Skip to comments.Analysts: Bin Laden to Strike Balkans During Ramadan
Posted on 11/05/2001 6:51:23 PM PST by Fusion
With the United States and the Taliban now locked in a strategic stalemate in Afghanistan, Western intelligence analysts believe Osama bin Laden will seek to engage American and British targets in the Balkans with a series of hit and run commando strikes. These attacks will serve to provide cross-theater responses to the current escalation of US bombing runs by killing allied personnel and demonstrating to the Muslim world the ability of al Qaeda to control tempo and initiative as the World War continues.
In recent days US embassies in Sarajevo and Tirana have been the subject of increasingly overt surveillance by "Arabic looking men" employed by Islamic humanitarian organizations. The fact that these men have made little attempt at disguising their activities is troubling to American security personnel who believe these brazen probes may be a form of misdirection.
Astrit Duckollari is the Security chief of a firm that once provided local security guards to the US embassy in Albania. The retired Albanian army colonel feels that for the first time in many years American civilians are vulnerable in Tirana, "You must understand that bin Laden will take thousands of casualties in Afghanistan to kill hundreds of Americans in the Balkans if necessary. These watchers are not photographing the embassy as much as telling all Muslims that they will attack soon."
From across the street, not fifty feet from the embassy, he points at the armed security guards on the sidewalk in front of the perimeter. "Each man is armed with a shotgun and a radio, but I could kill him from here with a pistol. The side streets are not even covered -- and during the night some shifts of US Marines are only two men."
When it is suggested that the US embassy is vulnerable to a surprise attack he merely nods his head and walks away.
In Bosnia analysts have seen increased Mujahadeen movements in Zenica, a Muslim stronghold during the Bosnian wars. Last week two UNHCR tagged vehicles were fired on from the hills above the city. According to unconfirmed reports another private aid vehicle was hijacked in the city and the local driver severely beaten. His assailants allegedly informed him that, "Americans will die in Bosnia before Ramadan has ended."
All of this has security heightened at the US embassy in Sarajevo. Vulnerable to long range plunging fire and situated on a major thoroughfare, this target has been hardened considerably in recent weeks since September 11.
Of much greater concern is the US ambassador's residence on one of the sloping hills on the south side of Sarajevo. Clear sight lines exist from a myriad of higher elevation platforms in a part of the city that is predominantly Serb. While the residence is packed with American "special agents" in their heavy blue windbreakers and khaki vests, their sidearms and carbines would be ineffective in halting long range fifty caliber sniper fire from four or five hundred meters above.
An American embassy spokesman stated, "We have no comment on this matter."
Likely scenarios for al Qaeda attacks in the Balkans involve multiple strikes designed to receive maximum media exposure during the Muslim holy month. Heavily armed suicide gunmen are expected to follow-up large breaching explosions at hard targets with automatic weapons fire and grenades. Non governmental organizations (NGO's) are expected to be especially vulnerable to kidnappings and break-ins previous to these attacks -- as bin Laden operatives gather intelligence for the strikes.
Osama bin Laden is a classic strategist that realizes he cannot strike back at American B-52s and long range ground attack aircraft in Afghanistan. While the world focuses on a questionable Northern Alliance preparing to attack the Taliban, bin Laden seeks a spectacular low cost victory that will feed a Western media frenzy eager for stories and pictures beyond the now quite repetitive large Afghan explosions.
He knows the Balkans well, much better than allied intelligence services -- and he has several hundred well trained operatives ready to rock the region. Osama bin Laden's confidence in these attacks cannot be underestimated as he taunts the West -- while preparing the entire Muslim world for his response to American military action.
Forewarned is forearmed.
Few Americans know Albania better than Mr D, but I would think this type of attack much more likely in Bosnia than Albania. Right now the Federation is like something out of the wild West...
Um, the Western media has no zip, zero, nada interest in the Balkans. I doubt "something like this" would be reported at all.
