Al-Qaeda Operative Employed in States as Bosnian Muslim Diplomat
Abdel Kadeer Moktari Abu Mali
Main Al-Qaeda Operative for the Balkans Enjoys a Diplomatic Cover
Al-Qaeda operative Safet Catovic [pdf. document] is employed as a counselor in one of three diplomatic-consular offices of the Bosnian federation in U.S., the experts for radical Islam said, as reported by the Serbian media.
The man regarded by the anti-terrorist experts as a key figure of the terrorist Islamic network in the Muslim part of Bosnia is considered a coordinator of all the extremist terrorist actions and operations conducted from the Balkan cells of the Islamic terrorist organizations.
“The key al-Qaeda operative for the Balkans, Safet Catovic works as an ‘adviser’ in a Bosnian Muslim diplomatic office in the United States,” said Darko Trifunovic, professor at Belgrade Faculty of Security.
“Together with Muhamed Sacirbey, Catovic was running the non-governmental organization Global Medical Fund, which was involved in bringing over [to former Yugoslavia] mujahedin mercenaries — the operation known under the codename Winter ‘94,” Trifunovic said.
El Mujahedin and Summer Jihad Camp in the Heart of U.S.
The El Mujahedin unit comprised of Arab mercenaries sent over to Bosnia-Herzegovina to help Izetbegovic exterminate the Serbs during Bosnian civil war counted 3,500 troops. Overall, it is estimated that there were 10,000-15,000 Muslim mercenaries from the Islamic countries operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the 1992-1995 civil war. Many were promptly given citizenship by the Izetbegovic regime and settled on the property of the ethnically cleansed Serb population after the war.
“On August 2001, Safet Catovic organized the summer Jihad Camp at the place where one of the planes which targeted the twin towers was downed, together with imam Sirai Fahai, suspect in the first attack on New York Trade Center, in 1993″, Trifunovic explained.
One of Serbia’s main anti-terrorism experts isn’t the only one who raised the red flag over the man behind a Bosnian Muslim “diplomatic counselor”. Bosnia’s Dzevad Galijasevic also claims Catovic is an intruder, hiding behind the false identity.
“Catovic is of African-Asian origin, most likely from Algeria. He is a member of the GIA (Group Islamic of Algeria). Safet Abid Catovic is a false identity he took from the Bosnian Muslim who died in 1992. He is a very important link in the chain, a link between the formal part of the [Bosnian Muslim] government and the informal organizational units,” Dzevad Galijasevic told Bosnian Serb Glas Srpske.
He added that Catovic is probably Abdel Kadeer Moktari Abu Mali, former commander of the Bosnian El Mujahedin unit.
However, Bosnian Muslim officials claim that after his arrival to war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina, Safet Catovic was first issued documents on the name Halid Ibn Abdullah, after which he changed his last name first to Catic (Chatich) and then to Catovic (Chatovich), while all the other data in his documents remained unchanged.
Islamic and American Mercenaries Work Hand-in-Hand in the Balkans
Galijasevic further revealed that this al-Qaeda mercenary was approached in Bosnia by the members of the American mercenary organization MPRI — Military Professional Resources Incorporated — an unofficial Pentagon army with more four-star-generals than the official U.S. Army, for training and militarily aiding terrorists in civil wars around the world, involved on the Croat side in extermination of Krajina Serbs, on the Kosovo Albanian side in terrorizing Serbian police and civilian population to trigger the civil war, on the Bosnian Muslim side to push the Serbs out of most of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the Georgian side to try to ethnically cleanse South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the recent assault, etc. At the request of a high U.S. official, Catovic was pulled to United States because of the information he possessed and, since then, he is officially an employee of Bosnian Muslim diplomatic-consular office……………….
|March 31, 1999|
The Kosovo Liberation Army: Does Clinton Policy Support Group with Terror, Drug Ties?
