10 Years And Counting - Still No Exit Plan From Clinton Created, European Al-Qaeda Base
By William A. Mayer, E&P PipeLineNews.org
October 3, 2005 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In what must serve as a bit of ironic perspective, something entirely absent from the anti-Iraq war protests held nationwide on September 23 were references to Bosnia Herzegovina, the Clinton administration's apparently never-ending monument to nation-building.
For those with short memories or who have gotten the majority of their information regarding Yugoslavian politics from the main stream media, please consider this a primer, albeit ten-years late.
The escalation of tensions in London over the role of Islam have shifted global focus away from the presence of an al-Qaeda haven in Eastern Europe - Bosnia Herzegovina - but it remains a grave threat nonetheless.
Moreover, parties' sanctimoniously raising questions about the way in which the Bush Administration went to war against Islamic terror - especially regarding the Iraqi campaign - have studiously avoided mentioning the conduct of foreign policy in the Balkans during the Clinton years.
Ignored by the leftist participants in rage-filled street demonstrations is the fact that the Clinton team's Balkan policies were viewed by establishment politicians as so outside the normal confines of American diplomacy that the actions of the US Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith and then NSC Director Anthony Lake were referred to the Justice Department by the House of Representative for possible criminal action.
"...The Iranian presence and influence [in Bosnia] jumped radically in the months following the [Clinton] 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 intelligence 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." - Final Report, House Select Subcommittee to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia, page 201.
As viewed by the partisan and incompetent Janet Reno Justice Department, nothing ever rose to the level of criminality, unless you were a church-going family, friendly to David Koresh or a hapless Hispanic child being shielded against a return to Castro's police state.
In order to fully comprehend the nature of what Clinton did in Bosnia a bit of history is in order.
The Balkans over at least the last five centuries, have been shaped by Muslim on Christian violence. However, of more direct import in explaining the crisis created by the imposition of a "free" Bosnian state on Europe, one only has to travel back to the pre-World War II era.
During that time the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was shattered by a Croat based but Hungarian-Italian engineered assassination of its king, Alexander I which led to a succession of weak leaders.
Yugoslavia's last pre-war leader, Cvetkovic declared allegiance to the Nazis, but was immediately overthrown by the anti-Nazi military. This prompted Hitler to invade Yugoslavia, which fell immediately.
Quickly in control, the Nazis' used their master race ideology to inflame pre-existing ethno/religious differences. This classic divide-and-conquer strategy further de-stabilized the remaining resistance, as did the recognition of an independent Croatia under the now infamous Ustashi party.
Almost immediately, the Croats allied themselves with the Muslims [sometimes referred to as Bosniaks] in a Nazi encouraged, genocidal campaign against various minorities - primarily Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. The campaign was so brutal [Croatian leader Ante Pavelic is said to have once been gifted by his soldiers with a 40-pound basket of Serb eyeballs] that the Nazis and the Italian Fascists actually were forced to caution a modicum of "restraint," not that it had much effect.
Many of these atrocities [an estimated 750,000 to 860,000 were killed in this demi-holocaust] were carried out by the 20,000 member Muslim Nazi SS Hanjar ["sword"] Division, a force originally proposed by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, al-Husseini in talks between him and Hitler and later blessed by Husseini as they ripped across the Balkan landscape.
On a per-capita basis, the Croat/Muslim led extermination ranks as the worst case of genocide in modern European history, yet it was these very same forces with which the Clinton administration ultimately allied itself, invoking a new policy which it called "humanitarian intervention," first employed - with disastrous results - in Mogadishu in 1992.
It was argued that this expansion of authority gave the United States greater flexibility to act unilaterally [and in contravention of UN Article 2(sec 4) - "threat or use of force against" another state] using military force to halt massive abuses of human rights in nations which otherwise presented no strategic threat to the United States.
