to B-H, and their secret service (VEVAK) has established and helped train the Bosnian Muslim secret service (AID). One of the key assets of the Iranian intelligence in B-H is Dzemal Merdan, who had undergone military and religious training and become loyal to the ideas of Ayatollah Khomeini. His loyalty was rewarded by appointing him a liaison to foreign mujahiddin. This man is responsible for hundreds of murders of ethnic Croats. Early in the B-H civil war, several dozen Islamic extremists came to B-H with the help of Iran and Merdans coordination. Together with the Cengic clan, Merdan controlled Central Bosnia. Iranian authorities and radical Turkish groups have worked on two fronts. The first was establishing a green traverse in the Balkans, and the second a similar corridor in central Asia, through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and very importantly the Chinese province of Xinyang. Cells of Al-Qaeda were established in all those countries and regions. Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden were involved in setting up the network in the Balkans, along with terrorists from Saudi Arabia. Even the Saudi government funded terrorism, notably through theh High Saudi Committee for Aid to Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose representatives were granted the extraordinary privilege of diplomatic license plates (and the resulting immunity) for their vehicles, in clear violation of existing law. It is assumed that Bosnian authorities had also issued diplomatic passports to the same representatives, but such a contention is almost impossible to verify. One notable link in that chain is Jusuf Halilagić, now Minister of Civil Affairs and Communications for B-H, and a former high-ranking officer of the 3rd Bosnian Army Corps, home of the notorious El-Mujahid unit. Halilagić was the one who drove Abu Hamza, one of the most wanted Islamic terrorists in the world, from Rijeka (Croatia) into Bosnia in 1992, in his private "Zastava 101" vehicle. Halilagic and other Islamic extremists in B-H had long prepared for the arrival of Islamic volunteers from the Middle East, north Africa, south Asia and even Western countries, known as the Afghans. After fighting in Bosnia, certain Arab intelligence agencies started calling these people Bosnians, claiming they were far more dangerous than mere Afghans. Muslim intelligence agencies in Bosnia, such as AID, usually refer to these men as the AA factor, noting their African and Asian origin. Since the beginning of their involvement in Bosnia, Abu Ma'ali (originally from Algeria) was one of the leader of Islamic extremists, and the first commander of the El-Mujahid unit. After the Dayton Peace Accords, it was demanded from Muslim authorities in Sarajevo that Abu Ma ali should leave B-H, because of his connections to Al-Qaeda. According to the Croatian weekly Globus, the celebratory farewell to Abu Maali as he departed for Chechnya was attended by Bakir Izetbegovic, the son of Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic. However, there are also indications that Maali has simply assumed a new identity, with the help of high-ranking Bosnian Muslim officials, and continues to live in the B-H Federation. Abu Ma ali is considered one of the closest associates of the notorious terrorist Abu Talat . The fact that Halilagic is today a member of the Coordinating Task Force for combating terrorism in B-H speaks volumes about the involvement of the Bosnian Muslim leadership with Al-Qaeda. Halilagic was delegated to that post by the Party of Democratic Action, whose founder is the Islamic extremist and war criminal Alija Izetbegovic. Immediately after his death in October 2003, ICTY prosecutors spokesperson Florence Hartmann said that it had been a matter of days before an indictment was issued against Izetbegovic. It remains a mystery why the ICTY had not indicted Izetbegovic in his lifetime, as they had not lacked evidence. There is also a suspicion that this institution is under a strong influence of Islamic nations and interest groups. Nonetheless, Izetbegovic directly participated in the cover-up and reorganization of Al-Qaeda in Bosnia. In the Dayton agreement there was a provision that all mujahiddin would leave Bosnia. That never happened, thanks to the ties between the Islamic terrorist networks and the top leadership of the Bosnian Muslims. Turkish authorities have established the link between the suspects in the Istanbul bombings and the global network of Islamic terrorists. A year before the attacks, the ICNA (Islamic Council of North America) website stated that the greatest enemies of Islam were Jews, Crusaders [i.e. Christians], and especially among those, Russians and Serbs. Consider now the sequence of the attacks first the synagogues (Jews), then the British consulate and bank (Crusaders), followed soon thereafter by a train in Russian. This has all the makings of a clash of civilizations, one that Islamic extremists are trying to impose on the worlds Muslims.
