While I finally posted updates this week on Albanian killers and would-be killers of Americans (Arid Uka of the fatal Frankfurt shootings, Hysen Sherifi of the North Carolina Eight, and Sami Osmakac/Osmankaj of the Tampa plot), I never logged the updates on Mevlid Jasarevic, the Bosniak jihadi — or as media and governments would have you know him, “Serbian Muslim,” who in October opened fire on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo:
Bosnia court orders detention for U.S. Embassy attacker (Oct. 31)
A state court in Bosnia ordered…that Mevlid Jasarevic, a 23-year-old Serbian Muslim, be detained for a month to prevent him fleeing the country, influencing witnesses and hampering an inquiry into the shooting on the embassy on Friday.
“I do not recognize your court. It is worthless before Allah,” he told the judge during his first appearance in court.
Jasarevic’s lawyer Senad Dupovac told the court the defendant had wanted to become a “martyr.” “His goal was to get killed by the officers guarding the U.S. embassy in order to become a martyr and go to heaven.”
Dupovac had earlier said that Jasarevic had no accomplices and expressed concern over his mental state.
Many young Bosnian Muslims, particularly from rural areas, have in recent years adhered to Wahhabism under the influence of foreign fighters, most of whom left Bosnia after the 1992-95 war.
Gee, that wasn’t supposed to happen. Most unexpected!
In a Nov. 14th update, we learn that Jarasevic may have had accomplices after all:
Bosnia detains another suspect over US embassy attack
Bosnia’s state court has detained for one month a man suspected of assisting a gunman who fired at the US embassy in Sarajevo, wounding a police officer.
The court on Monday said Emrah Fojnica, 20, was suspected of a “criminal act of terrorism” over the Oct. 28 attack in which Mevlid Jasarevic paralyzed central Sarajevo for 30 minutes as he fired on the embassy.
The authorities have already detained two men, Dino Pecenkovic and Munib Ahmetsphaic, who they say helped Jasarevic.
Police officers arrested Fojnica during a raid last week on the northeastern village of Gornja Maoca.
The police found a large cache of weapons in sports bags during the raid including an automatic rifle and Fojnica’s identification card, local media said.
The assault revived questions over the threat from radical Islam in the Balkans.
NOTE: Saying “threat from radical Islam in the Balkans” even a few years ago earned a person censure and ridicule, including by some international troops who served there.
On the use of “Serbian Muslim” in favor of “Bosniak” or “Bosnian Muslim,” from Nebojsa Malic (Nov. 4):
This deliberate conundrum about identity helps explain a peculiarity about last week’s [Oct. 28] jihadist attack on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo. Both local and Western media have described the attacker as “Serbian” – that is, a citizen of Serbia. Yet those very same media vocally insist that the Muslims living in that region of Serbia are “Bosniaks”. So apparently, one can be a “Bosniak” when special privileges are about to be dispensed [and autonomy claimed], but magically becomes “Serbian” upon engaging in terrorism.
Early in October, Canadian daily The Globe and Mail published a feature on a Quebecois composer of Serbian origin, who explained that only in Canada did she become aware of her roots and the richness of her native culture. While she still lived in Serbia, she believed, along with many others, that traditional identity and culture were something to be despised and ashamed of, cast aside in favor of some higher, global, cosmopolitan identity.
This was in the 1980s, before the wars that broke up Yugoslavia, or the “democracy” brought by NATO bombs, boots and bribes. Back then the identity to aspire to was that of the socialist workers of the world. Today it is of global conspicuous consumers. Either way, it was at the expense of genuine identity, culture and traditions. Back then, it was the Yugoslav Communists who demanded this. Today it is the Euro-Atlantic “Democrats”. It makes one wonder what exactly is the difference.
Also noting the sly switching between “Serbian” and “Bosniak” to describe Muslims in Serbia was a Serbian citizen named Dragan Rakic, who had a question regarding the following development: Zukorlić the Muslim imam from Sandzak, “opens” embassy in Sweden (Nov. 14)
Mufti Muamer Zukorlić last weekend opened the first diplomatic mission of the Bosniak Muslims organization National Council of Sandzak (NVS) in the Swedish city of Gothenburg as part of a broader strategy aimed [at] internationalization of the status of this part of Serbia…. “We are asking in this proclamation to restore the autonomy of Sandzak” was said at the opening of representative offices in Brussels and Washington, “…but we are very pleased that the Scandinavia Bosniaks forestall our efforts and opened the first office here,” said Zukorlic adviser Sead Šaćirović, quoted the [Belgrade] daily “Hello.”
