Bosnia

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Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base

Bakir Izetbegovic, Hasan Cengic, Hashim Thaci

U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee - Larry E. Craig, Chairman - Jade West, Staff Director

January 16, 1997

Extended Bosnia Mission Endangers U.S. Troops

Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base

„‚There is no question that the policy of getting arms into Bosnia was of great assistance in allowing the Iranians to dig in and create good relations with the Bosnian government,‘ a senior CIA officer told Congress in a classified deposition. ‚And it is a thing we will live to regret because when they blow up some Americans, as they no doubt will before this . . . thing is over, it will be in part because the Iranians were able to have the time and contacts to establish themselves well in Bosnia.'“ [„Iran Gave Bosnia Leader $500,000, CIA Alleges: Classified Report Says Izetbegovic Has Been ‚Co-Opted,‘ Contradicting U.S. Public Assertion of Rift,“ Los Angeles Times, 12/31/96. Ellipses in original. Alija Izetbegovic is the Muslim president of Bosnia.]

„‚If you read President Izetbegovic’s writings, as I have, there is no doubt that he is an Islamic fundamentalist,‘ said a senior Western diplomat with long experience in the region. ‚He is a very nice fundamentalist, but he is still a fundamentalist. This has not changed. His goal is to establish a Muslim state in Bosnia, and the Serbs and Croats understand this better than the rest of us.'“ [„Bosnian Leader Hails Islam at Election Rallies,“ New York Times, 9/2/96]

Introduction and Summary

In late 1995, President Bill Clinton dispatched some 20,000 U.S. troops to Bosnia-Hercegovina as part of a NATO-led „implementation force“ (IFOR) to ensure that the warring Muslim, Serbian, and Croatian factions complied with provisions of the Dayton peace plan. [NOTE: This paper assumes the reader is acquainted with the basic facts of the Bosnian war leading to the IFOR deployment. For background, see RPC’s „Clinton Administration Ready to Send U.S. Troops to Bosnia, „9/28/95,“ and Legislative Notice No. 60, „Senate to Consider Several Resolutions on Bosnia,“ 12/12/95] Through statements by Administration spokesmen, notably Defense Secretary Perry and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Shalikashvili, the president firmly assured Congress and the American people that U.S. personnel would be out of Bosnia at the end of one year. Predictably, as soon as the November 1996 election was safely behind him, President Clinton announced that approximately 8,500 U.S. troops would be remaining for another 18 months as part of a restructured and scaled down contingent, the „stabilization force“ (SFOR), officially established on December 20, 1996.

SFOR begins its mission in Bosnia under a serious cloud both as to the nature of its mission and the dangers it will face. While IFOR had successfully accomplished its basic military task — separating the factions‘ armed forces — there has been very little progress toward other stated goals of the Dayton agreement, including political and economic reintegration of Bosnia, return of refugees to their homes, and apprehension and prosecution of accused war criminals. It is far from certain that the cease-fire that has held through the past year will continue for much longer, in light of such unresolved issues as the status of the cities of Brcko (claimed by Muslims but held by the Serbs) and Mostar (divided between nominal Muslim and Croat allies, both of which are currently being armed by the Clinton Administration). Moreover, at a strength approximately one-third that of its predecessor, SFOR may not be in as strong a position to deter attacks by one or another of the Bosnian factions or to avoid attempts to involve it in renewed fighting: „IFOR forces, despite having suffered few casualties, have been vulnerable to attacks from all of the contending sides over the year of the Dayton mandate. As a second mandate [i.e., SFOR] evolves, presumably maintaining a smaller force on the ground, the deterrent effect which has existed may well become less compelling and vulnerabilities of the troops will increase.“ [„Military Security in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Present and Future,“ Bulletin of the Atlantic Council of the United States, 12/18/96]

The Iranian Connection

Perhaps most threatening to the SFOR mission — and more importantly, to the safety of the American personnel serving in Bosnia — is the unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo. That policy, personally approved by Bill Clinton in April 1994 at the urging of CIA Director-designate (and then-NSC chief) Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, has, according to the Los Angeles Times (citing classified intelligence community sources), „played a central role in the dramatic increase in Iranian influence in Bosnia.“ Further, according to the Times, in September 1996 National Security Agency analysts contradicted Clinton Administration claims of declining Iranian influence, insisting instead that „Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel remain active throughout Bosnia.“ Likewise, „CIA analysts noted that the Iranian presence was expanding last fall,“ with some ostensible cultural and humanitarian activities „known to be fronts“ for the Revolutionary Guard and Iran’s intelligence service, known as VEVAK, the Islamic revolutionary successor to the Shah’s SAVAK. [LAT, 12/31/96] At a time when there is evidence of increased willingness by pro-Iranian Islamic militants to target American assets abroad — as illustrated by the June 1996 car-bombing at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 American airmen, in which the Iranian government or pro-Iranian terrorist organizations are suspected [„U.S. Focuses Bomb Probe on Iran, Saudi Dissident,“ Chicago Tribune, 11/4/96] — it is irresponsible in the extreme for the Clinton Administration to gloss over the extent to which its policies have put American personnel in an increasingly vulnerable position while performing an increasingly questionable mission.

Three Key Issues for Examination

This paper will examine the Clinton policy of giving the green light to Iranian arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims, with serious implications for the safety of U.S. troops deployed there. (In addition, RPC will release a general analysis of the SFOR mission and the Clinton Administration’s requBakir Izetbegovic,est for supplemental appropriations to fund it in the near future.) Specifically, the balance of this paper will examine in detail the three issues summarized below:

1. The Clinton Green Light to Iranian Arms Shipments (page 3): In April 1994, President Clinton gave the government of Croatia what has been described by Congressional committees as a „green light“ for shipments of weapons from Iran and other Muslim countries to the Muslim-led government of Bosnia. The policy was approved at the urging of NSC chief Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith. The CIA and the Departments of State and Defense were kept in the dark until after the decision was made.

2. The Militant Islamic Network (page 5): Along with the weapons, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and VEVAK intelligence operatives entered Bosnia in large numbers, along with thousands of mujahedin („holy warriors“) from across the Muslim world. Also engaged in the effort were several other Muslim countries (including Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkey) and a number of radical Muslim organizations. For example, the role of one Sudan-based „humanitarian organization,“ called the Third World Relief Agency, has been well-documented. The Clinton Administration’s „hands-on“ involvement with the Islamic network’s arms pipeline included inspections of missiles from Iran by U.S. government officials.

3. The Radical Islamic Character of the Sarajevo Regime (page 8): Underlying the Clinton Administration’s misguided green light policy is a complete misreading of its main beneficiary, the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic. Rather than being the tolerant, multiethnic democratic government it pretends to be, there is clear evidence that the ruling circle of Izetbegovic’s party, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), has long been guided by the principles of radical Islam. This Islamist orientation is illustrated by profiles of three important officials, including President Izetbegovic himself; the progressive Islamization of the Bosnian army, including creation of native Bosnian mujahedin units; credible claims that major atrocities against civilians in Sarajevo were staged for propaganda purposes by operatives of the Izetbegovic government; and suppression of enemies, both non-Muslim and Muslim.

The Clinton Green Light to Iranian Arms Shipments

Both the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Select Subcommittee to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia issued reports late last year. (The Senate report, dated November 1996, is unclassified. The House report is classified, with the exception of the final section of conclusions, which was released on October 8, 1996; a declassified version of the full report is expected to be released soon.) The reports, consistent with numerous preBakir Izetbegovic,ss accounts, confirm that on April 27, 1994, President Clinton directed Ambassador Galbraith to inform the government of Croatia that he had „no instructions“ regarding Croatia’s decision whether or not to permit weapons, primarily from Iran, to be transshipped to Bosnia through Croatia. (The purpose was to facilitate the acquisition of arms by the Muslim-led government in Sarajevo despite the arms embargo imposed on Yugoslavia by the U.N. Security Council.) Clinton Administration officials took that course despite their awareness of the source of the weapons and despite the fact that the Croats (who were themselves divided on whether to permit arms deliveries to the Muslims) would take anything short of a U.S. statement that they should not facilitate the flow of Iranian arms to Bosnia as a „green light.“

The green light policy was decided upon and implemented with unusual secrecy, with the CIA and the Departments of State and Defense only informed after the fact. [„U.S. Had Options to Let Bosnia Get Arms, Avoid Iran,“ Los Angeles Times, 7/14/96] Among the key conclusions of the House Subcommittee were the following (taken from the unclassified section released on October 8):

„The President and the American people were poorly served by the Administration officials who rushed the green light decision without due deliberation, full information and an adequate consideration of the consequences.“ (page 202)

„The Administration’s efforts to keep even senior US officials from seeing its ‚fingerprints‘ on the green light policy led to confusion and disarray within the government.“ (page 203)

„The Administration repeatedly deceived the American people about its Iranian green light policy.“ (page 204)