It's not a stalemate when the superior force takes his time to carefully deploy his knights, rooks and pawns to thoroughly crush the opposition.
Another possibility would be staging areas in Uzbekistan.
Albania, IMHO, is very unlikely: no good targets for OBL, other than the embassy.
How could this be? A true Muslim wouldn't conduct war during a sacred holiday would they?
I want to come back to this in a little while.
The sacred duty (killing infidels) comes first.
OBL would not need to move people or materials; an attack may only require a telephone call from Pakistan with a Proceed command. Possibly not even this.
How's about the scenario of the 162nd KLA brigade ambushing a KFOR supply convoy in the Kacanik Gorge ?
or are they waiting until the snows pile 2 mtrs high to cut Kfor off ?
They don't seem to have a problem with killing fellow Mulims during Ramadan either.
Makes more sense to have the attack carried by a new group; no point to put KLA on the terrorist list.
We should release Milosevic, shake his hand, and say, "sorry for the misunderstanding".
The entire idea of a peaceful Ramadan is very recent and does not come from Islam; I tried and could not find any reference to the concept dated before Clinton. Possibly the thing was invented in Washington. Al'Gore?
Say what? "Locked in a strategic stalemate"? Are they
kidding? At the rate we're pounding, in three more days
the Afghanistan Taliban will be a memory.
I can't answer that. I've never read The Koran. All I know is, an enemy killed six thousand of my fellow citizens. And the fact remains Iran and Iraq killed each other during Ramadan. That being the case my country, America, should continue bombing the Taliwhackers into small pieces.
I think we are safe to assume that is the former.
The no comment response is interesting; if not telling.
Should enlistment dry up or too many claim special reasons for discharge or non combat assignments, the armed services could start a recruitment campaign right here and sign up all the nuke-em-all-now warriors. (Couldn't they?)
Legacy # 2. Americans may pretend they don't know why Mr. Bill went a-bombing, but nobody in the rest of the world was fooled. The Russian people had good feelings toward America, until we bombed Serbia illegally, killing their Slavic brothers for the crime of trying to keep control of their own territory ... and we did it to help Bill distract us from his well-deserved impeachment for the crime of oathbreaking. And in Afghanistan, there were many who remembered how America helped them win their independence from the Soviet Union's attempt to rule them. But they saw that America was willing to violate their sovereignty and bomb their land ... for Monica's dress. Hey, Mr. Bill! Thanks for the enemies!
still desperatly defending x42's funding, training, supplying, and promotion of Bosnian & KLA Mujhadeen are we ?.........
reflect on the harsh fact that one of the 'pilots' in 9-11 was a Bosnia Citizen........Clinton's great allies
I was sent a fascinating book by him.
The Author is a memeber of the Bosnia Institute (see 'about us/people') along with such other independent luminaries as Noel Malcolm (member of the Anglo-Albanian Friendship Society (whatever), Adrian Hastings, Quintin Hoare, Branka Magas, Ivo Banac and others. The 'Institute' is a registered Charity that produces pro-Bosnian Moslem propaganda straight from the Bosnian Moslem Government.
The Brits played the same role in Bosnia as they have done all over the world for several hundred years, 'balance of power' on the European Continent, so have been entirely consistent with their actions.
His book is an 'assasination attemp' on the British, much the same was the Hague's primary goal is to lay 90% of the blame on what happened on the Serb nation through Milosevic.
So many things at the same time do seem very 'timely' - Ramadam, Kosovo elections, international peace marches... most of us are just waiting for the right spark anyway.
Any Archdukes in the Balkans these days?
I enjoyed the book, but like so many other it talks of a almost picture perfect line, that this will lead to this and then to this.
I have too much experience in the real world to believe in perfect time lines, so many things can and do go awry.
It is an interesting theory though a Balkan break-up of America. Although the time lines plotted during the early 80s did point to two years ago