Clearly such a methodology, consistent with the concept of nation-building is in a rather belated manner being challenged by the left, vis-ŕ-vis Iraq, but that critique as mentioned above is extremely narrow.
Removed from ideological considerations, assertions of an essentially unchallenged right for the United States to intervene wherever it thought exigent, were apparently viewed as such non-controversial and logical extensions of extant US foreign policy that they needed little in the way of defense.
That such foreign misadventure was met without a single street protest in a span of 8 years is in itself rather telling.
Operating within the context of this new directive, Clinton joined with NATO in doing an end-run around the UN in 1999, aiding the Muslims and bombing Serbian strongholds in the Balkans while committing US troops to support the Croat/Muslim forces who had previously refused [upon guidance of the Clinton administration] to participate in a brokered peace.
Our main objection lies not in process or in any supposed unethical expansion of US foreign policy authority, but as a matter of inexplicably poor judgment which found the administration actively conspiring with nations of the ilk of Iran and personages as ugly as Alija Izetbegovic to support a radical Muslim agenda in a region that has been an historical flash point.
Facing a fully disintegrated Yugoslavia, on March 18, 1992 the Serbian [Radovan Karadzic] Croat [Mate Boban] and Muslim [Alija Izetbegovic] leaders signed an accord which came to be known as the Lisbon Agreement which would have prevented a Bosnian civil war.
Izetbegovic, a long-time radical Islamist who had spent considerable time in jail because of his insurrectionist activities, apparently had "second thoughts" about the agreement. He met with US Ambassador Warren Zimmerman ten days after the signing of the Lisbon Agreement whereupon Zimmerman informed him that if he withdrew that the United States would back him and officially recognize Bosnia as an independent Muslim state.
Izetbegovic had written extensively about his dedication to the trans-national Islamist cause.
"...the implementation of Islam in all fields of individuals' personal lives, in family and in society, by renewal of the Islamic religious thought and creating a uniform Muslim community from Morocco to Indonesia. ..." - First President of Bosnia-Herzegovina Alija Ali Izetbegovic
Viewed against Izetbegovic's ideology and clearly stated goals, the Clinton team's actions must be seen as indefensible, a breaching American national security. The imposition of Izetbegovic's Muslim state on the rest of Europe became such a priority that it became our official policy to allow Iran to arm the Bosnian Muslims, along the way imposing Muslim minority rule on a Christian majority.
"Two years ago the Bosnian government asked the Croatian government to permit the transit through Croatia of weapons for its beleaguered army. A principal supplier of these arms would be Iran. The Croatian government asked for our reaction, the administration decided we would not answer, and I told the Croatians I had no instructions. The Croatians understood this response and a subsequent colloquy described to you by Ambassador Redman to mean that we would not object to their role in helping the Bosnians. I believed then, and even more strongly now, that the administration made the right decision." - Statement, Peter Galbraith, U.S. Ambassador to Croatia, House International Relations Committee, May 30, 1996
Later in the same statement, Galbraith admits that Iran is a terrorist nation, having just defended the decision to go ahead and allow them to arm the Bosnian Muslim radicals.
"The Iranians and their terrorist allies were present on the Bosnia-Croatia scene two years before the April 1994 conversations that are the subject of your inquiry - Peter Galbraith, U.S. Ambassador to Croatia, House International Relations Committee, May 30, 1996
During the same hearings an apparently far more circumspect Ambassador Redman shows his uneasiness with the decision and reveals that the final go-ahead had come from Washington, one must assume at the highest level - Anthony Lake and Clinton himself [Lake had intentionally concealed the Iran to Bosnian military/intelligence transfer to Congress, adding to an extensive list of reasons - among which was his involvement with an obscene level of campaign funding abuses which flowed from his office - which led to his rejection as director of the CIA, in itself an almost unthinkable nomination in the first place].