From ‘Terrorists’ to ‘Partners’
Interpol has information that the Albanian terrorists have links with Al Qaida organization and its leader Osama Bin Laden, London-based newspaper the Independent reads. The Independent reports that Interpol’s investigation team was claiming that Osama Bin Laden was related to the Albanian criminal gangs, which have wide network of trafficking in weapons and people, prostitution and racketeering throughout Europe. Interpol also has information that recently people from the Albanian criminal circles met with leaders of the Algerian terrorist organisations. The Albanian police reported that Osama Bin Laden was also present at that meeting. According to information from Interpol, one of Bin Laden’s military commander was appointed for head of the elite terrorist units of the Kosovo Liberation Army, during the Kosovo conflict in 1999
The NLA: Human Rights Fighters or Terrorists?
Given the status of the ethnic Albanian minority in the Republic of Macedonia, most Macedonians believe that the KLA/NLA is a group of thugs with the sole intent of further destabilizing the Balkans, not human rights fighters. After all, following the withdrawal of the Yugoslav security forces from Kosovo, virtually all non-Albanians were forced to flee their homes, and Christian monuments were destroyed. Moreover, if the respect for the human rights of ethnic minorities exhibited by the Macedonian authorities is too grave so as to drive a group of people in an armed insurgency for more rights, why then have we not witnessed other ethnic groups in Macedonia following a similar path to that of the so-called NLA, or why have other ethnic minorities in the Balkans – like the Macedonians and Greeks in Albania for instance, who have none of the aforementioned human rights to enjoy and are economically and socially worse off than the Macedonian Albanians – not taken such steps? The KLA/NLA has shady relations with criminal gangs involved in prostitution, drug-traffic and people and weapons smuggling, as well as bin Laden’s organization al-Qaeda, links that shed light on what may be the true reason for the armed conflicts initiated by the KLA/NLA, a reason good enough to explain the aforementioned discrepancy between the claims of the ethnic Albanian terrorists and their deeds.
The origins ofthe KLA/NLA are quite interesting. The New York Times reported that the KLA “began on the radical fringe of Kosovar Albanian politics, originally made up of diehard Marxist-Leninists (who were bankrolled in the old days by the Stalinist dictatorship next door in Albania) as well as by descendants of the fascist militias raised by the Italians in World War II.” Congressman Ron Paul of Texas stated that “the United States Government has in the past referred to the Kosovo Liberation Army leaders as thugs, terrorists, Marxists, and drug dealers.” The Times called the KLA “Marxist-led force funded by dubious sources, including drug money.” The US State Department does not even consider the KLA/NLA as freedom fighters, for it states the following regarding their terrorist activities in the 2000 Report on Patterns of Global Terrorism:
In Southeastern Europe, groups of ethnic Albanians have conducted armed attacks against government forces in southern Serbia and in Macedonia since 1999. One group in southern Serbia calls itself the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja, and Bujanovac (PMBLA). One group in Macedonia calls itself the National Liberation Army (NLA). Both groups include members who fought with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998-99 and have used their wartime connections to obtain funding and weapons from Kosovo and elsewhere. The PMBLA has, on occasion, harassed and detained civilians traveling through areas it controls. Both the PMBLA and the NLA have fired indiscriminately upon civilian centers. (In the same region, ethnic Albanian assailants carried out a terrorist attack against a bus in Kosovo on 16 February 2001, killing at least seven civilians and wounding 43 others.)