The Al-Qaeda terrorist network in Bosnia-Herzegovina It is little known that Islamic fanatics trained to fight against the Serbs in B-H in camps near Istanbul and Hamburg, Germany, particularly between 1993 and 1995. Notable Al-Qaeda members involved in this operation were: Čupić Murić, Abu el Mani, Ahmed bin Muhamed, Harmas Sami, Abdulah Hadi, Imam Zilfili, Abu Hamza, Mustafa Kamel, Karim Atmani, Faruk Besić, and Abdul Hamid. Osama bin ladens main Balkans liaison, closely connected to the Greek terrorist organization 17 November, is Omar Alawadi. According to some sources, Alawadi is currently in B-H, preparing for action with local extremists and fresh arrivals from Islamic countries. This is information that ought to alarm the Greek government, especially with the upcoming Olympics. The principle along which the terror network is established is very simple. Consider the example of central Asia, where recently a terrorist organization LIVO was established with the help of Iran and Turkish extremist groups. From Uzbekistan, young men were sent for training to Al-Qaeda camps in northern Afghanistan. After returning to their villages, in each village they created a guerrilla unit. These units were then sent to Afghanistan or Iraq to gain the necessary combat experience, so they would some day hopefully initiate an Islamic revolution at home. The same exact pattern occurred in the Balkans. Young men from Kosovo went to Al-Qaeda camps in northern Albania, which were visited by Bin Laden himself (according to reliable information). They returned to Kosovo and organized guerrilla bands in their villages. The same happened in Raska (Sanjak), where Muslim youths went to war in B-H, then returned home, and now present a threat to regional security. Given their international connections, that regional threat can easily become global. The alarming fact is that a complete terrorist network exists in the territory of Serbia and Montenegro, ready to execute any order by the centers of Islamic extremism, while the disinterested Serbia-Montenegro authorities have behaved as if the problem did not exist. An Islamic university was established recently. Some Serbian politicians who applauded that development obviously do not know what lies at the root of the Wahhabi teachings: extremism, spreading of Islam by force. Will Serbia allow its children, Orthodox or Muslim, be taught the language of hate, no matter how attractively packaged? Not so long ago, an association of citizens Furqan was registered in Sarajevo as a non-governmental, non-political organization. Yet one of its goals, as the organizations charter says, is the establishment of B-H as a state ordered under the Sharia and true Islamic values. Headed by Nermin Karačić, Furqan has offices in Zenica, Zavidovići, Konjic, Visoko and Ilija, where the strictest religious (and yes, political) indoctrination of the members takes place. Instructors are lecturers from Islamic universities in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. Among the domestic instructors, one name stands out Nezim-effendi Halilović Muderis, imam of the King Fahd mosque and Islamic center in Sarajevo, and one of the Wahhabi leaders in the B-H Federation. Halilović is considered responsible for war crimes his unit had committed against the Serb civilians in the municipality of Konjic . Interesting as well are the topics of the lectures, or at least their titles: The path of struggle for Islam; Obstacles on the road to Islamic revival; The Islamic state; and Allahs will be done, whatever the infidels do. The paths of Islamic struggle for Furqans students often lead to a camp on Lake Jablanica. As the organizations document indicate, the camp attendees as some of the best, should be proud they were chosen to attend the camp, and they need to justify that honor. Similar camps have been organized in the summer at Crni Vrh and Cerovac hill in Teanj municipality, and on the Bosnia river island near the village of Nemila near