Clinton, Lake, and Galbraith Responsible

While the final go-ahead for the green light was given by President Clinton — who is ultimately accountable for the results of his decision — two Clinton Administration officials bear particular responsibility: Ambassador Galbraith and then-NSC Director Anthony Lake, against both of whom the House of Representatives has referred criminal charges to the Justice Department. Mr. Lake, who personally presented the proposal to Bill Clinton for approval, „played a central role in preventing the responsible congressional committees from knowing about the Administration’s fateful decision to acquiesce in radical Islamic Iran’s effort to penetrate the European continent through arms shipments and military cooperation with the Bosnian government.“ [„‚In Lake We Trust‘? Confirmation Make-Over Exacerbates Senate Concerns About D.C.I.-Designate’s Candor, Reliability,“ Center for Security Policy, Washington, D.C., 1/8/97] His responsibility for the operation is certain to be a major hurdle in his effort to be confirmed as CIA Director: „The fact that Lake was one of the authors of the duplicitous policy in Bosnia, which is very controversial and which has probably helped strengthen the hand of the Iranians, doesn’t play well,“ stated Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Shelby. [„Lake to be asked about donation,“ Washington Times, 1/2/97]

For his part, Ambassador Galbraith was the key person both in conceiving the policy and in serving as the link between the Clinton Administration and the Croatian government; he also met with Imam Sevko Omerbasic, the top Muslim cleric in Croatia, „who the CIA says was an intermediary for Iran.“ [„Fingerprints: Arms to Bosnia, the real story,“ The New Republic, 10/28/96; see also LAT 12/23/96] As the House Subcommittee concluded (page 206): „There is evidence that Ambassador Galbraith may have engaged in activities that could be characterized as unauthorized covert action.“ The Senate Committee (pages 19 and 20 of the report) was unable to agree on the specific legal issue of whether Galbraith’s actions constituted a „covert action“ within the definition of section 503(e) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. Sec. 413(e)), as amended, defined as „an activity or activities . . . to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly.“

The Militant Islamic Network

The House Subcommittee report also concluded (page 2): „The Administration’s Iranian green light policy gave Iran an unprecedented foothold in Europe and has recklessly endangered American lives and US strategic interests.“ Further —

“ . . . The Iranian presence and influence [in Bosnia] jumped radically in the months following the green light. Iranian elements infiltrated the Bosnian government and established close ties with the current leadership in Bosnia and the next generation of leaders. Iranian Revolutionary Guards accompanied Iranian weapons into Bosnia and soon were integrated in the Bosnian military structure from top to bottom as well as operating in independent units throughout Bosnia. The Iranian intellBakir Izetbegovic,igence service [VEVAK] ran wild through the area developing intelligence networks, setting up terrorist support systems, recruiting terrorist ’sleeper‘ agents and agents of influence, and insinuating itself with the Bosnian political leadership to a remarkable degree. The Iranians effectively annexed large portions of the Bosnian security apparatus [known as the Agency for Information and Documentation (AID)] to act as their intelligence and terrorist surrogates. This extended to the point of jointly planning terrorist activities. The Iranian embassy became the largest in Bosnia and its officers were given unparalleled privileges and access at every level of the Bosnian government.“ (page 201)

Not Just the Iranians

To understand how the Clinton green light would lead to this degree of Iranian influence, it is necessary to remember that the policy was adopted in the context of extensive and growing radical Islamic activity in Bosnia. That is, the Iranians and other Muslim militants had long been active in Bosnia; the American green light was an important political signal to both Sarajevo and the militants that the United States was unable or unwilling to present an obstacle to those activities — and, to a certain extent, was willing to cooperate with them. In short, the Clinton Administration’s policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an ongoing international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe. That network involves not only Iran but Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (a key ally of Iran), and Turkey, together with front groups supposedly pursuing humanitarian and cultural activities.

For example, one such group about which details have come to light is the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization which has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. [„How Bosnia’s Muslims Dodged Arms Embargo: Relief Agency Brokered Aid From Nations, Radical Groups,“ Washington Post, 9/22/96; see also „Saudis Funded Weapons For Bosnia, Official Says: $300 Million Program Had U.S. ‚Stealth Cooperation‘,“ Washington Post, 2/2/96] TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Binladen, a wealthy Saudi emigre believed to bankroll numerous militant groups. [WP, 9/22/96] (Sheik Rahman, a native of Egypt, is currently in prison in the United States; letter bombs addressed to targets in Washington and London, apparently from Alexandria, Egypt, are believed connected with his case. Binladen was a resident in Khartoum, Sudan, until last year; he is now believed to be in Afghanistan, „where he has issued statements calling for attacks on U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf.“ [WP, 9/22/96])

The Clinton Administration’s „Hands-On“ Help

The extent to which Clinton Administration officials, notably Ambassador Galbraith, knowingly or negligently, cooperated with the efforts of such front organizations is unclear. For example, according to one intelligence account seen by an unnamed U.S. official in the Balkans, „Galbraith ‚talked with representatives of Muslim countries on payment for arms that would be sent to Bosnia,‘ . . . [T]he dollar amount mentioned in the report was $500 million-$800 million. The U.S. official said he also saw subsequent ‚operational reports‘ in 1995 on almost weekly arms shipments of automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, anti-armor rockets and TOW missiles.“ [TNR, 10/28/96] The United States played a disturbingly „hands-on“ role, with, according to the Senate report (page 19), U.S. government personnel twice conducting inspections in Croatia of missiles en route to Bosnia. Further —

„The U.S. decision to send personnel to Croatia to inspect rockets bound for Bosnia is . . . subject to varying interpretations. It may have been simply a straightforward effort to determine whether chemical weapons were being shipped into Bosnia. It was certainly, at least in part, an opportunity to examine a rocket in which the United States had some interest. But it may also have been designed to ensure that Croatia would not shut down the pipeline.“ (page 21)

The account in The New Republic points sharply to the latter explanation: „Enraged at Iran’s apparent attempt to slip super weapons past Croat monitors, the Croatian defense minister nonetheless sent the missiles on to Bosnia ‚just as Peter [i.e., Ambassador Galbraith] told us to do,‘ sources familiar with the episode said.“ [TNR, 10/28/96] In short, the Clinton Administration’s connection with the various players that made up the arms network seems to have been direct and intimate.

The Mujahedin Threat

In addition to (and working closely with) the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and VEVAK intelligence are members of numerous radical groups known for their anti-Western orientation, along with thousands of volunteer mujahedin („holy warriors“) from across the Islamic world. From the beginning of the NATO-led deployment, the Clinton Administration has given insufficient weight to military concerns regarding the mujahedin presence in Bosnia as well as the danger they pose to American personnel. Many of the fighters are concentrated in the so-called „green triangle“ (the color green symbolizes Islam) centered on the town of Zenica in the American IFOR/SFOR zone but are also found throughout the country.

The Clinton Administration has been willing to accept Sarajevo’s transparently false assurances of the departure of the foreign fighters based on the contention that they have married Bosnian women and have acquired Bosnian citizenship — and thus are no longer „foreign“! — or, having left overt military units to join „humanitarian,“ „cultural,“ or „charitable“ organizations, are no longer „fighters.“ [See „Foreign Muslims Fighting in Bosnia Considered ‚Threat‘ to U.S. Troops,“ Washington Post, 11/30/95; „Outsiders Bring Islamic Fervor To the Balkans,“ New York Times, 9/23/96; „Islamic Alien Fighters Settle in Bosnia,“ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/23/96; „Mujahideen rule Bosnian villages: Threaten NATO forces, non-Muslims,“ Washington Times, 9/23/96; and Yossef Bodansky, Offensive in the Balkans (November 1995) and Some Call It Peace (August 1996), International Media Corporation, Ltd., London. Bodansky, an analyst with the House Republican Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, is an internationally recognized authority on Islamic terrorism.] The methods employed to qualify for Bosnian citizenship are themselves problematic: „Islamic militants from Iran and other foreign countries are employing techniques such as forced marriages, kidnappings and the occupation of apartments and houses to remain in Bosnia in violation of the Dayton peace accord and may be a threat to U.S. forces.“ [„Mujaheddin Remaining in Bosnia: Islamic Militants Strongarm Civilians, Defy Dayton Plan,“ Washington Post, 7/8/96]

The threat presented by the mujahedin to IFOR (and now, to SFOR) — contingent only uponBakir Izetbegovic, the precise time their commanders in Tehran or Sarajevo should choose to activate them — has been evident from the beginning of the NATO-led deployment. For example, in February 1996 NATO forces raided a terrorist training camp near the town of Fojnica, taking into custody 11 men (8 Bosnian citizens — two of whom may have been naturalized foreign mujahedin — and three Iranian instructors); also seized were explosives „built into small children’s plastic toys, including a car, a helicopter and an ice cream cone,“ plus other weapons such as handguns, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, etc. The Sarajevo government denounced the raid, claiming the facility was an „intelligence service school“; the detainees were released promptly after NATO turned them over to local authorities. [„NATO Captures Terrorist Training Camp, Claims Iranian Involvement,“ Associated Press, 2/16/96; „Bosnian government denies camp was for terrorists,“ Reuters, 2/16/96; Bodansky Some Call It Peace, page 56] In May 1996, a previously unknown group called „Bosnian Islamic Jihad“ (jihad means „holy war“) threatened attacks on NATO troops by suicide bombers, similar to those that had recently been launched in Israel. [„Jihad Threat in Bosnia Alarms NATO,“ The European, 5/9/96]

