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Analysts: Bin Laden to Strike Balkans During Ramadan
Albania Briefings | November 5, 2001 | G. Dority

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.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
I am not sure bin Laden is a "classic strategist," however the idea of striking in another theatre to shift focus -- and disrupt America's frantic efforts to capture Kabul before Winter makes sense. The Western media would go nuts over something like this right now.

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...

1 posted on 11/05/2001 6:51:23 PM PST by Fusion
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To: Fusion
Well maybe we can then leave the Balkans and let the Serbs finish the job.
2 posted on 11/05/2001 6:56:12 PM PST by MaxwellWolf
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To: Fusion
It's a possibility, but now might be a good time to seek some rapprochment with the Serbians. They might jump at the opportunity to pull some IslamoFascist teeth. Without novocaine of course.
3 posted on 11/05/2001 6:58:22 PM PST by xkaydet65
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To: Fusion
The Western media would go nuts over something like this right now.

Um, the Western media has no — zip, zero, nada — interest in the Balkans. I doubt "something like this" would be reported at all.

4 posted on 11/05/2001 6:59:16 PM PST by M. Thatcher
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To: Fusion
I like your new style. Plain collection of viewpoints from media the rest of us don't know about, straightforward analysis, no Europe trembling like a bowl of jello... Keep it up! This article suggests a scenario which those of us who avidly follow the Balkans have suspected for several years now could come about.
5 posted on 11/05/2001 6:59:24 PM PST by wildandcrazyrussian
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To: Fusion
Who writes this crap???????
6 posted on 11/05/2001 7:00:46 PM PST by Bombard
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To: Fusion
Good Article
7 posted on 11/05/2001 7:01:23 PM PST by Free the USA
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To: Fusion
"...strategic stalemate..."

Huh? What?
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.

8 posted on 11/05/2001 7:05:02 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts
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To: Fusion
strategic stalemate??

Quote of the Day by IronJack

9 posted on 11/05/2001 7:09:07 PM PST by RJayneJ
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To: Fusion
Kosovo might be the most "promising" area for OBL. In fact, there is raising level of activity there; four KFOR soldiers were killed since Oct. 1 (source: Stratfor).

Another possibility would be staging areas in Uzbekistan.

Albania, IMHO, is very unlikely: no good targets for OBL, other than the embassy.

10 posted on 11/05/2001 7:09:12 PM PST by mvonfr
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To: Fusion
"Analysts: Bin Laden to Strike Balkans During Ramadan"

How could this be? A true Muslim wouldn't conduct war during a sacred holiday would they?

11 posted on 11/05/2001 7:09:16 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: Fusion; Kate22; oxi-nato; Balto_Boy; Pericles; *balkans
Hi Fusion

I want to come back to this in a little while.

12 posted on 11/05/2001 7:10:20 PM PST by Incorrigible
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To: blackbart.223
How could this be? A true Muslim wouldn't conduct war during a sacred holiday would they?

The sacred duty (killing infidels) comes first.

13 posted on 11/05/2001 7:10:46 PM PST by mvonfr
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To: Fusion
How does this guy mount a "strike" when he's fighting just to stay alive in his cave and his folks are falling all around him?
14 posted on 11/05/2001 7:11:34 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: anniegetyourgun
Bingo, AGYG! How indeed?
15 posted on 11/05/2001 7:13:43 PM PST by onyx
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To: onyx
EZ. Any amount of bombing in Afghanistan cannot diminish the capacity of the network which is already in place and is not tightly controlled.

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.

16 posted on 11/05/2001 7:16:50 PM PST by mvonfr
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To: Fusion; DTA
u forgot to mention Kacanik and the KLA Mujhadeen control of the area..is Commander Bardhi still running his 162nd there ?

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 ?

17 posted on 11/05/2001 7:17:23 PM PST by vooch
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To: Fusion
Good. It's just what we need to persuade NATO that they have been fighting on the wrong side. Now they can blame the needed change of policy on Bin Ladin instead of on clinton's venality and Schoeder's stupidity. They won't have to admit that they made a horrible mistake from the start, which is something politicians will never do.
18 posted on 11/05/2001 7:18:13 PM PST by Cicero
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To: mvonfr
"The sacred duty (killing infidels) comes first."

They don't seem to have a problem with killing fellow Mulims during Ramadan either.

19 posted on 11/05/2001 7:18:17 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: vooch
Very unlikely.

Makes more sense to have the attack carried by a new group; no point to put KLA on the terrorist list.

20 posted on 11/05/2001 7:20:20 PM PST by mvonfr
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To: MaxwellWolf
How bad was our decision to go in against the Serbs in the first place! How much help did we give the Muslims in that region, without so much as a thank you in return.

We should release Milosevic, shake his hand, and say, "sorry for the misunderstanding".

21 posted on 11/05/2001 7:22:39 PM PST by samtheman
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To: blackbart.223
Why should they? Nowhere in the Koran it says you should not.

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?

22 posted on 11/05/2001 7:24:42 PM PST by mvonfr
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To: Fusion
re:
"..With the United States and the Taliban now locked
in a strategic stalemate in Afghanistan
....."

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.