In its latest report on international drug trafficking, the U.S. State Department identifies Macedonia as part of the “Balkans Route,” the notorious link along which organized crime gangs transport heroin and other drugs from Turkey to Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to Italy. Macedonia is also part of a newer, shorter route on which drugs travel through Kosovo to Western Europe, the report says. The State Department praises the Macedonian government for cooperating with efforts to control drug smuggling. Could it be that the interests of the Albanian Mafia clashed with the Macedonian security forces? The Irish Times reported that according to a leading criminologist “the rebels fighting in the hills of Macedonia and southern Serbia were the paramilitary wing of an Albanian mafia exporting drugs and trafficking in humans to Europe and beyond [...] ‘Every mafia needs two things – a safe home territory, and a diaspora. The Albanians now have the diaspora through the refugees from the Kosovo war.” The same article quotes Mr. Xavier Raufer, a researcher at the Paris Institute of Criminology and author of The Albanian Mafia, “the latest guerrilla offensives on the margins of the province were a fight to control two key points on a smuggling route known as the ‘Balkans Golden Triangle’.” Mr. Raufer went on to say in his interview for Radio Netherlands that the “ethnic Albanian rebels fighting in the hills of Macedonia are the paramilitary wing of an Albanian Mafia exporting drugs and trafficking humans to Europe and even further.” Similarly, the German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag reported that “large amounts of money are flowing from organized drug- and people-smuggling in both Kosovo and Macedonia [...].” The same article reports that one of the heads of the Albanian Mafia, who controlled the Central European drug market, financed the terrorists’ activities in Tetovo and Kosovo with money from drug sales. After all, The Guardian reported that “Kosovo has become a “smugglers’ paradise” supplying up to 40% of the heroin sold in Europe and North America;” the same was confirmed by both Die Berliner Zeitung and Der Hamburger Abendblatt. Jane’s reported that “some 70 per cent of the heroin reaching Germany and Switzerland is now reckoned to have been transported through Albania and/or by Albanian groups, and the figure for Greece may be closer to 85 per cent.” BBC reported that according to Ray Kendall, the British outgoing Secretary General of Interpol, “at least 80 percent of the heroin entering Western Europe does so through Turkey and the Balkans – with Albanian gangs playing an increasingly important role.” BBC also quoted Cataldo Motta, Italian anti-mafia prosecutor saying “Everything passes via the Albanians. The road for drugs and arms and people…is in Albanian hands.” Frank J. Cilluffo, Deputy Director of Global Organized Crime and Program director to Counterterrorism Task Force testified before U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary that “the KLA raise part of their funds from the sale of narcotics. Albania and Kosovo lie at the heart of the ‘Balkan Route’ that links the ‘Golden Crescent’ of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the drug markets of Europe. This route is worth an estimated $400 billion a year and handles 80 percent of heroin destined for Europe.” The Daily Telegraph reported that “Western intelligence officials in Kosovo, Macedonia and Switzerland say Albanian gangs have used at least Ł3 million of their heroin profits since October last year to buy weapons to re-equip rebels in Macedonia who gave up their weapons to Nato troops last autumn.” The same article quotes a Western intelligence official saying that “the rebels in Macedonia, former KLA freedom fighters in Kosovo, and extremist Albanians in southern Serbia are all part of the network of Albanian and Kosovar Albanian families who control criminal networks in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and elsewhere.” The Times reported that “the State Department has evidence that the KLA has been involved in drug-smuggling to Europe” and that “the sums collected through the worldwide network of charities cannot compare to the profit made from so-called ‘narco-dollars’.” The Economist reported that “when police in Oslo made Norway’s largest-ever heroin seizure, they discovered that former fighters from the Kosovo Liberation Army controlled the drug-distribution chain. Heroin-dealing in Switzerland is dominated by Albanians.” The same article showed the drug routes used by the Taliban to smuggle their heroin into Western Europe; interestingly, one of the routes goes throught the areas of recent violence provoked by the Albanian terrorists. Jane’s reported similarly that “the bulk of the financing of the KLA seems to originate from two sources: drug-related operations and Kosovo Albanian settlers in the West.” Newsweek reported also of another type of “business” done by the Albanian mafia: “people smuggling. Kurdish refugees from Turkey and Iraq pay as much as $1,000 to be brought by Albanian gangs across the Macedonian or Greek borders.”