"When I arrived in Zagreb, Ambassador Galbraith asked that I come to his residence before going on to the meeting with the Croatian officials. He briefed me on the question that had been posed by the Croatian government officials concerning the transshipment of arms for the Bosnian government and then placed a call to Washington to ascertain the response to that question. The responsible Washington official provided the no-instructions guidance - Statement, Charles Redman, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, House International Relations Committee, May 30, 1996
Six weeks before Redman and Galbraith had to admit to the House investigation that it was the administration that had decided to look the other way, allowing Iran to arm and infiltrate intelligence agents into Bosnia, a clearly upset Robert Dole noted that the United States Senate was being forced to rely upon newspaper reports as to what has transpired in Bosnia on this matter.
"...since the report surfaced in the Los Angeles Times that President Clinton decided to allow Iran to provide arms to the Bosnians, there has been little, if any, response from the other side of the aisle. Had there been a Republican in the White House, no doubt, the Democrats would have been all over the President."
The usually diplomatic Dole did not mince words over the damage to national security such a policy represented.
"In short, this duplicitous policy has seriously damaged our credibility with our allies. It has also produced one of the most serious threats to our military forces in Bosnia and, according to the administration, the main obstacle to the arm and train program for the Bosnians - I am talking about the presence of Iranian military forces and intelligence officials in Bosnia. - Statement Senator Robert Dole, Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee Hearings on Bosnia, April 17, 1996
But this was only the start of the long-term damage that the Clinton administration's Machiavellianism in Bosnia would produce.
Probably the most infamous and well-known of the al-Qaeda jihadis to cycle through Bosnia were Nawaf Alhazmi [on the left in the accompanying image] and Khalid al-Mihdhar, two of the hijackers on the September 11 American Airlines flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.
Both of these individuals though young, were hardened radical Muslim soldiers, CIA Director George Tenet called them "al-Qaeda veterans."
Born in Saudi Arabia, they traveled to Afghanistan and fought alongside bin-Laden, to Bosnia in the mid-1990s where they participated in the genocide against the Christian Serbs and then transitioned to another important Islamist armed struggle, in Chechnya.
Of tremendous concern to Western society, one might think, would be the creation of a large, fully modern Islamist Army organized with the blessing of William Jefferson Clinton.
Darko Trifunivic, a respected authority on the modern war for the Balkans, describes the organization and structure of the Bosnian Muslim Army and its sub-units in a 123 page document which he kindly made available to us Islamic Fundamentalist's Global Network - Modus Operandi - Bosnia Model.
That research is confirmed by the existence of a mujahadeen video - El Mojaheed - produced only in Arabic, which documents not only the Muslim Army's composition but many of its atrocities; rapes, tortures, beheadings and the like. Shot in Bosnia and produced in Switzerland this video is now used as a jihadi recruiting tool throughout the Arab speaking world.
Bosnia's Muslim military leader at the time - a man declared by the Clinton regime as a moderate - Alija Izetbegovic, is seen inspecting these terror troops and approving them, in much the same manner as Grand Mufti Husseini did the Nazi SS Hanjar terror Division 60 years previously, [in 1993 the Hanjar Division was resurrected in Sarajevo, this time as a "presidential guard" and composed primarily of Albanians with a core leadership of Iranian mujahadeen].
Such massive non-contradictory evidence conclusively proves that the radicalized Bosnian Muslim Army's Mojaheed was organized by jihadis coming from other Muslim countries, primarily Iran.
The London Institute for International Strategic Studies placed the total number of these Bosnian Islamic terrorists at 40,000. Many of the foreign contingents of this force were merely granted Bosnian citizenship as a method of cloaking their presence when the Dayton Accords loomed as a complicating factor.