Stepping-Stone to Europe

The intended targets of the mujahedin network in Bosnia are not limited to that country but extend to Western Europe. For example, in August 1995, the conservative Paris daily Le Figaro reported that French security services believe that „Islamic fundamentalists from Algeria have set up a security network across Europe with fighters trained in Afghan guerrilla camps and [in] southern France while some have been tested in Bosnia.“ [(London) Daily Telegraph, 8/17/95] Also, in April 1996, Belgian security arrested a number of Islamic militants, including two native Bosnians, smuggling weapons to Algerian guerrillas active in France. [Intelligence Newsletter, Paris, 5/9/96 (No. 287)] Finally, also in April 1996, a meeting of radicals aligned with HizbAllah („Party of God“), a pro-Iran group based in Lebanon, set plans for stepping up attacks on U.S. assets on all continents; among those participating was an Egyptian, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who „runs the Islamist terrorist operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina from a special headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria. His forces are already deployed throughout Bosnia, ready to attack US and other I-FOR (NATO Implementation Force) targets.“ [„State-Sponsored Terrorism and The Rise of the HizbAllah International,“ Defense and Foreign Affairs and Strategic Policy, London, 8/31/96] Finally, in December 1996, French and Belgian security arrested several would-be terrorists trained at Iranian-run camps in Bosnia. [„Terrorism: The Bosnian Connection,“ (Paris) L’Express, 12/26/96]

The Radical Islamic Character of the Sarajevo Regime

Underlying the Clinton Administration’s misguided policy toward Iranian influence in Bosnia is a fundamental misreading of the true nature of the Muslim regime that benefitted from the Iran/Bosnia arms policy: „The most dubious of all Bosniac [i.e., Bosnian Muslim] claims pertains to the self-serving commercial that the government hopes to eventually establish a multiethnic liberal democratic society. Such ideals may appeal to a few members of Bosnia’s ruling circle as well as to a generally secular populace, but President Izetbegovic and his cabal appear to harbor much different private intentions and goals.“ [„Selling the Bosnia Myth to America: Buyer Beware,“ Lieutenant Colonel John E. Sray, USA, U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS, October 1995]

The evidence that the leadership of the ruling Party of Democratic Action (SDA), and consequently, the Sarajevo-based government, has long been motivated by the principles of radical Islam is inescapable. The following three profiles are instructive:

Alija Izetbegovic: Alija Izetbegovic, current Bosnian president and head of the SDA, in 1970 authored the radical „Islamic Declaration,“ which calls for „the Islamic movement“ to start to take power as soon as it can overturn „the existing non-Muslim government . . . [and] build up a new Islamic one,“ to destroy non-Islamic institutions („There can be neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic religion and non-Islamic social institutions“), and to create an international federation of Islamic states. [The Islamic Declaration: A Programme for the Islamization of Muslims and the Muslim Peoples, Sarajevo, in English, 1990] Izetbegovic’s radical pro-Iran associations go back decades: „At the center of the Iranian system in Europe is Bosnia-Hercegovina’s President, Alija Izetbegovic, . . . who is committed to the establishment of an Islamic Republic in Bosnia-Hercegovina.“ [„Iran’s European Springboard?“, House Republican Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, 9/1/92] The Task Force report further describes Izetbegovic’s contacts with Iran and Libya in 1991, before the Bosnian war began; he is also noted as a „fundamentalist Muslim“ and a member of the „Fedayeen of Islam“ organization, an Iran-based radical group dating to the 1930s and which by the late 1960s had recognized the leadership of the Ayatollah Khomeini (then in exile from the Shah). Following Khomeini’s accession to power in 1979, Izetbegovic stepped-up his efforts to establish Islamic power in Bosnia and was jailed by the communists in 1983. Today, he is open and unapologetic about his links to Iran: „Perhaps the most telling detail of the [SDA’s September 1, 1996] campaign rally . . . was the presence of the Iranian Ambassador and his Bosnian and Iranian bodyguards, who sat in the shadow of the huge birchwood platform. . . . As the only foreign diplomat [present], indeed the only foreigner traveling in the President’s [i.e., Izetbegovic’s] heavily guarded motorcade of bulky four-wheel drive jeeps, he lent a silent Islamic imprimatur to the event, one that many American and European supporters of the Bosnian Government are trying hard to ignore or dismiss.“ [NYT, 9/2/96] During the summer 1996 election campaign, the Iranians delivered to him, in two suitcases, $500,000 in cash; Izetbegovic „is now ‚literally on their [i.e., the Iranians‘] payroll,‘ according to a classified report based on the CIA’s analysis of the issue.“ [LAT, 12/31/96. See also „Iran Contributed $500,000 to Bosnian President’s Election Effort, U.S. Says,“ New York Times, 1/1/97, and Washington Times, 1/2/97] Adil Zulfikarpasic, a Muslim co-founder of the SDA, broke with Izetbegovic in late 1990 due to the increasingly overt fundamentalist and pro-Iranian direction of the party. [See Milovan Djilas, Bosnjak: Adil Zulfikarpasic, Zurich, 1994]

Hassan (or Hasan) Cengic: Until recently, deputy defense minister (and now cosmetically reassigned to a potentially even more dangerous job in refugee resettlement at the behest of the Clinton Administration), Cengic, a member of a powerful clan headed by his father, Halid Cengic, is an Islamic cleric who has traveled frequently to Tehran and is deeply involved in the arms pipeline. [„Bosnian Officials Involved in Arms Trade Tied to Radical States,“ Washington Post, 9/22/96] Cengic was identified by Austrian police as a member of TWRA’s supervisory board, „a fact confirmed by its Sudanese director, Elfatih Hassanein, in a 1994 interview with Gazi Husrev Beg, an Islamic affairs magazine. Cengic later became the key Bosnian official involved in setting up a weapons pipeline from Iran. . . . Cengic . . . is a longtime associate of Izetbegovic’s. He was one of the co-defendants in Izetbegovic’s 1983 trial for fomenting Muslim nationalism in what was then Yugoslavia. Cengic was given a 10-year prison term, most of which he did not serve. In trial testimony Cengic was said to have been traveling to Iran since 1983. Cengic lived in Tehran and Istanbul during much of the war, arranging for weapons to be smuggled into Bosnia.“ [WP, 9/22/96] According to a Bosnian Croat radio profile: „Hasan’s father, Halid Cengic . . . is the main logistic expert in the Muslim army. All petrodollar donations from the Islamic world and the procurement of arms and military technology for Muslim units went through him. He made so much money out of this business that he is one of the richest Muslims today. Halid Cengic and his two sons, of whom Hasan has been more in the public spotlight, also control the Islamic wing of the intelligence agency AID [Agency for Information and Documentation]. Well informed sources in Sarajevo claim that only Hasan addresses Izetbegovic with ‚ti‘ [second person singular, used as an informal form of address] while all the others address him as ‚Mr. President,'“ a sign of his extraordinary degree of intimacy with the president. [BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 10/28/96, „Radio elaborates on Iranian connection of Bosnian deputy defense minister,“ from Croat Radio Herceg-Bosna, Mostar, in Serbo-Croatian, 10/25/96, bracketed text in original] In late 1996, at the insistence of the Clinton Administration, Hassan Cengic was reassigned to refugee affairs. However, in his new capacity he may present an even greater hazard to NATO forces in Bosnia, in light of past incidents such as the one that took place near the village of Celic in November 1996. At that time, in what NATO officers called part of a pattern of „military operations in disguise,“ American and Russian IFOR troops were caught between Muslims and Serbs as the Muslims, some of them armed, attempted to encroach on the cease-fire line established by Dayton; commented a NATO spokesman: „We believe this to be a deliberate, orchestrated and provocative move to circumvent established procedures for the return of refugees.“ [„Gunfire Erupts as Muslims Return Home,“ Washington Post, 11/13/96]

Dzemal Merdan: „The office of Brig. Gen. Dzemal Merdan is an ornate affair, equipped with an elaborately carved wooden gazebo ringed with red velvet couches and slippers for his guests. A sheepskin prayer mat lies in the corner, pointing toward Mecca. The most striking thing in the chamber is a large flag. It is not the flag of Bosnia, but of Iran. Pinned with a button of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s late Islamic leader, the flag occupies pride of place in Merdan’s digs — displayed in the middle of the gazebo for every visitor to see. Next to it hangs another pennant, that of the Democratic Action Party, the increasingly nationalist Islamic organization of President Alija Izetbegovic that dominates Bosnia’s Muslim region. . . . Merdan’s position highlights the American dilemma. As head of the office of training and development of the Bosnian army, he is a key liaison figure in the U.S. [arm and train] program. . . . But Merdan, Western sources say, also has another job — as liaison with foreign Islamic fighters here since 1992 and promoter of the Islamic faith among Bosnia’s recruits. Sources identified Merdan as being instrumental in the creation of a brigade of Bosnian soldiers, called the 7th Muslim Brigade, that is heavily influenced by Islam and trained by fighters from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. He has also launched a program, these sources say, to build mosques on military training grounds to teach Islam to Bosnian recruits. In addition, he helped establish training camps in Bosnia where Revolutionary Guards carried out their work.“ [„Arming the Bosnians: U.S. Program Would Aid Force Increasingly Linked to Iran,“ Washington Post, 1/26/96, emphasis added] General Merdan is a close associate of both Izetbegovic and Cengic; the central region around Zenica, which was „completely militarized in the first two years of the war“ under the control of Merdan’s mujahedin, is „under total control of the Cengic family.“ [„Who Rules Bosnia and Which Way,“ (Sarajevo) Slobodna Bosna, 11/17/96, FBIS translation; Slobodna Bosna is one of the few publications in Muslim-held areas that dares to criticize the policies and personal corruption of the ruling SDA clique.] Merdan’s mujahedin were accused by their erstwhile Croat allies of massacring more than 100 Croats near Zenica in late 1993. [„Bosnian Croats vow to probe war crimes by Moslems,“ Agence France Presse, 5/12/95]