For all those Western guardians of democracy who, in their towering concern for what they were just sure was Serb “bigotry” and human rights violations, ensured a jihadist Bosnia, Dragan’s question is:
[How would they] react if something like this happened in their own countries: A Muslim Mufti, a “Bosniak” in Serbia, opens an “embassy” in Sweden in order to promote “current issues of Bosniaks in the Balkans…According to the Constitution of any sovereign country, he could be either a Serbian citizen or a foreigner. If he is a foreigner, then he cannot claim what he claims in the country in which he is a foreigner.
Sarajevo, which criticized the attack by the Muslim from a Serbian province, suddenly proudly announces that the “Bosniak” Mufti made a lecture in his “embassy” about the current issues of “Bosniaks” in Serbia.
The very same scenario we could observe in Kosovo. First there was a “human rights” question, then the “current issues of Albanians in the Balkans, looking for help by NATO, the taking of Serbian territory, then independence, and finally today the Ibrahim Rugova Highway, linking Pristina with Tirana in Albania. In other words, the making of Greater Albania.
In addition to the formerly Bosnia-friendly Croat at The Washington Times, Jeffrey Kuhner, the jihadist Jasarevic seems also to have jarred a research fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom into finally noticing what’s been going on in the West-remade Balkans. The alert to the piece, which appeared on National Review Online (NRO), came from the New English Review, which cross-posted it with the following introduction:
…A great deal of support was given to fundamentalist [sic: and non-fundamentalist] Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims by the Saudis, Al Qaeda and the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the conflict. Perhaps these Wahhabists have been trained and equipped by Al Qaeda and the IRGC? [YOU THINK? Perhaps?] That revelation could come in the wake of these latest attack on the US Embassy in Sarajevo in late October. That is, if the Obama Administration, the CIA and Gen. Petreaus come clean.
Uhhhh…that “revelation” DID come, well over a decade ago. And it was promptly ignored. Precisely because of the kind of American disinterest that causes the Hudson Institute and New English Review to only notice Bosnia now. They shouldn’t anticipate anything different after this attack. After all, bigger Bosnia-related plots and attacks couldn’t break the story. Maybe, just maybe, if one of these organizations did a little more than fart out a single article the day after a Balkans blowback attack and then move on to what everyone else is talking about, then someone in power might finally find him/herself in a position to come clean about something.
Meanwhile, if the Clinton and Bush administrations didn’t come clean — and New English Review never asked them to — why are they asking Obama to? It’s a little late to be turning the Western crime known as Former Yugoslavia into a partisan issue now. (It wasn’t too late in 2000, when I tried it myself, screaming from the rooftops, to no interest from any of these conservative outfits.)
Of course, if one of these news organizations does, for once, try a little follow-up and maybe even a partial investigation of the sort that Bush’s wars were subjected to (as opposed to Clinton’s), they’ll notice that their bombshell of a story lands with a thud as it gets aggressively ignored and dropped like a hot potato, and that their colleagues are suddenly eying them with suspicion, which could then cause them to notice that every Balkans-jihad news event dies within a week, and then they might start to finally wonder why that is. And maybe after we’re all dead, they’ll finally ask whether there wasn’t perhaps a bit of suppression going on with the Balkans, which like sheep they oblige with their disinterest. (Really, what more could the State Department, Pentagon, White House, Defense Department and CIA ask for? Could the assignment be any easier: suppress news from a region no one gives a damn about anyway.)
On to the Hudson article in question, though let me caution that the excerpt starts with the writer giving credit to “analysts such as Stephen Schwartz” for “warn[ing] of Wahhabi threats in the region for years.” See my very recent post on Schwartz, where I mention that he threatened a CNS News reporter’s career when she first asked him circa 2005 to comment on the growing Islamic threat in Bosnia. Always one to cover his hide and reinvent himself, however, Schwartz has since adjusted his take to reflect the current realities that he’d previously denied. So that the guy who spent the 90s pushing the U.S. to join the Bosnia and Kosovo jihads can now be credited with “warning” of the resulting dangers, now that he can no longer cover for his Balkan babies. (His mind, however, still manages to keep unconnected the war he supported and fanned, from its predictable negative developments — and he still manages to blame Serbs and love his Muslims there.)
Wahhabism: A Forgotten Legacy of the Bosnian War (by Sarah Schlesinger, Nov. 7)
[Forgotten? Forgotten by whom? By the writer, of course. And the rest of the conservative establishment clones. Or, more precisely, ignored. As for the liberal establishment, they ‘forgot’ on purpose. And conservatives simply took their cue rather than setting the terms of debate, as usual.]