Zenica. The same sources indicate that young Islamists have organized several camping trips near Sarajevo, Travnik, Konjic, Jablanica, Bugojno, Bihać, Cazin and Velika Kladua. The campers occasionally become members of the Active Islamic Youth (AIO), another NGO on the American blacklist. The AIO was established in Zenica in October 1995 by the veterans of the notorious unit El-Mujahid. The first president of the organization, which has offices in every Muslim-majority municipality in the B- Federation, was Nedim Haračić. Later that office was held by Ismet Fazlić, Adnan Pezo and Almin Fočo. Activists of AIO can be found among the returning refugees in the Serb Republics border areas, especially in Kotorsko near Doboj, where the AIO is headed by Tahir Halilović, Emir Liinović, Muris Sivčević and Demal Bečić. A strong AIO presence was also noted in the village of Kamenica in Teslić municipality (RS), where the organization is headed by Mithad Topovčić, Esad Stenaklić and Mehmed Cerovac. The current seat of this radical Islamic organization is in the Sarajevo quarter of Bistrik, which explains why the focus of the AIOs efforts has been on the Bosnian capital. In 2000, AIO activists sent anonymous threat letters to representatives of the international community demanding they leave B-H and political opponents of the SDA. Because of the Russian Armys activities against the Chechen separatists and terrorists, AIO also threatened to attack the Russian Embassy in Sarajevo. AIO was one of the organizers of the mass Islamic protests in Sarajevo in May 2002. AIO was also behind the notorious protests against the New Year, and against the arrest of Imad al-Misri, who was extradited to Egypt along with El Sharif Hassan Mahmoud Sad in October 2001 by the FB-H authorities, on charges of terrorism.
After the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, AIO increased the pace of their activities, intent on creating anti-American sentiments among the Bosnian Muslims. The organization recruited volunteers and money for the Taliban in the regions of Tuzla and Zavidovići. But the peak of their activities was surely the protest against the extradition of six arrested Algerians to US authorities in January 2003, which was put together by the member of AIOs inner circle Jasmin Hardau. Also notable were the posters attacking the then-Yugoslav president Vojislav Kotunica on the eve of the Sarajevo summit [of the Stability Pact?].
Humanitarian Terrorists The High Saudi Committee, Al-Haramein and other Islamic charities operating in B-H are the main source of funding for AIO and Furqan. Most of these organizations are donors and cover for international terrorists connected to Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden. One example is Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), an organization whose founder and director, Enam Arnaut, is on trial in the US for direct links Osama bin Laden. Proof of those links was found in 2003 in B-H, during a search of the Bosnian Ideal Future the legal successor of the blacklisted BIF which even kept the same initials. BIF was led by former AID agent, diplomat and Alije Izetbegovićs personal chauffeur, Munib Zahiragić. He is also on trial in Sarajevo, for espionage and illegal possession of AID documents. BIF had offices in Sarajevo and Zenica till the end of 2001, when Arnaut managed to bail out with about $1 million (of about $5 that was laundered through the organization), with the help of his representative Mohammed Anas Talawi. During the war, Arnaut used the money to organize mujahiddin arrivals, their training in camps around Zenica and Teanj, and their eventual transfer to other countries. It is believed that this channel was used for the escape of Abu Mali, a close associate of Bin Laden. Arnaut also helped an Al-Qaeda terrorist Mahmud Salim Mamdouh, a.k.a. Abu Hajr, to escape to Germany. Western sources indicagte Mamdouh was in charge of procuring uranium for nuclear weapons. Abu Hajr