The Islamization of the Bosnian Army

In cooperation with the foreign Islamic presence, the Izetbegovic regime has revamped its security and military apparatus to reflect its Islamic revolutionary outlook, including the creation of mujahedin units throughout the army; some members of these units have assumed the guise of a shaheed (a „martyr,“ the Arabic term commonly used to describe suicide bombers), marked by their white garb, representing a shroud. While these units include foreign fighters naturalized in Bosnia, most of the personnel are now Bosnian Muslims trained and indoctrinated by Iranian and other foreign militants — which also makes it easier for the Clinton Administration to minimize the mujahedin threat, because few of them are „foreigners.“
Bakir Izetbegovic,
Prior to 1996, there were three principal mujahedin units in the Bosnian army, the first two of which are headquartered in the American IFOR/SFOR zone: (1) the 7th Muslim Liberation Brigade of the 3rd Corps, headquartered in Zenica; (2) the 9th Muslim Liberation Brigade of the 2nd Corps, headquartered in Travnik (the 2nd Corps is based in Tuzla); and (3) the 4th Muslim Liberation Brigade of the 4th Corps, headquartered in Konjic (in the French zone). [Bodansky, Some Call It Peace, page 40] Particularly ominous, many members of these units have donned the guise of martyrs, indicating their willingness to sacrifice themselves in the cause of Islam. Commenting on an appearance of soldiers from the 7th Liberation Brigade, in Zenica in December 1995, Bodansky writes: „Many of the fighters . . . were dressed in white coveralls over their uniforms. Officially, these were ‚white winter camouflage,‘ but the green headbands [bearing Koranic verses] these warriors were wearing left no doubt that these were actually Shaheeds‘ shrouds.“ [Some Call It Peace, page 12] The same demonstration was staged before the admiring Iranian ambassador and President Izetbegovic in September 1996, when white winter garb could only be symbolic, not functional. [NYT, 9/2/96] By June 1996, ten more mujahedin brigades had been established, along with numerous smaller „special units“ dedicated to covert and terrorist operations; while foreigners are present in all of these units, most of the soldiers are now native Bosnian Muslims. [Some Call It Peace, pages 42-46]

In addition to these units, there exists another group known as the Handzar („dagger“ or „scimitar“) Division, described by Bodansky as a „praetorian guard“ for President Izetbegovic. „Up to 6000-strong, the Handzar division glories in a fascist culture. They see themselves as the heirs of the SS Handzar division, formed by Bosnian Muslims in 1943 to fight for the Nazis. Their spiritual model was Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who sided with Hitler. According to UN officers, surprisingly few of those in charge of the Handzars . . . seem to speak good Serbo-Croatian. ‚Many of them are Albanian, whether from Kosovo [the Serb province where Albanians are the majority] or from Albania itself.‘ They are trained and led by veterans from Afghanistan and Pakistan, say UN sources.“ [„Albanians and Afghans fight for the heirs to Bosnia’s SS past,“ (London) Daily Telegraph, 12/29/93, bracketed text in original]

Self-Inflicted Atrocities

Almost since the beginning of the Bosnian war in the spring of 1992, there have been persistent reports — readily found in the European media but little reported in the United States — that civilian deaths in Muslim-held Sarajevo attributed to the Bosnian Serb Army were in some cases actually inflicted by operatives of the Izetbegovic regime in an (ultimately successful) effort to secure American intervention on Sarajevo’s behalf. These allegations include instances of sniping at civilians as well as three major explosions, attributed to Serbian mortar fire, that claimed the lives of dozens of people and, in each case, resulted in the international community’s taking measures against the Muslims‘ Serb enemies. (The three explosions were: (1) the May 27, 1992, „breadline massacre,“ which was reported to have killed 16 people and which resulted in economic sanctions on the Bosnian Serbs and rump Yugoslavia; (2) the February 5, 1994, Markale „market massacre,“ killing 68 and resulting in selective NATO air strikes and an ultimatum to the Serbs to withdraw their heavy weapons from the area near Sarajevo; and (3) the August 28, 1995 „second market massacre,“ killing 37 and resulting in large-scale NATO air strikes, eventually leading to the Dayton agreement and the deployment of IFOR.) When she was asked about such allegations (with respect to the February 1994 explosion) then-U.N. Ambassador and current Secretary of State-designate Madeleine Albright, in a stunning non sequitur, said: „It’s very hard to believe any country would do this to their own people, and therefore, although we do not exactly know what the facts are, it would seem to us that the Serbs are the ones that probably have a great deal of responsibility.“ [„Senior official admits to secret U.N. report on Sarajevo massacre,“ Deutsch Presse-Agentur, 6/6/96, emphasis added]

The fact that such a contention is difficult to believe does not mean it is not true. Not only did the incidents lead to the result desired by Sarajevo (Western action against the Bosnian Serbs), their staging by the Muslims would be entirely in keeping with the moral outlook of Islamic radicalism, which has long accepted the deaths of innocent (including Muslim) bystanders killed in terrorist actions. According to a noted analyst: „The dictum that the end justifies the means is adopted by all fundamentalist organizations in their strategies for achieving political power and imposing on society their own view of Islam. What is important in every action is its niy’yah, its motive. No means need be spared in the service of Islam as long as one takes action with a pure niy’yah.“ [Amir Taheri, Holy Terror, Bethesda, MD, 1987] With the evidence that the Sarajevo leadership does in fact have a fundamentalist outlook, it is unwarranted to dismiss cavalierly the possibility of Muslim responsibility. Among some of the reports:

Sniping: „French peacekeeping troops in the United Nations unit trying to curtail Bosnian Serb sniping at civilians in Sarajevo have concluded that until mid-June some gunfire also came from Government soldiers deliberately shooting at their own civilians. After what it called a ‚definitive‘ investigation, a French marine unit that patrols against snipers said it traced sniper fire to a building normally occupied by Bosnian [i.e., Muslim] soldiers and other security forces. A senior French officer said, ‚We find it almost impossible to believe, but we are sure that it is true.'“ [„Investigation Concludes Bosnian Government Snipers Shot at Civilians,“ New York Times, 8/1/95]

The 1992 „Breadline Massacre“: „United Nations officials and senior Western military officers believe some of the worst killings in Sarajevo, including the massacre of at least 16 people in a bread queue, were carried out by the city’s mainly Muslim defenders — not Serb besiegers — as a propaganda ploy to win world sympathy and military intervention. . . . Classified reports to the UN force commander, General Satish Nambiar, concluded . . . that Bosnian forces loyal to President Alija Izetbegovic may have detonated a bomb. ‚We believe it was a command-detonated explosion, probably in a can,‘ a UN official said then. ‚The large impact which is there now is not necessarily similar or anywhere near as large as we came to expect with a mortar round landing on a paved surface.“ [„Muslims ’slaughter their own people‘,“ (London) The Independent, 8/22/92] „Our people tell us there were a number of things that didn’t fit. The street had been blocked off just before the incident. Once the crowd was let in and had lined up, the media appeared but kept their distance. The attack took place, and the media were immediately on the scene.“ [Major General Lewis MacKenzie, Peacekeeper: The Road to Sarajevo, Vancouver, BC, 1993, pages 193-4; Gen. MacKenzie, a Canadian, had been commander of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Sarajevo.]