…Analysts such as Stephen Schwartz, Esad Hecimovic, Anes Alic, and Vlado Azinovic have warned of Wahhabi threats in the region for years. Numerous attacks, including the murder of a Catholic Croat policeman in 1996, have been linked to Wahhabis. Several Wahhabis were arrested in 2008 and 2009 for plotting terror attacks on Christian sites and European Union Forces in Bosnia. In July 2010, a Wahhabi group was suspected in the bombing of a police station in Bugojno, killing one police officer and wounding several others.
Originally from the Muslim-majority city of Novi Pazar in the Sandzak region of Serbia, Jasarevic recently spent time in Wahhabi communities in Vienna and Gornja Maoca, a settlement in a remote part of Bosnia that has been the site of repeated anti-terror raids. He was imprisoned for armed robbery in Vienna in 2005 and arrested in his hometown in 2010 after brandishing a knife at an appearance by the American ambassador to Serbia .
The Wahhabi movement has taken hold among a small but vocal portion of the Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) population — the group is estimated to include a mere 3,000 out of 1.4 million Muslims. [a.k.a. A TINY MINORITY!] They largely live in isolated villages that they govern according to strict Islamic law. Men wear long beards and distinctive short pants and women are fully veiled, in sharp contrast to the majority of Bosniaks, who are moderate in practice.
But who nonetheless defend supporting a fundamentalist president’s war for an Islamic state carved out of another country, Ms. Schlesinger.
And now, here she goes. Try not to get nauseous from going ’round and ’round on the same ride over and over again:
The movement’s presence in Bosnia dates to the 1992–1995 civil war in Yugoslavia….The largely defenseless [DEFENSELESS!] Muslim community was unable to withstand the onslaught by well-armed Bosnian Serb militias. [MILITIAS! SERBS STILL THE AGGRESSORS! Ms. Schlesinger needs a paycheck, after all, so she’s not about to push sand against THAT tide and question whether we got the original story right. And, of course, god forbid the lesser evil and more civilized element should be better armed.] Their desperate [DESPERATE!] situation drew an influx of Wahhabis, such as veteran mujahideen and Islamic aid agencies, including the al-Qaeda front the Benevolence International Foundation. [YES, YES, they came TO HELP! Even the holy warriors themselves have boasted that they saw a vast “opportunity” via Bosnia. The repentant former al Qaeda officer Ali Hamad has repeated and repeated that this is what the fight was about. Is Ms. Schlesinger listening?] Many of these remained in Bosnia, where they provided material support to the devastated Muslim community [sic: self-devastated, and by Sarajevo’s design; they chose it, Ms. Schlesinger. Just like the “Kosovars” would a few years later], but also influenced it ideologically with Wahhabism. Leading the way was Saudi Arabia, which raised more than $373 million for the “Bosnian jihad” in the 1990s. The mujahideen, charity staff, and foreign-educated Bosniaks provided the vanguard of a local Wahhabi movement.
Thanks to this foreign support, Wahhabis have been able to aggressively challenge Bosnia ’s mainstream Islamic community. Two figures led early efforts: Jusuf Barcic and Muhamad Porca, both Bosnian imams who had studied in Saudi Arabia on Saudi-funded scholarships. In early 2007, Barcic and his followers gained national attention by (unsuccessfully) attempting to claim a number of mosques for their movement in Tuzla and Sarajevo. When Barcic died in a car accident two months later, more than 3,000 people attended his funeral.
Let’s pause on that for a moment. Ms. Schlesinger earlier used the “3,000″ tiny minority figure to estimate the extent of Bosnia’s Wahhabi community. Yet here we already have “more than 3,000 people” showing up to the funeral. (Though one allows for a foreign presence there as well.)
Barcic’s primary financial supporters, according to Bosnian authorities, had been Porca and Porca’s close friend Adnan Buzar, the Bosnian-born, Vienna-based son-in-law of Palestinian terrorist leader Abu Nidal. Reportedly, Porca has now been supplanted by Nedzad Balkan, a Vienna-based Wahhabi with openly violent views who gained power after his role in the Bugojno police station bombing.
Again, please note that the son-in-law of Abu Nidal, the terror leader who dumped a wheelchair-ridden old Jewish man into the ocean, is a Bosnian Muslim.
…Wahhabis in Bosnia have succeeded in demonstrating that even in small numbers, they present a threat, especially as Nedzad Balkan’s followers allegedly now promote armed jihad. Bosnian authorities and the international community would be wise to closely monitor links between Wahhabis in Bosnia, Sandzak, and Vienna and larger militant networks. Without closer attention to this growing threat in the region, the October 28 attack undoubtedly will not be the last.
Nor was it the first, Ms. Schlesinger. (Talk about the need to pay closer attention.)