was arrested in Germany in 1998, and extradited to the US. Arnaut also collaborated with Muhammad Halifa, a cousin of Osama bin Laden, as well as Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, leader of the terrorist group Hizbi al islami, which took part in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, organized by Sheikh Omar abd-al-Rahman. Two members of the Algerian Group also worked at BIF: Budellah Hajj, a.k.a. Abu Omar, and Mustafa Ait Idir. They were extradited to the US in January 2003. Hajj had arrived to B-H from Pakistan, and also worked for the Egyptian charity Human appeal. Another BIF activist was Hamami Muwafaq, a Syrian convicted in his homeland of membership in the terrorist group Muslim Brotherhood. The High Saudi Committee (HSC) may be difficult to shut down, despite the explicit demands from the US. That organization is under direct patronage of the Saudi royal family, and her activists use the previously mentioned diplomatic privileges, including the 24 vehicles with diplomatic license plates. Furthermore, this is the organization that has channeled the most money into B-H, as the Saudis did not spare the expense of establishing a Sharia state on European soil. In Saudi Arabia, the Committee is officially run by Naser el Saed. His student, Elfatih Hassanein, was a personal friend of Izetbegović and founder of the banned Third World Relief Agency (TWRA) in Vienna. The Bosnian Muslim leadership used the TWRA to import most of the mujahiddin into Bosnia and fund their travel and stay. One of the directors of the HSC Zenica office was Abdul Hadiyu al-Gahtani, who was arrested in 1994 for the abduction of three and murder of one British citizen, employees of the ODA. Mujahiddin, however, organized Gahtanis jailbreak and escape from Bosnia. He was later convicted, in absentia, to 10 years imprisonment. Ahmed Zuhayr, a.k.a. Handala, is another terrorist who worked for the HSC and managed to escape from the Bosnian Muslim authorities. Thus Sudanese, who was mentioned previously, is considered responsible for the murder of UN mission worker William Jefferson in Tuzla. The HSC employed two members of the Algerian Group, Saber Lahmar and Mustafa Abdul Kadr. Lahmar was sentenced to five years for assault on Western aid workers near Zenica, but was pardoned in 1998 by a special decree signed by the Federation president Ejup Ganić. It is believed that Lahmar and Kadr, who later worked at the King Fahd Islamic center in Sarajevo and the Taibah International foundation, were part of the terrorist GIAs European network. In late 2001, a joint operation of SFOR and local authorities resulted in the arrest of Majed Karoub, another employee of the HSC, believed to have worked closely with Lahmar and Kadr. The Global Relief Foundation (GRF), accused in the US of financing terrorist activities, was also active in B-H. The GRF in B-H had relatively modest funds, which did not stop the organization to spend $100,000 for the camp at Lake Jablanica. Among the organizations of interest in the struggle against terrorism are also the Saudi charity Igassa, which smuggled weapons and ammunition into B-H during the war, as well as Al-Muwfaq, whose member Safiq Iyadi (of Tunisia) had made a $.5 million transfer to an account at the SAB Bank in Sarajevo in 1996. Iyadi is on the American blacklist, and his accounts in the US and UK have been frozen. It is believed the money was approved by Salem bin Makhfouz, a relative of Osama bin Laden. Another suspicious organization is the Charity of the Iranian People, which is under control of the VEVAK secret service, and had helped train Islamic terrorists and militants during the war and immediately after Dayton. The aforementioned organizations are just the tip of the iceberg. The phony Islamic charities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, along with the extremists and terrorists, have become returning to B-H after the victory of the SDA in the October 2002 general election.