"Then just between 1992 and the end of 1995, aid flowed into to help "fellow Muslim brothers" in Bosnia which originated from Iran which sent the 7th Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran Brigade) some 2000 men, incorporating into the Bosnian Muslim Army. Based in Zenica, the Iranian brigade trained local cadres, as well as participated in fierce fighting on all fronts. In addition to this force, Iran also sent some 400 officers of the Pasdaran intelligence and the VEVAK secret service work with the nascent Bosnian Muslim intelligence and other terrorist groups." - Darko Trifunivic, Islamic Fundamentalist's Global Network - Modus Operandi - Bosnia Mode, page 53
Thus, in a short period of time United States foreign policy, under the dictates of the Clinton regime, granted a terrorist nation, Iran almost complete access to central Europe, and beyond.
"Yet maybe most important of all is that this wide ranging Bosnian terrorist infrastructural network that was created during the Bosnian Civil War, now spans all the way from New York, Sarajevo, Islamabad, London, Milan, Tirana, Sofia, Skopje into Pristina." - Darko Trifunivic, Islamic Fundamentalist's Global Network - Modus Operandi - Bosnia Mode, page 75
That network is under the control of al-Qaeda and remains active:
In London, on September 23, 2005 Justice Fulford expressing dismay over his limited sentencing powers sent British Muslim convert Yusef Abdullah [aka Andrew Rowe] to jail for 15 years in a case that centered on Abdullah participating in planning terrorist bombings. Abdullah was described by police as "an international warrior." He went to Bosnia in 1995 where he received shrapnel wounds. In September of 1996, he again left for the Balkans, returning in January 1997 with documentation showing he had been in Slovenia, Bosnia and Croatia. When arrested his personal belongings had traces of explosives on them and one of the passports that Abdullah had in his possession was obtained at the same Amsterdam Embassy used by "shoe bombing" suspect Richard Reid. In addition Abdullah had documents that contained elaborate codes thought useful in concealing his activities and was in possession of bin-Laden propaganda tapes and material.
In 2003 long time al-Qaeda operative Imam Abu Omar, who received his training in Bosnia and Afghanistan was "shuttled" out of Italy by US intelligence operatives and delivered to Egypt for "questioning." Omar, well known for his fiery speeches urging jihad, was believed to have been forming a terror cell to be used in attacking European targets.
US intelligence became aware of a plot against the American Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia in October, 2001 and moved to have six individuals [all Algerians] - Bensayah Belkacem, Mustafa Adir, Sabir Lamar, Muhamed Nehle, Lakdar Bumedien and Budelah Hadz - deported, eventually ending up at GTMO, where they continue to be held.
At the onset of the Balkan civil war, Bosnian strongman Izetbegovic sought out former associate Sudanese Islamist Dr. Elfatih Hassanein-omal-Fatih. Sudan has obvious ties to radical Islam and bin-Laden. Fatih also ran an NGO, the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA). Bin-Laden, Sheikh Abdul Rahman [the "Blind Sheikh, responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing] and many prominent Bosnian Muslims including Stranka Demokratske Akcije, the father of Bosnia's ruling Muslim party, the SDA, are all linked to it.
Bin-Laden was issued a passport by the Bosnian Embassy in Vienna in 1993, unfortunately this was not a one-time oversight as terrorists routinely received official Bosnian documents. Mehrez Aodouni a close associate of bin-Laden also was in possession of a Bosnian passport and citizenship papers when he was arrested in Turkey, on his way to making mischief in Chechnya
On June 25, 1996 the Khobar Tower's apartment building - which housed US servicemen in Dharan, Saudi Arabia - was attacked with a truck bomb resulting in the deaths of 19 American servicemen and the wounding of many more. Those arrested for the attack confessed, according to press reports, to having learned their trade in Bosnia.
In 1997 Italian authorities arrested 14 members of an al-Qaeda plot to assassinate Pope John Paul II on his trip to Bologna. All of those arrested carried Bosnian passports and were reportedly working with Italian domestic elements of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group [GIA].
The quest continues to attempt to understand why an American administration, even one headed by someone as foolish and undisciplined as Bill Clinton, would intentionally "tip" its Balkan policy in the direction of radical Islamists.