The 1994 Markale „Market Massacre“: „French television reported last night that the United Nations investigation into the market-place bombing in Sarajevo two weeks ago had established beyond doubt that the mortar shell that killed 68 people was fired from inside Bosnian [Muslim] lines.“ [„UN tracks source of fatal shell,“ (London) The Times, 2/19/94] „For the first time, a senior U.N. official has admitted the existence of a secret U.N. report that blames the Bosnian Moslems for the February 1994 massacre of Moslems at a Sarajevo market. . . . After studying the crater left by the mortar shell and the distribution of shrapnel, the report concluded that the shell was fired from behind Moslem lines.“ The report, however, was kept secret; the context of the wire story implies that U.S. Ambasador Albright may have been involved in its suppression. [DPA, 6/6/96] For a fuller discussion of the conflicting claims, see „Anatomy of a massacre,“ Foreign Policy, 12/22/94, by David Binder; Binder, a veteran New York Times reporter in Yugoslavia, had access to the suppressed report. Bodansky categorically states that the bomb „was actually a special charge designed and built with help from HizbAllah [„Party of God,“ a Beirut-based pro-Iranian terror group] experts and then most likely dropped from a nearby rooftop onto the crowd of shoppers. Video cameras at the ready recorded this expertly-staged spectacle of gore, while dozens of corpses of Bosnian Muslim troops killed in action (exchanged the day before in a ‚body swap‘ with the Serbs) were paraded in front of cameras to raise the casualty counts.“ [Offensive in the Balkans, page 62]

The 1995 „Second Market Massacre“: „British ammunition experts serving with the United Nations in Sarajevo have challenged key ‚evidence‘ of the Serbian atrocity that triggered the devastating Nato bombing campaign which turned the tide of the Bosnian war.“ The Britons‘ analysis was confirmed by French analysts but their findings were „dismissed“ by „a senior American officer“ at U.N. headquarters in Sarajevo. [„Serbs ’not guilty‘ of massacre: Experts warned US that mortar was Bosnian,“ (London) The Times, 10/1/95] A „crucial U.N. report [stating Serb responsibility for] the market massacre is a classified secret, but four specialists — a Russian, a Canadian and two Americans — have raised serious doubts about its conclusion, suggesting instead that the mortar was fired not by the Serbs but by Bosnian government forces.“ A Canadian officer „added that he and fellow Canadian officers in Bosnia were ‚convinced that the Muslim government dropped both the February 5, 1994, and the August 28, 1995, mortar shells on the Sarajevo markets.'“ An unidentified U.S. official „contends that the available evidence suggests either ‚the shell was fired at a very low trajectory, which means a range of a few hundred yards — therefore under [Sarajevo] government control,‘ or ‚a mortar shell converted into a bomb was dropped from a nearby roof into the crowd.'“ [„Bosnia’s bombers,“ The Nation, 10/2/95]. At least some high-ranking French and perhaps other Western officials believed the Muslims responsible; after having received that account from government ministers and two generals, French magazine editor Jean Daniel put the question directly to Prime Minister Edouard Balladur: „‚They [i.e., the Muslims] have committed this carnage on their own people?‘ I exclaimed in consternation. ‚Yes,‘ confirmed the Prime Minister without hesitation, ‚but at least they have forced NATO to intervene.'“ [„No more lies about Bosnia,“ Le Nouvel Observateur, 8/31/95, translated in Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, January 1997]

Suppression of Enemies

As might be expected, one manifestation of the radical Islamic orientation of the Izetbegovic government is increasing curtailment of the freedoms of the remaining non-Muslims (Croats and Serbs) in the Muslim-held zone. While there are similar pressures on minorities in the Serb- and Croat-held parts of Bosnia, in the Muslim zone they have a distinct Islamic flavor. For example, during the 1996-1997 Christmas and New Year holiday season, Muslim militants attempted to intimidate not only Muslims but Christians from engaging in what had become common holiday practices, such as gift-giving, putting up Christmas or New Year’s trees, and playing the local Santa Claus figure, Grandfather Frost (Deda Mraz). [„The Holiday, All Wrapped Up; Bosnian Muslims Take Sides Over Santa,“ Washington Post, 12/26/96] In general:

„Even in Sarajevo itself, always portrayed as the most prominent multi-national community in Bosnia, pressure, both psychological and real, is impelling non-Bosniaks [i.e., non-Muslims] to leave. Some measures are indirect, such as attempts to ban the sale of pork and the growing predominance of [Bosniak] street names. Other measures are deliberate efforts to apply pressure. Examples include various means to make non-Bosniaks leave the city. Similar pressures, often with more violent expression and occasionally with overt official participation, are being used throughout Bosnia.“ [„Bosnia’s Security and U.S. Policy in the Next Phase: A Policy Paper, International Research and Exchanges Board, November 1996]

In addition, President Izetbegovic’s party, the SDA, has launched politically-motivated attacks on moderate Muslims both within the SDA and in rival parties. For example, in the summer of 1996 former Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic, (a Muslim, and son of the former imam at the main Sarajevo mosque) was set upon and beaten by SDA militants. Silajdzic claimed Izetbegovic himself was behind the attacks. [NYT, 9/2/96] Irfan Mustafic, a Muslim who co-founded the SDA, is a member of the Bosnian parliament and was president of the SDA’s executive council in Srebrenica when it fell to Bosnian Serb forces; he was taken prisoner but later released. Because of several policy disagreements with Izetbegovic and his close associates, Mustafic was shot and seriously wounded in Srebrenica by Izetbegovic loyalists. [(Sarajevo) Slobodna Bosna, 7/14/96] Finally, one incident sums up both the ruthlessness of the Sarajevo establishment in dealing with their enemies as well as their international radical links:

„A special Bosnian army unit headed by Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosnian president’s son, murdered a Bosnian general found shot to death in Belgium last week, a Croatian newspaper reported . . . citing well-informed sources. The Vjesnik newspaper, controlled by the government, said the assassination of Yusuf Prazina was carried out by five members of a commando unit called ‚Delta‘ and headed by Ismet Bajramovic also known as Celo. The paper said that three members of the Syrian-backed Palestinian movement Saika had Prazina under surveillance for three weeks before one of them, acting as an arms dealer, lured him into a trap in a car park along the main highway between Liege in eastern Belgium and the German border town of Aachen. Prazina, 30, nicknamed Yuka, went missing early last month. He was found Saturday with two bullet holes to the head. ‚The necessary logistical means to carry out the operation were provided by Bakir Izetbegovic, son of Alija Izetbegovic, who left Sarajevo more than six months ago,‘ Vjesnik said. It added that Bakir Izetbegovic ‚often travels between Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Baghdad, Tehran and Ankara, by using Iraqi and Pakistani passports,‘ and was in Belgium at the time of the assassination. Hasan Cengic, head of logistics for the army in Bosnia-Hercegovina, was ‚personally involved in the assassination of Yuka Prazina,‘ the paper said.“ [Agence France Presse, 1/5/94]

Conclusion

The Clinton Administration’s blunder in giving the green light to the Iranian arms pipeline was based, among other errors, on a gross misreading of the true nature and goals of the Izetbegovic regime in Sarajevo. It calls to mind the similar mistake of the Carter Administration, which in 1979 began lavish aid to the new Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the hopes that (if the United States were friendly enough) the nine comandantes would turn out to be democrats, not communists, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. By the time the Reagan Administration finally cut off the dollar spigot in 1981, the comandantes — or the „nine little Castros,“ as they were known locally — had fully entrenched themselves in power.

To state that the Clinton Administration erred in facilitating the penetration of the Iranians and other radical elements into Europe would be a breathtaking understatement. A thorough reexamination of U.S. policy and goals in the region is essential. In particular, addressing the immediate threat to U.S. troops in Bosnia, exacerbated by the extention of the IFOR/SFOR mission, should be a major priority of the 105th Congress.  https://archive.is/x2i4i#selection-196.1-1013.430

SAS, MI6: Kosovo, Bosnia, Al-Queda until Jemen

Abu Hamza al-Masri (left) riding in a car with Haroon Rashid Aswat in January 1999.Abu Hamza al-Masri (left) riding in a car with Haroon Rashid Aswat in January 1999. [Source: Sunday Times]Haroon Rashid Aswat is a radical Muslim of Indian descent but born and raised in Britain. Around 1995, when he was about 21 years old, he left Britain and attended militant training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is said to have later told investigators that he once served as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden. In the late 1990s, he returns to Britain and becomes a “highly public aide” to radical London imam Abu Hamza al-Masri. Reda Hassaine, an informant for the French and British intelligence services (see After March 1997 and Late January 1999), will later recall regularly seeing Aswat at the Finsbury Park mosque where Abu Hamza preaches. Hassaine frequently sees Aswat recruiting young men to join al-Qaeda. “Inside the mosque he would sit with the new recruits telling them about life after death and the obligation of every Muslim to do the jihad against the unbelievers. All the talk was about killing in order to go to paradise and get the 72 virgins.” Aswat also shows potential recruits videos of the militants fighting in Bosnia and Chechnya. Hassaine will add: “He was always wearing Afghan or combat clothes. In the evening he offered some tea to the people who would sit with him to listen to the heroic action of the mujaheddin before joining the cleric for the finishing touch of brainwashing. The British didn’t seem to understand how dangerous these people were.” Hassaine presumably tells his British handlers about Aswat, as he is regularly reporting about activities as the mosque around this time, but the British take no action. [Sunday Times (London), 7/31/2005] It will later be reported that Aswat is the mastermind of the 7/7 London bombings (see Late June-July 7, 2005). Some of the 7/7 suicide bombers regularly attended the Finsbury Park mosque, and may have been recruited by al-Qaeda there or at another mosque in Britain. Counterterrorism expert John Loftus will later claim that Aswat in fact was working with British intelligence. He will say that in the late 1990s British intelligence was trying to get Islamist militants to fight in Kosovo against the Serbians and Aswat was part of this recruitment effort (see July 29, 2005). [Fox News, 7/29/2005]

Entity Tags: Reda Hassaine, Abu Hamza al-Masri, Al-Qaeda, John Loftus, Haroon Rashid Aswat

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

March 17, 2017

Which „War Torn“ Country? – U.S. Slaughter In Somalia, Yemen And Syria


biggeroriginal tweet

When I saw the above tweet this morning I wondered which „war torn“ country those Somalis were fleeing from when they were murdered. The tweet doesn’t say. Were they fleeing from the „war torn“ Somalia? Or were the fleeing from „war torn“ Yemen?