Meanwhile, and again, I like that Americans finally have to learn words like Bugojno, Sandzak, Novi Pazar, and Gornja Maoca. It’s about time. And a little too late. [Gornja Maoca should have been noticed in October 2001, actually, when investigators descended on it right after 9/11, which should have had Americans asking questions about Bosnia and our stubbornly immovable position on it.)
I suppose I should be happy that at least some of these conservative buffoons are waking up to the backwardness of the Bosnia intervention (oh wait a second — they haven’t figured that part out yet). And at least this Schlesinger outed the Bosnia jihad to the conservative slowpokes at NRO. Hopefully it’ll do more good than the two articles I futilely wrote for them on the subject way back in 2004. But I doubt it.
Giving Ms. Schlesinger and other oblivious Westerners some context, for when the grand plan starts coming together and our government and media again cue us to blame the Serb side, is a November 11th interview with security and counter-terrorism expert Ioannis Michaletos, explaining the big picture so that Ms. Schlesinger doesn’t find herself again fooled as she was about the 90s:
…[Q:] The Wahhabi’s Green Corridor in the Balkans — [the] establishment of the Republic of Sandzak and its merging with the Bosniaks in BiH — are these the goals of the Wahhabi Movement?
[A:] These are exactly their main targets and they are using a two-way approach.
 It is the “soft power” approach by recruiting people to their sect, by providing charity to people of financial-social need, so as to have a “good name” and via buying land and businesses with the assistance of individuals and organizations from the Middle East. Moreover, soft power approach means that they use propaganda through media and especially websites and forums, plus trying to merge the concerned individuals in Sanzak, BiH, as well as in Muslim communities in Montenegro and in Balkan Muslim communities that live in other European countries such as in Austria. Therefore soft power means establishing a concrete political-social force that they believe in the future will be able to create a “Green corridor.”
 It is the “hard power” approach. That is terrorism of course, acts of violence against perceived enemies, criminality in order to raise money and gain influence and contact in the organized crime world, which of course is still strong in the Western Balkans. Hard power approach means also intimidation campaigns against moderate Muslims that are against Wahhabism and also against the local Christian population.
[Q:] What would encompass Republic of Sandzak?
[A:]Their aim, however farfetched it may seem, implies that the divisions between the Muslims and Christians in that area, will implode sometime in the future, and then they will seize the opportunity to raise their voice — gain support of other neighboring Muslim communities and thereafter place the whole issue into the international agenda, thus seek recognition for their “struggle” by other Muslim countries and especially those in the Middle East.
Therefore a hypothetical Republic of Sanzak would resemble the “Kosovo example” and it is highly likely that should a development like this occur, it will involve BiH as well.
[Q:] Do you believe that Wahhabi movement poses a security threat to the Balkans – Serbia and BiH?
[A:]It poses a threat, not so much [because] of the number of the people involved, but of their connections with international Islamic origin terrorism; the involvement of foreign powers and their connection with criminal groups. For the time being they can be considered as extremist elements capable of destabilizing the present day social consensus in the region. What they try to achieve in a second phase is to become destabilizers of the ethnic consensus in the region and drive Muslims apart from Christians similar to the early 90’s wars in the region.
[Q:] Where are the centers of Wahhabism in the Balkans and how they are connected in Europe, how would you describe their network?
[A:] Zenica is a traditional center; Sarajevo also hosts pro-Wahhabi elements and many other villages in Bosnia. Also Wahhabist elements are to be found in Kosovo in Prizren and also in localities in Montenegro, as well as in Novi Pazar and they have been noted as well in Tetovo [and] Skopje [Macedonia], [and] in the southern parts of Bulgaria and limited groups exist in Albania and Croatia.
Also in Europe they are mainly based in Vienna and also in Munich, Koln, Malmo, and Milan and in many small towns in Germany, Netherlands and Italy. Their hierarchy is decentralized in essence, they tend to communicate via the internet, especially the younger generations, they try in general not exposing themselves in the European cities and for the time being their interaction with other radical Islamist networks has not reached a maturity level, although they do of course cooperate both with Turkish and with Arabic groups.
[Q:] How would you describe the goal or mission of the Wahhabis in Serbia and BiH?
[A:]They reject societal values and norms and they seek to overthrow what exists now and form a new reality by imposing their will. Thus, they need to create their own territorial space in order to achieve their aims and at the same time to push forward plans made in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere that call for the Islamisation of European territories.
[Q:] [Given] foreign powers’ interference — [e.g.] the US, Germany — what countries might have financial benefits from that?