One reason certainly is naiveté, the belief by administration officials that efforts to aid Muslims in Bosnia would result in a dampening of Islamic rage then being directed against the United States. In this theory, the Muslim world would perceive the help that the Americans were lending to the Bosnians as being indicative of a "new even-handedness," thus signaling an opportunity for accommodation and a moderation of jihad.
As shortsighted and cowardly as this might seem in retrospect, it must be noted that this was exactly the type of thinking that the Blair administration in London had been counseling until the London bombings proved it a suicidal policy [unfortunately Blair's response to the Islamist London bombing, especially his appointment of a "terror advisory commission" comprised essentially of Islamists leaves considerable doubt as to whether any liberal British politician has the mental faculties necessary to deal with the problem].
American naiveté was greatly augmented by an intense lobbying effort, led by people like Khaled Saffuri and Grover Norquist [who has been allowed to masquerade for years as a conservative and deserves investigation in his own right].
Saffuri is now the director of the Islamic Institute an Islamist think tank. Previously he directed the American Task Force for Bosnia [AFFB], which he established in1992 with the expressed purpose of influencing American foreign policy to support the Muslim minority in Bosnia during the Balkan wars. During the mid 1990s Saffuri seemed to be constantly in Bosnia, at a time when Iranian and other Islamic terrorists wandered the landscape unchecked and with Washington's blessing.
Saffuri is an associate of Abdurahman Alamoudi, a Hamas and Hezbollah supporter, now serving a sentence for taking illegal bribes from Libya to lobby the Bush White House. Mr. Saffuri was also responsible to bringing terror funder and founder of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Sami al-Arian to the White House in 2001.
Saffuri is also an associate of Barzinji's Marjac, an Iraqi financier, whose organizations have been raided by the Treasury Department's anti-terror-funding Operation Greenquest. Marjac and Almoudi contributed $20,000 to Saffuri and Norquist to initially fund their Islamic Institute.
Nearly a dozen individuals who have been connected with Saffuri's PACs have been targets of Operation Greenquest.
And so it goes...Islamists urging the empowerment of Islamists.
It should be clear by this point that both European and American foreign policy regarding Bosnia has been a disaster, the area remains an unstable artificial creation - seething with the same ethnic/religious hatred seen during World War II - and a training ground for Muslim terror.
As recently as October 1 the commander of Nato forces in Bosnia, General Louise Weber complained of the existence of "Islamic terrorist cells" that could be put into action at any time and local newspapers increasingly carry headlines such as - "Bosnia: A Decade After Dayton, Crisis Deepens."
The United Nation's "Lord High Commissioner" Paddy Ashton administers the area in a high-handed manner, tilting all the while towards the Muslims - as would befit a representative from the notoriously pro-Islamist UN. Ashton is currently engaged in a vengeful campaign of economic sanctions against the Serbs.
While petty bureaucrats concern themselves with vindictive measures Bosnia remains an al-Qaeda haven, its borders transparent, allowing mujahadeen generals such as Abu el-Maali - whom a State Dept. official describes as a "junior bin-Laden" - recent political sanctuary.
"An Algerian terrorist commander once thought to head a transnational sleeper cell network that included would-be Al-Qaida Millenium bomber Ahmed Ressam has resurfaced in Bosnia-Herzegovina, vehemently denying allegations recently presented to the Bosnian Supreme Court in Sarajevo that his foreign mujahideen unit committed war crimes during the Bosnian civil conflict of the 1990s."August 29, 2005, Global Terror Alert
Events are thus drawn full-circle. The Clinton policy of rewarding the allies of the Nazis and Axis powers while abusing those who supported Western democracy during its darkest days has resulted in the establishment of a radical Islamist safe house located in the heart of Europe.
As Yossef Bodansky, director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare has stated:
"There is a terrorist network in Bosnia, composed of several well-trained and connected groups, which are directly or indirectly responsible to Osama Bin Laden."
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