ABC News reported that the Albanian Mafia, having “a reputation as a ruthless smuggler of weapons, drugs and women,” even smuggled underage girls and sold them like slaves in Western Europe, after which it forced them into prostitution. Similarly, in reference to the sex trade controlled mostly by the Albanian Mafia, BBC quoted the former Italian MP, Carol Bebbe Tarantelli, as saying the women “are held in slavery.” The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “Albanian clans are funnelling the profits [from sex trade] into the coffers of former Kosovo Liberation Army strongmen who are fighting Serbs in the Presevo Valley and attacking their Slavic neighbours in Macedonia.” Similarly, The Sunday Times reporting on the slave traffic practices by the Albanian Mafia, stated: “‘Albanian mafia gangs are very vicious,’ a recent Home Office report emphasised. ‘They make the Italian mafia look like crowd-control officers at a local whist drive.’” The Economist also reported on the fact that Albanian organised crime dominates prostitution in Soho, a fact later confirmed by the Sunday Times too; the Austrian Association of Detectives concludes the same for Hamburg’s Reeperbahn, the largest red lights district in Germany, and links between the Albanian Mafia and prostitution rings in Italy were confirmed by the Austrian State Television. The Financial Times reported that “diplomats said the [Albanian] diaspora, which has a significant presence in drugs and prostitution rackets, particularly in Switzerland, Belgium and Germany, is providing financing and weapons to the rebels.” The Executive Intelligence Review quotes Michael Levine, former U.S. counter-narcotic agent and one of the most decorated agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), saying in May 1999 the KLA “is tied in with every known Middle and Far Eastern drug cartel. Interpol, Europol, and nearly every European intelligence and counter-narcotics agency has files open on drug syndicates that lead right to the KLA, and right to Albanian gangs …” Business AM reported that “there was ample evidence available two summers ago about the ties of the so-called Albanian national liberation struggle to organised crime, and how intertwined the Albanian mafia was – and still is – with the political militants.”
So, the obvious question is: what is the connection between the Albanian Mafia and the Albanian terrorists in Macedonia? Newsweek offered an explanation on what is the link between people involved in illegal activities and those initiating violent conflicts: “to the kingpins, peace is bad for business. ‘Once you establish the rule of law and start collecting taxes, or import duties, it threatens the smugglers,’ says a top police official in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina. [...] Drug trafficking has become so prevalent that German and Scandinavian police now say Kosovo Albanians are their countries’ leading suppliers of heroin and other drugs. And in Italy, police there say, Albanian gangsters from both Albania and Kosovo are now the leading importers of prostitutes from Eastern Europe and Russia.” Similarly, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, based on confidential sources, reported that the unrest in the area is an absolute advantage for the criminal activities (dirty smuggling deals with illegal drugs, weapons, and women) of the organized crime in the region, headed by UCK fighters. The Economist stated that “this year, much of the money made [from drug sales] went to buy arms for the rebels fighting in Macedonia and a strip of southern Serbia.” The Washington Times reported that “National Liberation Army (NLA), a splinter of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), also has another motive: It is fighting to keep control over the region’s drug trafficking, which has grown into a large, lucrative enterprise since the Kosovo war.” Business AM went on to conclude that “chaos allows the criminals to flourish and, arguably, the militants have no wish for an accord or peace – it would be bad for business.” Similarly, the Financial Times reported that the European Union must “crack down on Albanian groups operating in Europe where they increasingly dominate drugs, prostitution and smuggling rings. ‘This is where the money is coming from for the weapons. If we cannot tackle the source, how can we ever get out of Kosovo?’ said a Nato official.”
