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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Islamist Movement Spreading In Bosnia

Islamist Movement Spreading In Bosnia

May 21, 2009

State TV says Islamist movement spreading in central Bosnia BBC Monitoring Europe - Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring May 20, 2009 Wednesday Copyright 2009 British Broadcasting Corporation

The Bosnian Federation TV 60 Minutes current affairs programme, which is hosted by Bakir Hadziomerovic and regularly broadcast on Mondays at 1800 gmt, once again reports on former mujahidin of African and Asian origin, who had illegally obtained Bosnian citizenship and now represent a threat to the national security of Bosnia-Hercegovina. It is reported that the Bosnian authorities have started working more intensively on the arrests of these persons after the visit of US Vice President Biden to Sarajevo was announced. However, it is alleged that the Bosnian Minister of Security (Muslim official appointed by the ruling Muslim party - the Party of Democratic Action) Tarik Sadovic will be removed from his post due to obstructions in this process. The 60 Minutes has been announcing Sadovic's replacement for months, due to his alleged support for Islamists, the spread of Wahhabism throughout Bosnia-Hercegovina during his term, and his consequent "isolation" by the international community in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The reporter outlines Wahhabi activity throughout Bosnia-Hercegovina. The reporter, Damir Kaletovic, says "if we agree that [the village of] Bocinja was the predecessor and the symbol of emergence of the mujahidin and the Wahhabi community in Bosnia-Hercegovina, then we will easily agree that the Ravno Rostovo plateau, in the Bugojno municipality, is the place where the crimes of foreign volunteers from the Arab world and their brothers from some Army [of Bosnia-Hercegovina] units were officially approved by the top political leadership of Bosnia-Hercegovina". The video shows footage of Alija Izetbegovic, the then president of Bosnia-Hercegovina, greeting these troops is shown. According to the report, "the mujahidin, or the Wahhabi community has spread out from Bocinja and now stretches to Gornja Maoca, Serici, Zeljezno polje, Zavidovici, Bugojno, Travnik, and other parts of the Central Bosnia and the Zenica-Doboj Cantons, where Bosniak young men are being recruited to feel the smell of war from time to time in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as Chechnya." It is reported that the mujahidin had originally arrived to Bosnia-Hercegovina in order to promote the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam and recruit Bosniak [Bosnian Muslim] young men for jihad or terrorist actions. Minister Sadovic is blamed of having acted as a patron of such personalities, preventing their deportation, in order to turn Bosnia into "a European copy of Afghanistan". This is said to have been confirmed by the US country report on terrorism for Bosnia-Hercegovina. It is repeated that Sadovic characterized, among his colleagues, the recent crackdown on former mujahidin as "betrayal of Bosniak national interests." Sadovic is also said to have failed to explain the existence of a humanitarian organization in Bosnia-Hercegovina, called "Bosnian Ideal Futura". A document from the Bosnian state security agency from March 2008 is shown and it suggests that this organization is the legal successor of the humanitarian organization BIF, which had been banned by the UN Security Council resolution due to support of terrorism. This organization had been managed by Enaam Arnaut, who had had Bosnian documents and was sentenced to 11 years of prison by a US court for support of terrorism. Due to inaction of Minister Sadovic, Bosnia-Hercegovina has been proclaimed "a safe haven for potential terrorists", it is reported. The report also refers to the recent arrests of personalities of African and Asian origin, who have been residing in Bosnia illegally and posed national security threat. It is argued that the locating of some of these personalities has been difficult, "which can be explained by the mutual distrust between individual agencies". "Also the movement of certain personalities has been neglected over the past months, impermissibly, which is why it is very difficult to determine the places of stay of some of the most notorious persons from the list of 47." Among these, according to the report, is Choulah Zoheir, aka Abdul Barr, born in 1973, from Algiers, who served time after being tried in Paris trial for links with the GIA terror organization. Zoheir was tried with Moroccan Said Atmani and another holder of Bosnian passport. According to information of the 60 Minutes programme, Zoheir has been staying in Algiers for a long time, although he visited Sarajevo in 2008. Anther person that cannot be located is Maher Gaballa, aka Ebu Jatama, born in 1971, from Egypt, who had registered his residence in Tuzla and Travnik and changed his name into Slaven Kovacevic and then into Demir Krasnici. He cannot be found on the registered addresses any longer, but some information suggests he returned to Egypt, according to the report. Another Egyptian who is considered a threat to B-H national security cannot be located - Youssef Amgad [full name Amgad Fath Allah Yusuf' Amir], born in 1971, who had been caught at the Orasje border crossing in July 2003 with forged Belgian documents. This person is said to have been a member of the Al-Jihad terrorist organization founded by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the deputy head of Al-Qaid'ah. According to the report, he had lived in several places in Bosnia-Hercegovina, including Bocinja and Mostar. He was deported, but there are indications that he returned to Bosnia-Hercegovina under different identity. He was stripped of Bosnian citizenship, it is reported. The same happened to his compatriot, Ibrahim Hosni - a former resident of Bocinja too, whose Bosnian passport was found in one US operation in Kabul, Afghanistan. According to the report, one person who is not hiding from Bosnian authorities despite having been stripped of Bosnian identification documents, is Zitouni-Perenda Mohamed, aka Ebu Ghazi, who is based in Travnik. He is considered to be responsible for chasing away owners of market stalls at the Travnik market and establishing Wahhabi rule on this market. Source: Bosnia-Hercegovina Federation TV, Sarajevo, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 1800 gmt 18 May 09

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