[A:] USA is systematically trying to please Middle Eastern powers and that is why many times in the past it has turned a blind eye in the situation we are discussing. Germany to a lesser extent follows the same policy and both of these countries resent the Serbian element in general in the Balkans for reasons relating to the struggle for hegemony in the Balkans since the early 90’s. In this perspective, sentimental approaches that demonize the “bad Serbs” vs. the “good Muslims” have blinded foreign policy makers in Washington and Berlin, although that has started to change gradually over the past few years, in relation to the Wahhabi issue.
Going back again to the “3,000 Wahhabis” figure, a Serbianna.com article from days after the embassy attack indicates that “3,000″ appears to be hopeful. (Nor, as we know, does one have to be a Wahhabi to be a jihadist):
Up to 5,000 Bosnian Muslims involved with Islamic terror, expert (Nov. 1)
Of 100,000 devout Bosnian Muslims, 3,000 to 5,000 are implicated in terrorism, says Dzevad Galijasevic LINK, member of the Expert Team against terrorism and organized crime for the Southeastern Europe. [Note: That’s up from “3,000″ in July 2010]
Referred by Galijasevic as [”Wahhabi”] sects, these terror cells, for those interested in geography, are located in villages Osvam and Bocinja near Maglaj, then in Zeljezno Polje, Serici, Babina Reka, Tetovo near Zenica, Lepenica, Miljanovci near Tesanj, Mehurici by Travnik, Rujnica near Zavidovici, Blagaja near Mostar, Buzima, Sanski Most, Sarajevo, Jablanica and Konjic. [Americans may have to learn even more new place names yet.]
Galijasevic expressed concern that Western media wants to portray these Islamic terror cells as “foreigners” either as Middle Easterner[s] or as in the case of the recent attacker on the US Embassy as “Serbian citizen”.
“That is minimization and undermining of this terror act,” Galijasevic said about this latest incident.
Prime Minister of the Serb Republic Milorad Dodik also noted Western efforts to use the media in order to portray the Muslim attacker on the US Embassy as a Serb.
“The attacker is portrayed as a Serb, and not a Muslim, or Bosniak or a [Wahhabi]. Most world media have shown it like this because to most they like the idea that ‘Serbs are the bad guys’,” said Dodik.
Dodik also said that Bosnia’s chief Imam, Mustafa Ceric is very much respected by these extremists and that Imam Ceric has direct contacts with them. Dodik says that Imam Ceric along with the son of the former Bosnian Muslim leader Izetbegovic, have direct contacts with the Iranian intelligence service which has its cells in Bosnia. “[This] creates an atmosphere in which radical Islamist circles can develop in Bosnia…”
Galijasevic is already on the record saying that Imam Ceric is the responsible party for the development of radical Islam in Bosnia. […]
I’ve been meaning to do an update on Sami Osmakac, the Albanian would-be Tampa bomber. Of course, now we know that the name “Osmakac,” which caused me to question whether the offender was Albanian at all, is actually “Osmankaj,” as this caption makes clear: “A general view of the house where naturalized American citizen Sami Osmakac, 25, was born, in the Osmankaj family compound in the village of Lubizde, Kosovo.” As we learn in the article below, “U.S. officials are using a different spelling for his last name.” Hmm.
Alleged bomb plotter’s kin shocked
(Alternate headlines used: ‘No better kid around,’ relative says of terror suspect; and Relatives react with dismay as Kosovo-born man charged with plotting US attack)
The 25-year-old Kosovo-born American suspected of plotting an Islamist-inspired attack in Florida came from a “very good family” that moved from place to place in search of economic opportunity and respite from conflict in the former Yugoslavia, an aunt said Tuesday.
The allegations against her nephew, Sami Osmakac, have left her in shock and disbelief, the aunt told The Associated Press in an interview.
“It felt very strange to hear what he was being accused of,” Time Osmankaj said. “I don’t believe he did what they accuse him of doing. There was no better kid around here.”
Then that ain’t saying much for Albanian kids.
…U.S. officials are using a different spelling for his last name — Osmakac — than what his relatives use here in Kosovo.
(One wonders why U.S. officials are using a different spelling. Is it a coincidence that the latter sounds less Albanian and more Slavic? One is impressed, however, that the article actually discloses this information, thanks most likely to the reporter not realizing the potential significance.)
Osmakac’s aunt lives in a two-story house in a remote hillside in Kosovo’s southwest bordering Albania. She said her nephew’s family left the secluded hamlet of Lubizde in the early 1990s for Bosnia where Sami’s father ran a bakery…
The family was caught in the whirlwind of Yugoslavia’s violent breakup during the 1990’s. They moved initially to Germany and then to the United States…
A police official in Kosovo told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Osmakac was “known to Kosovo authorities” and that “security agents were aware of his whereabouts during his last visit in Kosovo.”
