Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bosnian-based Jihadists Stir

Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, April 2006

Highly reliable sources from within the Islamist movements in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) said that a group of jihadists had left BiH in late March 2006 for the United States, and that it was assumed - from the tenor of preparations - that their purpose was to stage a terrorist attack in the US.

The group which was dispatched to the US had been the subject of a major meeting of Islamists and jihadists at the King Fahd Mosque in the Mojmilo area of Sarajevo in December 2005, a meeting attended by known associates of al-Qaida, Wahhabist religious figures based in BiH, Hod a Nezim Halilovic (extremist Wahhabist in charge of the King Fahd Mosque, and former commander of the Fourth Muslim Brigade in the civil war), Ekrem Abdiju (Kosovo Albanian, long associated with jihadist operations), leaders of the Islamic college in the BiH city of Zenica, members of the terrorist group Kvadrat, AID (Agencija za Istrazivanje Dokumentaciju BiH: Agency for Documentation and Investigation, the Bosnian Muslim intelligence service), OSA (domestic security; the Intelligence & Security Agency of BiH: Obavjestajno Sigurnosne / Bezbjednosne Agencije BiH), and SIPA (State-level intelligence; the BiH State Investigation and Protection Agency, heavily dominated by Islamists).

The sources said that they believed that the meeting agreed on an attack plan for targets in Europe and the US, as well as agreeing on plans to infiltrate "foreignservices" [eg: possibly Iranian intelligence officials and others] into the Bosnian Serb republic, Republika Srpska (RS), within BiH, in order to accuse the RS Government and the ruling SDS party of collaborating with terrorists.

Part of the long-term objectives agreed at the King Fahd Mosque meeting were that:

- Most trained terrorists were to be sent to France, Italy and Germany;
- Those men should marry local women and have as many children as possible; and
- All extremists would be under the age 30 and "look normal."

Local al-Qaida-linked groups and the Wahhabis were already working on the implementation of this plan, the Defense & Foreign Affairs sources confirmed. AID and OSA were, according to the sources, already infiltrating their cadres into the DGS [BiH State Border Service] to facilitate smuggling of men and matériel across the borders. One of the AID employees in the DGS is Mehmed "Meho" Mehic, a former lieutenant of Bosnian Muslim warlord Naser Oric.

Meanwhile, the sources noted that Wahhabis from Sjenica, Novi Pazar and Tutin in the Raska region of Serbia were closely cooperating with the Wahhabis and al-Qaida in BiH. At the same time, the sources noted that one of the main terrorist camps in BiH, funded by HAMAS, was near Bihac and that instructors at the camp were all foreigners, veterans of wars from the BiH civil war and Chechnya. More significantly, the sources reported that trained jihadist suicide bombers were now present in BiH and Serbia, and that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (VEVAK) was running three-man hit squads in BiH.

The information takes on a growing significance as cooperation between Iran, al-Qaida-related groups, and HAMAS intensities during the current Iranian confrontation with the US and the West generally. The sources said that during the BiH civil war in the mid-1990s, 700 lightly-injured fighters were sent from BiH to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), and were listed as dead; in fact they underwent terrorist training and were transferred to Europe. Iranian intelligence assisted with this transfer. They formed part of al-Qaida and related Wahhabist operations for the creation of an "Islamic Europe," codenamed Catapult and Europe 3000.

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