However, besides shady links to criminal organizations, the KLA/NLA has had strong links with Saudi exile Osama bin Laden and the Taliban regime. Congressman Cunningham of California stated that “the KLA is supported by the mujahedin, Hamas, and even bin Laden.” A report by the Republican Policy Committee linked the Albanian terrorists fighting in Macedonia and Kosovo with an extensive Albanian crime network in Europe and terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Osama bin Laden. ABC News reported that “law enforcement officials say that money has gone to fund Muslims fighting in the Balkans and Chechnya, and for attacks on the United States.” The Daily Telegraph reported that “fundraising for the KLA [in Great Britain] is believed to centre on the International Islamic Front, founded by Osama bin Laden, the Afghani terrorist leader.” The Times reported that “bin Laden’s associates are using [a] charity in the US that claims to be supporting Albanian refugees from the war in Kosovo” and that “money raised is filtered back to fighters from the KLA. Some of these fighters have spent time at training camps run by bin Laden.” Similarly, BBC reported that charity organizations in Kosovo are suspected to have links to Osama bin Laden. Jane’s reported that “the tangled web represented by fundamentalist interests in Afghanistan [...] export drugs to Western Europe using predominantly Albanian and Kosovar networks and assets, including those of the KLA.” The Executive Intelligence Review reported that “presently the main axis controlling more than 80% of the heroin market in Europe (plus a growing slice of the heroin market in other areas, including the United States) is the Afghanistan-Kosovo axis. Or better, a Taliban-Kosovo Liberation Army axis.” USA Today reported that bin Laden sent units to fight in the Serbian province of Kosovo after having established an Albanian operation in 1994. After all, The Sunday Times reported that bin Laden himself had visited Albania in 1998; the Albanian Telegraphic Agency confirmed the same thing at the time, and the Wall Street Journal Europe and the German newspaper Die Zeit recently reported the same thing. Furthermore, The Sunday Times went on to say that a member of bin Laden’s Albanian network “visited Albania to recruit and arm fighters for Kosovo.” Similarly, The Times reported that “American intelligence has raised the possibility of a link between Osama bin Laden, the Saudi expatriate blamed for the bombing in August of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, and the KLA.” The Jerusalem Post reported that the ethnic Albanian fighters “are being bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters, or Mujahadeen, who infiltrate from nearby Albania and call themselves the Kosovo Liberation Army.” The same article went on to say that “US defense officials say the support includes that of Osama bin Laden.” The Washington Times claims that “reports said bin Laden’s organization, known as al-Qaeda, has both trained and financially supported the KLA.” The Sunday Times also reported that “Iranian Revolutionary Guards, supported by the Saudi millionaire, supported the Albanian underground movement in Kosovo, and that members of the al-Gamaa al-Islamiya movement, which killed 58 tourists in Luxor in November of 1998, were in Kosovo.” The same article went on to say that “they [Islamic fundamentalists] hope to turn the region into their main base for Islamic armed activity in Europe.” Ralf Mutschke of Interpol’s Criminal Intelligence Division testified before the House Judicial Committee on December 13 2000 that “In 1998, the U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization, indicating that it was financing its operations with money from the international heroin trade and loans from Islamic countries and individuals, among them allegedly Usama bin Laden. Another link to bin Laden is the fact that the brother of a leader in an Egyptian Djihad organization and also a military commander of Usama bin Laden, was leading an elite KLA unit during the Kosovo conflict.” Congressman Brad Sherman acknowledged that the KLA is an “organization that may have alliances with Iran, with Osama Bin Laden, and even with drug dealers.” The Washington Times reported that “Islamic radicals, including supporters of bin Laden, have been supporting Albanian rebels fighting in the region, including members of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Intelligence officials have said there are reports that KLA members have been trained at bin Laden training camps in Afghanistan.” The newspaper concluded the same thing in a recent follow-up. The Scotsman wrote that the KLA received weapons from bin Laden. Forbes reported that Osama bin Laden “provided training and financial support to Islamic militants among the Bosnian Muslims and the Albanian separatists in Kosovo and Macedonia.” The British paper Independent reported that “Interpol believes that Osama bin Laden is linked to Albanian gangs who have taken over a growing web of crime across Europe.” BBC reported that according to the US State Department bin Laden might choose to hide in the inaccessible parts of Albania, “using criminal networks which 20 years of “War on Drugs” have been unable to crack.” The Scotsman reported that since September 2001 “Albanians operating inside Macedonia are estimated by western intelligence officials to have bought around Ł3 million worth of weapons … paid for by Albanian criminals with the proceeds of selling Afghan heroin on the streets of a dozen European capitals.”
In conclusion, the respect of the Macedonian state for the rights of all its ethnic minorities, the actions of the Albanian terrorists against Macedonian civilian targets, and the links between the KLA/NLA and confirmed terrorist organizations, cast a shadow of doubt on the claims by the KLA/NLA that they are solely fighting for greater respect for their human rights.