Other forms of terrorist organization in B-H NGOs that have been clearly identified as conduits for terrorism have begun to reappear in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sometimes they change their names. Some of the most extremists NGOs are the already mentioned Saudi Relief Committee, then Global Islamic Relief, International Aid Organization, Egyptian National Aid, Saudi Islamic Committee and the Islamic Institute. All of these organizations are known to anti-terrorism experts. An additional issue is with the orphans taken to Al-Qaedas terrorist camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina. There are videotapeps, testimonies and documentary evidence of this. One example is the case of Ahmed Zuharir, a.k.a. Handala, whose main contacts in B-H are Omer Stambolic of the Federal police and Haris Silajdzic. This terrorist had the official ID card of the organization called Charitable Community for Orphans, but who was he? Zuharir, a Sudanese, is a member of the terrorist group Gaamaa al Islamyya, and a former member of the El Mujahid unit of the Bosnian Army. He was convicted in absentia by the B-H Federation authorities for a car bombing in western Mostar in September 1997. Other participants in this terrorist attack were Ali Ahmadom al-Hamadom, a.k.a. Ubayda, of Bahrein; naturalized B-H citizen Saleh Negil Ali El-Hil, a.k.a. Abu Yemen; Abdullah baAwr, a.k.a. Husayfa; and Kal-al-Sheif, a.k.a. Suleyman.All are suspected associates of Osama bin Laden. Handala was never caught, because the Bosnian Muslim authorities connections to the global Islamic terror network. So, the Bosnian Muslim authorities headed by the late Alija Izetbegovic entrusted this notorious terrorist with the care of war orphans. Another issue altogether are mujahiddin wives, trained for years in various terrorist camps. Citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina need help, because they cannot fight against this pestilence alone. One should be careful to differentiate the extremists from the Muslim population in general; one of the extremists goals is to foment conflict between all Muslims and modern civilization. This is what the leaders of Al-Qaeda in Kosovo are doing. According to expert information, the top extremists in the area are: Ramush Haradinaj, Hashim Taqi, Ilaz Selimi, Ahmed Krasniqi (Haradinajs enemy), Setmir Krasniqi (organized crime) Muxhar Basha, Snu Lumaj, Ismet Bexhet, Remi Mustafa, Nazmi Bekteshi, Xhimshit Osmani, Ramadan Dermaku, Luzim Aliju i Baylush Rustemi. All are connected to imam Omar Behmen. Their funding comes from various sources, but all have in common the Swiss enterprise called Phoenix, owned by Qazim Osmonaj. Another man worth mentioning is Abdullah Duhayman, a Saudi citizen, the founder of the Islamic Balkan Center Zenica, Bosnia. Duhayman is one of the main contacts and financiers of Ekrem Avdiu of Kosovska Mitrovica, a veteran of the Bosnian war and the founder of UCKs mujahiddin unit Abu Bakr Sadeq. If Turks, who are regarded as secular Muslims, were capable of mounting suicidal terrorist attacks on Turkish shoil, one can only wonder what the Balkans Muslim extremists are capable of. Europe and the world are wondering who the next target might be. New warnings keep coming of impending attacks in Europe and the US, although most terrorist attacks are currently limited to the borderlands. Right now, the most endangered European nation is France, an unwilling host to a strong Islamic movement driven primarily by the Algerian GIA and its network of North African immigrants. Frances commitment to freedom and tolerance has led it to extend tolerance onto some people who do not deserve it. Unless French authorities take preventive measures, the risk of attack is great. Even though France opposed the war on Iraq, many countries that supported the war have property and interests in French territory. Certainly, they have property and interests elsewhere but what other European nation has such a widespread terrorist network? Italy is in danger as well, as it also has a strong terrorist network, focused in Milan. This is confirmed by the recent arrest of four men who were recruiting Islamic militants for Al-Qaeda. Besides, some Italian politicians are supportive of terrorists. Emma Bonino, currently the EU Commissioner for Human Rights, used to be in the management of the NGO No Peace Without Justice. This organization declared Bosnian Muslim militant and war criminal Alija Izetbegović as peacemaker of the year at one time, and has spread false information about the wars in the former Yugoslavia for years, supporting Islamic fanaticism.
In Lieu of a Conclusion The international community is facing a major dilemma concerning the ways and means of combating Islamic extremists. One impediment is that Islamic terrorists use the very sensitive issue of religion to propagate their dark ideas. Fact is that nations that sponsor terrorism, active terrorist cells and the widespread terrorist network whose methods and activities we have tried to describe in this study represent a serious threat to the entire humanity. There is no cure for this kind of evil save for international cooperation, exchange of information and prevention. One remedial action could be the multilateral destruction of the Afghan poppy fields, because heroin coming from that country represents 78% of the world production, and is the main source of income to Islamic terrorists. Additionally, nations sponsoring terrorism should face international penalties.