It is a sad world when has to ponder such.

It tuned out these people were fleeing from both wars:

Coast guard Mohammad Al Alay told Reuters the refugees, carrying official UNHCR documents, were on their way from Yemen to Sudan when they were attacked by an Apache helicopter near the Bab Al Mandeb strait.

An Apache attack helicopter shot up the refugees‘ boat. There are Saudi, United Emirati and U.S. Apache helicopters in or around Yemen. It is unknown which of them ordered and which executed the strike. These helicopters, their ammunition and the service for them are a favored U.S. export to belligerent dictatorships like Saudi Arabia.

The UN warns that 5 million people in Yemen are only weeks away from starving. The Saudis, the U.S. and the Emirates block all land routes, air ports and the coast of Yemen and no food supplies come through. This is an ongoing huge war crime and literally a genocide. But „western“ media seem totally unimpressed. Few, if any, reports on the war on Yemen get published. Never have they so openly displayed their hypocrisy.

Somalia is falling back into an all-out civil war fueled by the decades old unwillingness of the U.S. to condone an independent local unity government. The Islamic Court Union, a unity government created by the Somalis in 2006, was the last working instance of a real Somali state. It had no Jihadist agenda and held down local warlords. It was destroyed by the Bush administration:

A UN cable from June 2006, containing notes of a meeting with senior State Department and US military officials from the Horn of Africa task force, indicates that the United States was aware of the ICU’s diversity, but would “not allow” it to rule Somalia. The United States, according to the notes, intended to “rally with Ethiopia if the ‘Jihadist’ took over.” The cable concluded, “Any Ethiopian action in Somalia would have Washington’s blessing.” Some within the US intelligence community called for dialogue or reconciliation, but their voices were drowned out by hawks determined to overthrow the ICU.

During the last 10 years an on-and-off war is waged in Somalia with the U.S. military interfering whenever peace seems to gain ground. Currently a new round of war is building up. Weapons are streaming into Somalia from Yemen, where the Houthi plunder them from their Saudi invaders:

Jonah Leff, a weapons tracing expert with conflict Armament Research, said many [Somali] pirates had turned to smuggling. They take boatloads of people [from Somalia] to Yemen and return with weapons, he said.

The wars on Somalia and Yemen are the consequences of unscrupulous and incompetent(?) U.S. foreign policy. (Cutting down the size of the U.S. State Department, as the Trump administration now plans to do, is probably the best thing one can do for world peace.)

The U.S. military should be cut down too. It is equally unscrupulous and incompetent.

Last night the U.S. military hit a mosque in Al-Jīnah in Aleppo governate in Syria. It first claimed that the strike, allegedly targeting a large meeting of al-Qaeda, was in Idleb governate. But it turned out to be miles away west of Aleppo. Locals said a mosque was hit, the roof crashed in and more than 40 people were killed during the regular prayer service. More than 120 were injured. The U.S. military said it did not hit the local mosque but a building on the other side of the small plaza.

The U.S. maps and intelligence were not up-to-date. A new, bigger mosque had been build some years ago opposite of the old mosque. The old mosque was indeed not hit. The new one was destroyed while some 200 people were in attendance. Eight hellfire missiles launched from two Reaper drones were fired at it and a 500lb bomb was then dropped on top to make sure that no one escaped alive. Al-Qaeda fighters were indeed „meeting“ at that place – five times a day and together with the locals they have pressed by force to attend the Quran proscribed prayers.

Had the Russian or Syrian army committed the strike the „western“ outcry would have been great. For days the media would have provide gruesome photos and stories. The U.S. ambassador at the UN would have spewed fire and brimstone. But this intelligence screw-up happened on the U.S. side. There will now be some mealymouthed explanations and an official military investigation that will find no fault and will have no consequences.

Amid this sorry incident it was amusing to see the propaganda entities the U.S. had created to blame the Syrian government turning against itself. The MI6 operated SOHR was the first to come out with a high death count. The al-Qaeda aligned, U.S./UK financed „White Helmets“ rescuers made a quick photo session pretending to dig out the dead. The sectarian al-Qaeda video propagandist Bilal Abdul Kareem, which the New York Times recently portrait in a positive light, provided damning video and accusing comments. The amateur NATO researchers at Bellingcat published what they had gleaned from maps, photos and videos other people created. The NATO think tank, which defended al-Qaeda’s invasion of Idleb, will shed crocodile tears.

Each new lie and obfuscation the U.S. Central Command in the Middle East put out throughout the day was immediately debunked by the horde of U.S. financed al-Qaeda propaganda supporters. This blowback from the „information operation“ against Syria will likely have consequences for future U.S. operations.

In another operation last night the Israeli air force attacked Syrian forces near Palmyra which were operating against ISIS. The Israeli fighters were chased away when the Syrians fired air defense missiles. This was an Israeli attempt to stretch the „rules of operation“ it had negotiated with the Russian military in Syria. The Russians, which control the Syrian air space, had allowed Israel to hit Hizbullah weapon transports on their way to Lebanon. Attacks on any force operating against Jihadis in Syria are taboo. The Russian government summoned the Israeli ambassador. Netanyahoo broke the rules. He will now have to bear the consequences.

Posted by b at 03:42 PM | Comments (134)

Why the UK launched its first targeted drone strike ever

On Aug. 21, 2015, the UK government launched its first targeted drone strike ever. The jihadist in the drone’s crosshairs was Reyaad Khan, a UK national who was remotely directing recruits to carry out terrorist attacks in his home country. Khan, also known as Abu Dujana al Hindi, was operating in the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria at the time. The UK had used unmanned aerial bombers in the past as part of larger military campaigns. But the 21-year-old Khan, pictured above, was the first jihadist to be specifically hunted in such a fashion.

David Cameron, who was then prime minister, announced the deaths of Khan and some of his associates during a speech before the UK parliament on Sept. 7, 2015. But it wasn’t until today, more than a year and a half later, that the UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee released its findings on the matter.

The committee investigated whether the intelligence cited by Cameron and other officials justified the exceptional attention Khan was given. In short, the committee concluded that Khan represented a serious threat.

In its report, the committee agreed with an assessment that was included in a dossier compiled by MI5 in July 2015. That analysis read: “[T]hrough his persistent and prolific efforts to recruit, advise, and encourage operatives in the West to conduct attacks, Khan poses a significant, ongoing and imminent threat to the UK.”

In the months that followed Khan’s death, counterterrorism officials around the globe detected numerous plots connected to Islamic State cyber planners living in Iraq and Syria. European authorities would eventually describe these operations as “remote-controlled,” as Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s loyalists, both male and female, provided advice and direction that went well beyond mere inspiration. Looking back on this recent history, it is now clear that Khan and his comrades were among the first jihadists to frequently employ this innovation in the West….

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/04/

Dodik’s referendum – opening Pandora’s box in the Balkans?

BiH 2016 local election:

Dodik’s referendum – opening Pandora’s box in the Balkans?”

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina will hold local election on 2 October 2016. There are 3,345,486 registered voters in the country. The number of voters who will vote by post at the forthcoming election has significantly increased to 65,111. About 30,000 candidates are competing for the positions in the future local government. Altogether 2,835 councillors will be elected, of which 1,687 in the Federation of  Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), 1,117 in Republika Srpska (RS) and 31 in the Brčko District, as well as 301 city council members of which 117 in FBiH and 184 in RS, 131 mayors of municipalities and 12 mayors of cities.

 

Election will be held in all local government units with the exception of the city of Mostar where no election has been held since 2008. The greatest responsibility for the situation in Mostar lies with two leading parties: the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and Croatian Democratic Union of BiH (HDZBiH). Despite their optimistic announcements regarding the agreement to be concluded on local elections in Mostar, the current political leadership has not reached any solution yet.

 

Local election marked by traditional political rivalries

 

The current election campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been marked by traditional political rivalries.

 

As usually there are two political blocks in Republika Srpska: one coalition comprises Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), Democratic People’s Union  (DNS) and the Socialist Party (SP), while the other one (Union for Change) is a coalition between the Serb Democratic Party (SDS), the Party of Democratic Progress  (PDP) and Democratic People’s Alliance (NDP). The Union for Change has lost much power due to collaboration between PDP leader and Serb Member of BiH Presidency Mladen Ivanić and SNSD leader and President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik. With PDP rapidly losing support among the electorate, Ivanić is using inappropriate rhetoric that creates further tensions in BiH in order to regain some of that support. This is a classic example of “political prostitution”, which is characteristic of Ivanić.

 

The SDA-SBB coalition (SBB – Union for a Better Future) is the absolute favourite of the upcoming local election. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) is on the defensive, trying to find its place within the opposition. The Democratic Front (DF) has been trying to present itself as the opposition party and a fierce critic of the government, in which it has partly succeeded due to numerous failures made by the incumbent government. It is becoming more and more obvious that in the SDA-SBB coalition SDA will gradually take over SBB’s power. Judicial prosecution of SBB leader Fahrudin Radončić has left a heavy burden for the future of this party. Election of a new SBB leader could eventually prevent its decline and open the possibilities for the party to disengage from SDA’s patronage.