He declined to disclose other details, including whether authorities tracked Osmakac at the request of the United States…
Drumroll for this next, requisite, insert-stock-Albanian pro-Americanism paragraph:
Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians are predominantly Muslim, while a small minority is Roman Catholic. The population is a staunch supporter of the U.S. because of America’s lead role in NATO’s 1999 bombing of Serb forces that drove them out of Kosovo and ended a brutal crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians.
Spoken like a true Albanian press release. (See from the 2007 Ft. Dix plot: “…as Albanians, we remain the most pro-American people in the world,” NAAC Executive Director Avni Mustafaj said in an official statement. )
But maybe, worded this way ( “…because of America’s lead role in NATO’s 1999 bombing of Serb forces”), the paragraph can help the journalists parroting it to notice they’re actually putting their finger on a very specific, non U.S.-centric, reason as to WHY someone likes us. Then they can ponder the question whether it’s a lasting reason for liking us.
FLASHBACK to the same, requisite Albanian shock-and-pro-Americanism paragraphs in Western news reports in the wake of the Ft. Dix arrests:
3 in Dix Plot From Pro-U.S. Balkans Area
Three Muslim brothers who allegedly helped plot to kill soldiers at a U.S. Army base have roots in one of Europe’s most pro-American corners — a region that remains grateful to the United States for ending the Kosovo war.
Dritan Duka, 28, Shain Duka, 26, and Eljvir Duka, 23, who were arrested in New Jersey this week in what U.S. authorities said was a bungled scheme to blow up and gun down soldiers at Fort Dix, were born in Debar, a remote town on Macedonia’s rugged border with Serbia’s Kosovo province.
Relatives…expressed disbelief Wednesday that the three would attack the United States.
In Pristina…U.S. flags are commonplace. The main avenue is Bill Clinton Boulevard, renamed to honor the president who ordered airstrikes that halted former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic’s brutal crackdown in the province.
Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku wrote a letter to the U.S. mission in Pristina on Wednesday expressing the “extraordinary feeling that Kosovo’s people have for the U.S.” Ceku also denounced what he called “the disgusting idea” that Albanians could be involved in an attack “against a nation that has been very generous so far.”
The Duka brothers’ grandmother, Naze Duka, was visibly upset as word of their arrests spread….“America is good — you work, you earn money there,” the 88-year-old said. “I have no idea where this all came from. How did this happen?”
Even those in Debar who described themselves as devout Muslims denounced the Fort Dix plot.
“They must have been crazy. They shouldn’t dare throw a stone at America,” said Rrahmi Duka, 70, a distant relative of the brothers, as a loudspeaker blared Muslim prayers in Debar’s main square…
And here’s a FLASHBACK to the 2009 North Carolina Eight arrests:
…Sherifi’s grandfather and his neighbors said they could not believe the 24 year old could have been plotting terrorism in the United States, a country that is loved in Kosovo for leading the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia that ended its rule in Kosovo.
“I do not believe he is one of them,” Baki Sherifi, the suspect’s grandfather, told AP Television News. “This is something unbelievable. We live in this neighborhood for centuries, and the whole family never expected such news. We are all shocked. What more can I say?,” the tearful 70 year old said outside his mosque in Gnjilane, 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Pristina, Kosovo’s capital.
“Everybody in the neighborhood is shocked. We feel sorry for the family. We cannot believe that has happened,” said Hakim Rasimi, who lives near Baki Sherifi in Gnjilane.
(As I wrote at the time, they live in Gnjilane — where the Gnjilane Group gave “How to Kill Serbs” lessons and abducted elderly peasants to be pulled apart by cars and others had their nails pulled out — and these ones are “shocked” by their kin’s behavior elsewhere.)
Another FLASHBACK from 2009:
[Betim Kaziu] was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists…The allegations shocked Mr. Kaziu’s family in Brooklyn. “This is totally unlike him,” said a sister, Sihana Kaziu, who added that he was never violent and had a “big heart.” Ms. Kaziu said her brother, a Muslim, did not grow up particularly religious.
One of four siblings, he played football in high school before dropping out, she said. He later got his high school equivalency diploma and around age 18 became interested in the Koran and said he wanted to dedicate his life to God, a prospect that pleased his parents, she said. He told his family that he was going to Egypt to study Arabic, and kept in touch regularly by e-mail.
Now FLASHBACK to last year’s Frankfurt military killings:
…German police said [Arid Uka] was born in Kosovo…A cousin, Behxhet Uka…said he would be shocked if Arid Uka was behind the shooting, saying that like the vast majority of Kosovo Albanians, the family is pro-American.