 

23 posted on 11/05/2001 7:26:48 PM PST by Deep_6
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To: mvonfr
"Why should they? Nowhere in the Koran it says you should not."

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.

24 posted on 11/05/2001 8:01:33 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: madrussian; malarski; Askel5; GROUCHOTWO; Zviadist; kristinn; Free the USA; Black Jade...
An American embassy spokesman stated, "We have no comment on this matter."
25 posted on 11/05/2001 8:04:51 PM PST by CommiesOut
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To: blackbart.223
Oh, that goes without saying; it is either a war or a PR campaign; hopefully the former.
26 posted on 11/05/2001 8:06:44 PM PST by mvonfr
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To: CommiesOut
bump
27 posted on 11/05/2001 8:08:04 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: wildandcrazyrussian
How Britain Helped to Destroy Bosnia
28 posted on 11/05/2001 8:26:24 PM PST by CommiesOut
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To: mvonfr
"Oh, that goes without saying; it is either a war or a PR campaign; hopefully the former."

I think we are safe to assume that is the former.

29 posted on 11/05/2001 8:28:45 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: CommiesOut; Fusion
Good article. I agree that the media would salivate over some meat other than what they have now.

The no comment response is interesting; if not telling.

30 posted on 11/05/2001 8:29:54 PM PST by jmp702
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To: jmp702; madrussian
I always thought it is European Aghanistan in the making.
In case EUros are too lazy (looks like scaring Tony didn't work) or some other difficulties:
No rush to join
31 posted on 11/05/2001 8:39:18 PM PST by CommiesOut
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To: samtheman
GEt Milosevic back
Sorry Serbia, guess you were right!.
Billie boy goes and messes up with people doing the right thing.
Gee whizz remember the SErbs had to deal with moslems for 1000 years and they got the right idea. We oughtta learn from them.
Here's to SErbia! We're terribly, terribly sorry

32 posted on 11/05/2001 8:39:45 PM PST by Cronos
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To: Cronos
Is it safe to put my glasses back on?

 

33 posted on 11/05/2001 8:45:23 PM PST by Deep_6
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To: CommiesOut
The realities of being in the service and facing the possiblity of combat in Afghanistan vs. sitting at home or the office shouting let's roll, is striking isn't it?

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?)

34 posted on 11/05/2001 8:51:39 PM PST by jmp702
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To: Cronos
The Blood on Bill Clinton's Hands

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!

35 posted on 11/05/2001 9:09:18 PM PST by jmp702
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To: jmp702
Guys, don't panic, the things are under full control (if not every single detail, then the big picture). The Serbs were not bombed to avoid the impeachment, nor was it a mistake. There were strong reasons for that. The Afganis are being killed not because they have something to do with the deaths in New York, but because it comes handy on the long road to the ultimate goal.
36 posted on 11/06/2001 3:17:15 AM PST by Lect
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To: Lect
The Serbs were not bombed to avoid the impeachment, nor was it a mistake.

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

37 posted on 11/06/2001 12:53:30 PM PST by vooch
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To: Deep_6
LOL!!!!!!! HAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA! :-)))))
38 posted on 11/06/2001 4:40:07 PM PST by Vojvodina
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Black Jade
yawn.
40 posted on 11/06/2001 8:25:46 PM PST by M. Thatcher
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To: Black Jade; Fusion; CommiesOut; vooch; Pericles; Vojvodina
Fellow members of the FreeRepublic Balkan Front what do you know or think of some chap called Thomas W Chittum, who spent some time in country.

I was sent a fascinating book by him.

Cheers Tony

41 posted on 11/07/2001 3:00:19 AM PST by tonycavanagh
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To: CommiesOut; Pericles; wildandcrazyrussian; Kate22; F-117A; DTA; vooch; wonders; joan...
Your How Britain Helped to Destroy Bosnia

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.

VRN

42 posted on 11/08/2001 6:48:08 AM PST by Voronin
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To: Fusion
Conversion on the road to Meccano Fusion? Definately a more mature improvement. Will it last (if it is the same person)?

VRN

43 posted on 11/08/2001 6:50:19 AM PST by Voronin
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To: tonycavanagh
I've never heard of him but here's a few links for the others (sorry about the Guardian source):

The last days of a white world

CIVIL WAR TWO

They Can Drink Out of My Canteen

Regs,

VRN

44 posted on 11/08/2001 6:57:19 AM PST by Voronin
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To: Incorrigible; Voronin; Fusion; *balkans
Interesting post Fusion, but I tend to agree with Veronin's assessment of the source. It's like the ICG.

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.

45 posted on 11/08/2001 8:06:44 AM PST by Kate22
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To: blackbart.223
Hypocritical Ben Laden bump!

They Bombed Us During Lent!
46 posted on 11/08/2001 8:25:08 AM PST by Black Agnes
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To: Kate22
most of us are just waiting for the right spark anyway

Any Archdukes in the Balkans these days?

47 posted on 11/08/2001 8:30:21 AM PST by Incorrigible
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To: Incorrigible
Not since Kouchner returned to France.
48 posted on 11/08/2001 8:42:12 AM PST by Kate22
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To: Voronin
Hi Voronin.

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

Tony

49 posted on 11/09/2001 3:42:27 AM PST by tonycavanagh
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