My head hurts
Darko Trifunovic, former BiH Rep to the UN?
BOSNIAN AL-QA'IDAH MEMBERS PLAN ATTACKS ON NATO - TERRORISM EXPERT
SRNA - October 17, 2003
New York - A group of Islamists, 10 mujahidin trained in Afghanistan, have entered Bosnia-Hercegovina with the help of Sandzak connections and are currently in Al-Qa'idah camps near Zenica (central Bosnia) and Tuzla (northeastern Bosnia), a Serb terrorism expert, Darko Trifunovic, has told SRNA. He added that a plan to blow up a tunnel through which a column of American vehicles was meant to pass was prevented in the last moment.
Trifunovic is currently in Washington, where he is talking with American anti-terrorism experts and prominent members of the Congress about the spreading and aims of Islamic fundamentalism in the Balkans and especially in Bosnia-Hercegovina where - as Trifunovic said - they operate "with the blessing of top Muslim officials".
He said that a group of about 300 young Kosovo Albanians, who had been attacked by the concept of a Greater Muslim state, was trained in northern Albania and then transferred to Kosovo with their trainers, mujahidin fighters from Middle Eastern and North African countries. According to intelligence reports, a third of the group went to the border with Macedonia tasked with destabilizing that country. Another third went towards Serbia, where some have already been caught, while some headed for Sandzak (Raska (old Serbian name for the region)) and on the way there killed Serb children in Gorazdevac (Kosovo).
Trifunovic said that the third group ended up in Bosnia-Hercegovina, where it is being trained to launch attacks on tunnels and communication lines used by Sfor (NATO-led Stabilization Force) and Americans, as well as Soko Airport near Tuzla.
"We have information that the group was welcomed by well-known terrorist Abu-Hamza in Bocinja, where the largest camp of Islamic extremists is located," Trifunovic said and warned that the situation was very dangerous.
He stressed that Serb and foreign terrorism experts were especially concerned about the presence of the most extreme Islamists in Bosnia-Hercegovina. He revealed that "a special Wahhabi unit has been set up in Brcko District". Trifunovic had brought with him to the USA a list with the names of the members of this unit with the intention of handing it over to members of the Congress.
Trifunovic warned that Vakufska and Ilamska banks were operating in Bosnia-Hercegovina although they were suspected of financing Muslim fundamentalists.
"The owner of Vakufska Bank is Yasin Al-Kadi, who is being investigated in the States," Trifunovic explained.
"If Bosnia-Hercegovina High Representative Paddy Ashdown claims that this is not the case, let him get in touch with me so that we can give him information about the Al-Qa'idah network in the Balkans," he added.
Trifunovic informed his American collocutors about suspiciously large correspondence between young Balkan Islamists from the LIVO network and their foreign fellow believers about the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece.
"This is very disturbing and leads us to believe that the main threat to the security at the Olympic Games will come from the Balkans," Trifunovic stressed and added that it was very easy to enter Greece illegally from southern Albania and Western Europe through Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia.
"International terrorism experts regard the Balkans as a gateway for terrorists to the West," he recalled.
Trifunovic refused to answer a question by SRNA about where he got the information that Muslim terrorists would attack not just Americans and non-Muslims at the Olympics in Greece but also sportsmen from Islamic countries, whom the Islamists "curse for taking part in an event organized by a western country and which is not in accordance with their believes".
According to Trifunovic "American colleagues know the situation in the Balkans well and believe that the existence of the (Bosnian) Serb Republic and its intelligence service is necessary in order to keep a track on Muslim spies".
"Some foreign experts believe that Croats in Bosnia-Hercegovina are under the greatest threat in this situation and that for the sake of regional security it would be good if a Croat entity existed," Trifunovic said when conveying his impressions from the meetings in the USA.
Text of interview conducted by Milorad Boskovic, published by Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA
Source: SRNA news agency, Bijeljina, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 0915 gmt 17 Oct 03
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