The northern town of Mitrovica is best known for the ethnic division between majority ethnic Albanians and minority Serbs. The former mining town has also been the focus of reports that it breeds Islamic extremists.
[And this of course had nothing to do with Serb-Albanian “tensions.”]
…Relatives of the alleged Kosovar gunman who killed two US soldiers in an attack in Frankfurt on Thursday said they were astonished about his reported extremist views.
“He himself only knows what he has done. I would never believe that he could do something like that,” the suspect’s grandfather, Avdullah Bejta, an imam in Mitrovica told Kosovo radio.
…Shock, anger, and dismay are palpable in the streets of Kosovo’s capital against the backdrop of today’s headlines: “Kosovar Kills Two U.S. Army Men At Frankfurt Airport.”
What is clear, though, is the anger and revulsion that Kosovars felt and continue to feel.
Candles were lit in Mitrovica, too, Arid Uka’s city of origin, where young people gathered and expressed their condolences to the American people.
The authorities were quick to react, claiming it was “a macabre act against the values of civilization and against the tradition of Kosovo people, to endlessly show gratitude toward the U.S. for its role in freedom of Kosovo.”
The president of the Albanian-American Democratic Club in New York, Alban Dega, wrote an open letter to Kosovo’s highest authorities…. “We are the most pro-American and most pro-Western nation on Earth. The Albanian Pro-Americanism is not only a value, but a national cult….”
Maybe I missed it with the Tampa plot, but unlike in the previous cases, I didn’t see one of those standard shocked-and-outraged-isolated-incident press releases from the Albanian American Civic League or National Albanian American Council. Did their wrists get tired from the last six times they had to write it?
The Osmakac article continues:
Kosovo authorities say they work closely with U.S. officials in tracking down potential Islamic radicals but are puzzled as to what has led some individuals to target Americans.
As always. Albanians puzzled about Albanians. They were also puzzled in 2007:
Kosovo Shocked at Arrests of Albanian Terror Suspects: “Kosovo has been shocked by the arrest of four Islamic radicals of Albanian origin who were allegedly plotting to attack the US military base at Fort Dix, close to New Jersey…News of the arrests has caused something of a furore in Kosovo, with politicians and institutions strongly condemning the alleged plotters and offering to help the US government with their enquiries.”
Of course, Albanians are used to feigning shock over their own terrorism:
Kosovo officials arrested after huge weapons haul (December 2006)
PRISTINA, Serbia (Reuters) - Two officials of Kosovo’s governing coalition have been arrested after police found a minibus packed with heavy weapons and ammunition.
A police source said the haul included a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft gun and more than 100 rocket-propelled grenades.
Local media reports said the find, made late on Wednesday in the Drenica region of central Kosovo, was the largest in Kosovo since the 1998-99 war and the deployment of NATO peacekeepers.
Three men were arrested, including a senior adviser to the Kosovo labor minister and a member of the governing Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), which emerged from the guerrilla Kosovo Liberation Army.
The Kosovo government issued a statement expressing regret for what it said was an isolated case. The AAK, a junior member of the governing coalition, said it was “surprised” that two of its members were involved.
Don’t even try squaring all the shock and outrage with the fact that, elsewhere, Albanians protest the arrests of Albanian terrorists (and of course war criminals) — and recruit American politicians to free them. Then they act surprised when an Albanian is caught being a terrorist in America.
But back to the current Albanian-terrorist-against-America story. The opening item about Osmakac had the following closing paragraphs:
A 21-year-old ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, Arid Uka, is on trial in Germany for killing two and wounding two more U.S. airmen at the Frankfurt airport last year.
Another Kosovo-born man, Hysen Sherifi, faces up to 15 years in jail in the U.S. for allegedly being part of a group that raised money, stockpiled weapons and trained in preparation for jihadist attacks against American military targets and others they deemed enemies of Islam.
A FIRST. LET THE RECORD SHOW IT. As lacking as this standard report is, it’s the first mainstream news article to reference other specifically Albanian-related attacks or plots against Americans. Usually, you get just some scribble about the current episode and that’s it — no one puts any of it together. As perfunctory and incomplete as this list is, it’s a first. Maybe one day others will see that these particular Muslims (from the Balkans) are deserving of their own category, given that it’s blowback.
One must also add: Thanks to all the Albanian attackers and would-be attackers, I’m rather getting a kick out of Americans having to read obscure, hard-to-pronounce location names like Lubidze, Gnjilane, Mitrovica, Drenica, Pec and Urosevac/Ferizaj, considering they didn’t even remember hearing the word “Kosovo” after bombing it. Before we’re through, we’ll have learned Kosovo geography in detail, 13 years after we infiltrated it with jihadists, organized crime, and Saudi “charities.” It reminds me of a corollary situation: Like other Americans, I only started learning Israeli geography because of Muslim genocide bombings introducing the place names to us one by one as they were blown up.
