Skip to comments.German MPs want answers to army's failures in Kosovo
Posted on 11/28/2004 4:09:37 AM PST by Jane_N
German MPs examining their army and intelligence service in Kosovo before the ethnic violence in March want to know why they did not follow up a tapped telephone call in which an Albanian extremist urged his allies to prepare a "hot party".
Senior German army officers used several internal reports after the violence flared to make assurances that they would have acted differently and been able to provide the necessary protection for Kosovo's Serb minority if they had had the slightest forewarning.
But it has emerged that an imminent security threat may have been on their desks.
A parliamentary commission discovered this week that German military documents refer to at least one telephone call on March 2 by a former commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army. He is said to have called a former comrade in the KLA and asked whether he and others could make sure there was a "banging" atmosphere in Urosevac and that there would be a "hot party" in Prizen.
The commission was told by the German intelligence service, the BND, that the first former KLA commander was an informant but it had stopped using him on Feb 16, before the phone call. But the Die Welt newspaper learned yesterday that he was still being used in early March.
A transcript of an earlier phone call by the informant was shown to the commission and, although it also used the word "banging", MPs were told by the BND that it was not interpreted as an incitement.
Die Zeit said yesterday that August Hanning, the chief of the BND, also admitted to the newspaper on Tuesday that the first phone call was not deemed to be of interest but he retracted his comments.
A delegation of German MPs is to visit Nato headquarters in Brussels on Monday to see if they can shed more light on the affair.
"The more you look at the communication structure of the intelligence services in Kosovo, the more flabbergasted you become," said Christian Schmidt, security spokesman for the opposition Christian Democrat Union.
Nato-led peacekeeping forces in the United Nations protectorate were overwhelmed after violence flared against the Serb minority on March 17.
Nineteen people were killed, 5,000 were driven from their homes and dozens of churches and monasteries were sacked.
Troops from the 20,000 international force had to withdraw to save themselves.
They are in violation of their solemn obligations under the MTA and UNSCR 1244 - time for the government to take over.
Interestingly enough, BND also knew nothing about Mohammed Atta's Hamgurg cell.
Mistranslated, "banging" could have sexual overtone, the original document contained phrase "bombastic atmosphere" not banging.
Bundeswehr continues where Wehrmacht stopped in 1944.