 

Election in the Brčko District will be especially interesting. Brčko has become a training ground for measuring the power of political parties in RS and FBiH. All the largest parties have announced they will hold their main election rallies in Brčko, which will further aggravate the atmosphere in the District where considerable regression has been noticed in last years. The Brčko District is an administrative unit of BiH with probably the highest number of initiated and the lowest number of completed projects.

 

HDZBiH dominates in areas with predominantly Croatian population where it will be very difficult to undermine its position.

 

Of special concern will be the forthcoming local election in Srebrenica due to the genocide committed against the Bosniaks and since a large number of voters from Serbia have been illegally added to the electoral rollof the municipality of Srebrenica. In view of the above stated and other possible malpractices in the election process and at the election it will be of grave importance to carry out monitoring in Srebrenica.

 

While the higher state level is engaged by opposing political options, the local level thrives with numerous unprincipled coalitions and a large number of independent candidates and tickets.

Dodik’s referendum – an introduction into new geopolitical changes

 

Current events in Bosnia and Herzegovina are further complicating the announced referendum in Republika Srpska scheduled for 25 September 2016, the aim of which is to annul the decision of the BiH Constitutional Court that 9 January is unconstitutional for celebrating the Day of Republika Srpska since it insults the feelings of the other two nations in the RS entity, the Bosniaks and the Croats, as it was proclaimed by only one nation, the Serbs.

 

The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (OHR) Valentin Inzko and the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) have estimated that the announced referendum on the National Day of Republika Srpska has an anti-Dayton character and threatens peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.

 

Milorad Dodik is trying to force the Constitutional Court to revoke its decision or to revise its judgement. This is clearly a case of legal nonsense, since judgements of the Constitutional Court can not be not subject to revision – by submitting itself to revision the Constitutional Court would actually abolish itself, which is obviously Dodik’s goal.

 

In his public appearances Dodik has been wise enough to stress that in Bosnia and Herzegovina decisions should be adopted with the consensus of all the three nations, while the decision on 9 January was only made by the representatives of one nation – the Serbs. The solution for this crisis would be to involve all the three nations, Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats, in the decision-making on the National Day of Republika Srpska. However, it is obvious that Dodik lacks the democratic capacity, so he uses the instrumentalist approach and manipulates the feelings of his fellow Serbs in order to realise his one and only goal – to remain in power.

 

Russia is strongly involved in the referendum situation in RS, and Serbia has also shown certain pretensions, although Aleksandar Vučić and Tomislav Nikolić stated they do not support the referendum, but they do not oppose it either. In fact this means tacit support – the connoisseurs of the political situation are fully aware that decisions on Republika Srpska are made in Belgrade, and the same goes for the present referendum.

 

Another proof of Russia’s involvement is the announced Milorad Dodik’s visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for 22 September 2016. In international relations it is inconceivable that Russia’s President receives a president of some region of another country, except if the visitor is an exponent of Russia’s politics in that region. In this case Dodik acts in Russian interests which are primarily focused on preventing BiH from gaining NATO full membership and eventually also on the dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

The referendum that is to take place in Republika Srpska on 25 September 2016 is an introduction into new geopolitical turmoil and will open Pandora’s box in the Balkans with unimaginable consequences. This may lead to large geopolitical changes in the region as well as globally, and the announcement of Dodik’s referendum may stir the process of internal (re)organisation of BiH.

 

Analysts believe that if the referendum actually takes place on 25 September 2016, this may lead to a chain reaction and a series of new referenda in BiH and the region. Even Serbia will not be able to avoid this chain of referenda, with Albanians in the Preševo Valley (Preševo, Medveđa, Bujanovac), who believe they are the “Eastern Kosovo”, demanding annexation to Kosovo, followed by the secession tendencies of the Bosniaks in Sandžak – although most of Bosniak leaders are Vučić’s followers, as well as Bulgarians in the region bordering Bulgaria and Vlachs in east Serbia, and possibly even a referendum in Vojvodina that will not be demanded by minority communities. The situation in Macedonia will be further destabilised and the Serbs in Montenegro, encouraged with the support from Moscow and Belgrade, will endeavour to create their own entity in that country. There are many aspects that will lead to destabilisation in the region due to Dodik’s referendum. Any Serbia’s escapade with Republika Srpska may cause it to lose Vojvodina. Even Russia warned Serbia of this danger a few years ago.

 

Analysts have estimated that the announced referendum in RS will lead to the process of changes in internal (re)organisation of BiH based on the shock doctrine. In democracy it is impossible to make any radically change in direction without some shock that would “allow” those who have staged that shock to organise the state according to their own principles and plans. In Dodik’s case it is paradoxical that he is creating a shock in the interests of others, while he is being applauded for his “suicidal” action by almost all of his public.

 

Analysts believe that participation of foreign judges in the BiH Constitutional Court still brings certain new quality, since it contributes to the reduction of politisation and provincialisation of such an important body.

 

Ljubljana, 17 September 2016

 

Bosnia’s Niqab-Wearers Brave Insults to Show Faith

16 Sep 16

Bosnia’s Niqab-Wearers Brave Insults to Show Faith

Muslim women who wear the face-covering niqab say they are often insulted or mocked on the streets of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but are determined to show they are following religious rules.

Albina Sorguc
BIRN

Sarajevo

The increase in the number of women wearing face-coverings is connected to the rise in the number of Bosnian Muslims practicing a stricter Salafi interpretation of Islam. Photo: Mario Ilicic

“I was born here. I was raised here… I think of this city as my city,” says M.Z., a medical doctor from the Bosnian capital who has worn the Islamic face-covering veil, the niqab, for the past 17 years.

But even in majority-Muslim Sarajevo, M.Z., who did not want her full name published, says she often faces insults while walking down the street – people call her a ‘ninja’ or ask why she is hiding her face – insults that sometimes cause her to decide to stay at home “because I do not want to spoil my day”.

M.Z. says that her parents did not support her decision to start covering her head because they feared it would prevent her from achieving her goals in life, although they eventually accepted it.

She says she was subjected to criticism from the very beginning, and recalls being told by one of her professors: “You are a good student. I don’t know why you need that thing on your head. You will never succeed in that way. Why are you making your life more difficult?”

She managed to complete her university studies and find a job as a doctor, but
says she cannot cover her face at work.

“It is simply impossible to work with a niqab. I take my niqab off in front of the Health Centre. Children become scared if they cannot see your face. I have accepted the fact that there is no other way to go,” she explains.

But she argues that people who are against her wearing the niqab are effectively telling her to hide her religious identity: “Be a Muslim woman, but only in your heart. Practice your religion inside your house. Pray to God, but you should not tell everyone you do it… I thought I should show what I kept in my soul and my heart,” she says.

She says however that she has noticed that when she gets a chance to introduce herself and say who she is and what she does, people change their opinion about her, irrespective of the fact that she wears a niqab.

Clerics in Bosnia have differing opinions about whether women should cover their faces completely. Photo: Mario Ilicic

The exact number of women who wear the Islamic headscarf or veil in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not known, because no records are kept.

But the increase in the number of women wearing face-coverings in the years after the war is connected to the rise in the number of Bosnian Muslims practicing a stricter Salafi interpretation of Islam than the one that was predominant in the country before the 1992-95 conflict.

Muslim women in Bosnia and Herzegovina wear headscarves to show that they respect religious rules, but clerics in the country have differing opinions about whether they should cover their faces completely.

A.S., who also did not want her name to be published, lived in Germany during the war and did not know much about religion.

But when she returned to Sarajevo and began researching religious rules, she decided to cover her hair and face. She recalls how one woman told her in the street she was a Baba Yaga – a scary witch from Slavic folklore – while another talked her three-year-old child into throwing stones at her.

“I regularly go to the alley in order to run there. Everybody found it strange in the beginning.

They used to say: ‘Look! A ninja running.’ But they all greet me now,” A.S. said.



Another Bosnian woman who has chosen to wear the niqab, Edina Talic, says she started to cover her face when she began learning the Koran by heart. 



Women who wear the face-covering niqab say they are often insulted or mocked on the streets of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo: Mario Ilicic

“The niqab is an accessory that makes me feel more dignified. When I put it on, I thought everybody was looking at me, but I felt good and I was at peace,” she explains, adding that wearing it makes her feel like she has a crown on her head.

B.S., who also wears the niqab, says she used to wear a headscarf when she was in secondary school, but then decided started to covering her face completely.

“When you realise it is your obligation to do it, you start moving in that direction. I am trying to do whatever satisfies Allah,” she explains……

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bosnia-s-niqab-wearers-brave-insults-to-show-faith-09-16-2016-1

The Kosovo Liberation Army: Does Clinton Policy Support Group with Terror, Drug Ties?………
 http://fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/fr033199.htm

From Albania to Bosnia: Brothers Need Arms

In early 1990s Albania offered its help to the United States, which was looking for ways to support the Bosnian Muslims side in conflict in former Yugoslavia.
Fred Abrahams
BIRN

Berlin
………………..
In view of such tactics, the Clinton Administration’s then-special envoy for Kosovo, Robert Gelbard, had little difficulty in condemning the KLA (also known by its Albanian initials, UCK) in terms comparable to those he used for Serbian police repression:

“ ‚The violence we have seen growing is incredibly dangerous,‘ Gelbard said. He criticized violence ‚promulgated by the (Serb) police‘ and condemned the actions of an ethnic Albanian underground group Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Serb targets. ‚We condemn very strongly terrorist actions in Kosovo. The UCK is, without any questions, a terrorist group,‘ Gelbard said.“ [Agence France Presse, 2/23/98]

Mr. Gelbard’s remarks came just before a KLA attack on a Serbian police station led to a retaliation that left dozens of Albanians dead, leading in turn to a rapid escalation of the cycle of violence. Responding to criticism that his earlier remarks might have been seen as Washington’s „green light“ to Belgrade that a crack-down on the KLA would be acceptable, Mr. Gelbard offered to clarify to the House Committee on International Relations:

„Questioned by lawmakers today on whether he still considered the group a terrorist organization, Mr. Gelbard said that while it has committed ‚terrorist acts,‘ it has ’not been classified legally by the U.S. Government as a terrorist organization.‘ “ [New York Times, 3/13/98]

……………………….

Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd opened the meeting, flanked by Izetbegovic and Berisha, saying that Bosnia should have the possibility to obtain the weapons it needs for self-defense.

Izetbegovic followed with an impassioned ten-minute speech, in which he asked whether the world’s “indifference” was because the victims in Bosnia were Muslim or because the world did not care. Referring to the arms embargo on the former Yugoslavia, he accused those who “bind our hands” of being accomplices in Bosnia’s tragedy, and then asked for “limited quantities” of defensive weapons.

Berisha followed with what the U.S. cable on the meeting called “an anti-Serb diatribe.” He said that Serbian forces had decapitated children and raped women, and warned that war in Kosovo was “just around the corner.”

 

U.S. Designates Important bin Laden/Qadi Associate

The U.S. Treasury Department today designated Dr. Abdul Latif Saleh, a business associate of Yasin Kadi and funder of al Qaeda, as a Specially Designated terrorism sponsor. While the number of designations by Treasury has dwindled sharly since early 2002,…
Historic: 20 Jahre kriminelles Enterprise der Salih Berisha Gang
http://gazetadita.al/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/168.jpg

10 Arrested in Multi-Million Dollar Bosnian Bank Scam: Bobar Banka – Bosnia

10 Arrested in Multi-Million Dollar Bosnian Bank Scam

Clients of defunct Bobar Banka risked losing millions of dollars’ worth of deposits.

4 April 2016

Ten people arrested on March 31 for suspected illegal banking activities are alleged to have cost the Bosnian banking sector $71.2 million, officials say, which is more than 10 percent of the government’s budget.

 

Clients, including major state firms, were also at risk of losing some of their $146 million in deposits, Reuters reported, before the now defunct Bosnian lender Bobar Banka, based in Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republic, was closed down in 2014.

 

The suspects were arrested by the Bosnian State Investigation and Protections Agency (SIPA) as part of an operation called “Avalanche,” according to the Independent Balkan News Agency.

 

The directors of the RS Banking Agency and RS Investment and Development Bank, Slavica Injac and Snezana Vujnic, are among the suspects.

 

„The individuals, acting as an organized criminal enterprise, are suspected of committing a series of irregularities in the business operation of the Bobar Banka by extending multi-million loans and illegal collaterals to different businesses,“ the state prosecutor’s office said in statement, Reuters reported.

 

The police operation was carried out on the orders of the state prosecutor in the towns of Banja Luka, Bijeljina and Zvornik, Reuters says.

 

Bobar Bank became defunct when it failed to come up with a recovery plan after big losses. The bank is located in Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republic where police operations were carried out.

 

Problems became apparent after the death of bank majority owner Gavrilo Bobar, who was also a member of the regional government, Reuters says.

 

Afterwards, deposits of various companies and individuals – including municipalities, medical institutes, pension funds, and utilities – were jeopardized, the independent Balkan News Agency reported.

 

Clients including state firms were at risk of losing millions of dollars’ worth of deposits, Reuters reported.

 

The authorities say other suspects have not yet been detained, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project said.

 

 

  • The bank sector of the Serb Republic lost almost $46 million in 2015, which according to the region’s banking preliminary data, is the worst result in five years, Reuters reports.

 

  • „The causes for the liquidation of the Bobar bank lie in its connection with 20 companies of the Bobar Group and its link with the ruling elites in the Serb Republic,“ economic analyst Damir Miljevic said after the bank was shut down in 2014, another Reuters report said.

 

  • Republika Srpska is constitutional and legal entity and is largely autonomous from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wikipedia reports.

Corruption Privatisation in Balkan: Greece, Bosnia, Albania, – Patients fight back as doctor convicted in bribe case

bosnia-s-corrupt-healthcare-comes-under-spotlight analysis

Bosnia’s Corrupt Healthcare Comes Under Spotlight

UNODC Report Bosnia 67 page

Patients fight back as doctor convicted in bribe case

By the Center for Investigative Reporting

For some of the desperate patients who came to him for help, Sarajevo gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Zijad Lagumdžija represented a last hope. Remzija Džaferović, a 40-year-old mother of a teenager, had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was thinking of suicide when she went to him in August 2004. Elvis and Zvjezdana Demirović hoped two years ago that he would be able to help them have the child they longed for.

But Dr. Lagumdžija disappointed these patients, they say. Because of their complaints, he is the first doctor in Bosnia-Herzegovina to be prosecuted for extortion and accepting bribes from patients. Lagumdžija was convicted by the court in late September and faces a fine of up to 10,000 KM, six months’ imprisonment and the possible loss of his license to practice medicine, should a higher court uphold the verdict. ….

 Dr. Bakir Nakaš, thinks doctors should sign a statement when they are employed obliging them not to solicit additional payments from patients.

……………

https://www.cin.ba/en/pacijenti-uzvracaju-udarac-doktor-proglasen-krivim-za-iznudu/

New IMF Loan Slips out of Bosnia’s Reach

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Organized Crime Arrests at Country’s Leading Pharma Firm

History: Richard Perle Terrorists

U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee 1997: Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base

Context of ‘Before October 1997: $400 Million Bosnian Defense Fund Fuels Balkan Conflict’

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The US terrorist financier: Richard Perle: Ilija Jurišić – Former Bosnian official sentenced to 12 years

 

 

Ethnic Cleaning Began in Croatia – 350,000 Serbs „Cleansed“

03 Jul 15

US Extradites War Crimes Suspect to Bosnia

The United States extradited Almaz Neziovic, who is suspected of committing war crimes against Bosnian Serbs in Derventa, to Bosnia and Herzegovina for prosecution.

Justice Report
BIRN

Sarajevo

Almaz Nezirovic. Photo: Bosnian state prosecution.

The Bosnian state prosecution said on Thursday that Nezirovic, a former Bosnian Croat military policeman, will stand trial for wartime crimes after being sent back by the US authorities.

Nezirovic is suspected of taking part in the abuse of Serb civilians at the Rabic detention camp in Derventa from April to July 1992. The prosecution said it would ask for a custody remand.

Nezirovic moved to the US in 1997. Five years ago, the US government charged him with giving false information in his citizenship application and failing to admit that he was a member of Bosnian Croat forces.

Bosnia and Herzegovina asked for Nezirovic to be extradited in July 2012, but the process took several years because he appealed.

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bosnian-suspect-extradited-from-america

Ethnic Cleaning Began in Croatia – 350,000 Serbs „Cleansed“

As war crimes expert Simon Wiesenthal and Balkan historian Nora Beloff have pointed out, „ethnic cleansing“ began in Croatia, by forces loyal to the Croatian government. Wiesenthal noted that „the first 40,000 refugees were Serbs who fled when they were declared a national minority“. Ethnic cleansing against Serbs was initiated well before the war began in 1991. Croatian police reports quoted in the Croatian Magazine Globus* link Tomislav Mercep of Croatian President Franjo Tudjman’s HDZ party to death squads that have slaughtered Serbian families living in areas that were untouched by war, including the capital city of Zagreb. The largest ethnic cleansing of the war occurred in Zagreb, where forty thousand, two thirds of the Serbian population, have fled.

Some 350,000 Serbs, more than half the Serb population have now fled Croatia. US Ambassador Peter Galbraith, recently acknowledged that it was no accident that „about 10,000 Serbian houses were dynamited in the area controlled by Croatian authorities.“ Ethnic cleansing against Serbs led directly to the outbreak of war in the Krajina, a predominantly Serbian region which voted to remain within the Yugoslav federation,

*The term „ethnic cleansing“ was quoted in Croatian police reports in 1991 according to Globus.

The battles of the Krajina left Serbs in control of most of this region. Many Croatians (200,000) fled or were forced out. Thousands of Serbian families in this region were also left homeless by the fighting or forced out by Croatian troops.

 

http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosta/mediji/mediji-SerbNet_report_01.html

Ich möchte auf die Massenmorde an Serben aufmerksam machen.
Während die ganze Welt von Arkan der Menschenschlächter spricht, werden andere Mörder garnicht erwähnt.

Der Kroate Tomislav Mercep der hunderte Serben in Gospic, Borovo Selo, Vukovar, Osijek, Mirkovci, Tenja, Laslovo, Pakrac, Vinkovci, Miljacki Platau, Medak usw… massakriert hat, wird nicht vom Kriegsverbrecher Tribunal gesucht.