Pamela Geller wrote on the Tampa/Osmakac matter last month:
And the U.S. still supports an independent Kosovo state, a militant Islamic state, in the heart of Europe. That is our policy. America refuses to own up to the terrible mistake we made in Europe — worse still, we continue to prosecute the Christian Serbs.
Media reports said that Osmakac, a devout Muslim, was “self-radicalized.” You have to wonder if Western dhimmis stay up nights thinking up new terms for jihad. Pathetic. Soon after his arrest, video emerged that showed how pious and violent Sami Osmakac really was, as he attacked and bloodied Christian street preachers. The pious Osmakac, who was completely the aggressor, then cried victim to the police, saying that he had been “insulted”…
The police, in what has become standard practice in dealing with Islamic supremacists, treated the perpetrator and the victim with equal contempt, actually charging the bloodied Christian with battery. This was in the same town, Tampa, that classified what was obviously an honor killing of a Muslim woman, Fatima Abdallah, as a “suicide.”
Even worse, after the terrorism arrest, Hassan Shibly, director of the Florida chapter of CAIR, cried “entrapment.” This is, of course, typical of jihadis, but what is really outrageous is that the FBI briefed Shibly prior to Osmakac’s arrest. Hamas-CAIR was briefed? Was Qaradawi briefed, too?
“The weapons and explosives were provided by the government. Was he just a troubled individual, or did he pose a real threat?” Shibly asked. Hey, Shibly, he was a devout Muslim. […]
The news item where Shibly said this went as follows:
Leaders in the local Muslim community urge caution, saying it is important for the courts to determine if Osmakac posed a real threat or was just a big talker entrapped by the FBI.
“Would there have been any real plot without the support and assistance of the FBI?” asked Hassan Shibly…who had been briefed by authorities before the arrest was announced.
Avni Osmakac told Bay News 9 that his brother is not a terrorist and wouldn’t have had money to put toward buying any such weapons…
So now Shibly is defending Osmakac, whom on the previous day this same CAIR professional had called “very disturbed” and “very angry” and encouraged area Muslims calling in about him to “contact the authorities as soon as possible.”
In answer to Shibly’s question — from another update:
“When a person’s got an AK-47 which he believes is operable, when he has explosives which he believes are real, and when he has an explosive pack and a car bomb which … he is going to utilize against Americans, that makes it a crime,” Robert O’Neill, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida, told reporters. “Was it real? It was very real.”
Two law enforcement officials…said the suspect does not appear to have any ties to al Qaeda, and early information indicated he was “self-radicalized.”
“We arrested him when the attack was imminent,” O’Neill said. […]
Let’s pause a moment, however, on the brother’s denial, which is like being in the movie “Groundhog Day,” where we get the same thing over and over: an Albanian Muslim loner growing increasingly pious, eventually “shocking” his relatives by trying to kill Americans now instead of mere Serbs. FLASHBACK to 2007:
Eljvir Duka’s lawyer stood in U.S. District Court in Camden this morning and told the judge his client wanted a Koran.
All six of the [Ft. Dix] suspects are immigrants in their 20s. And by most accounts they had been typical teenagers. But at some point between high school and adulthood, the men became radicalized and adopted the violent and extreme philosophy of jihad, authorities said.
Some of their relatives differ, saying the men are victims of religious persecution.
“We all have been supporters of America. We were always thankful to America for its support during the wars in Kosovo and Macedonia,” a cousin, Elez Duka, 29, told The Associated Press.
“These are simple, ordinary people and they’ve got nothing to do with terrorism. I expect their release and I expect an apology,” [cousin Elez Duka] said, waving his hands. “I see injustice. These are ridiculous charges.”
His indignation captured the mood among Muslims in Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania — places that have repeatedly expressed gratitude to the United States for intervening in the 1998-99 Kosovo war and a 2001 ethnic conflict that pushed Macedonia to the brink of civil war.
…Elez Duka [said] his cousins told him they had grown long beards and had become more devoted to Islam, but he insisted they were incapable of involvement in a terrorist plot. “They live in America and grew up in the American culture. How can you say they are anti-American? These accusations are totally unfounded,” he said.
Compare with today’s case: Friends: Fla. bomb plot suspect was radical, loner (AP, Jan. 15)
The Kosovo-born American citizen accused of plotting bomb attacks around Tampa was a loner who had grown increasingly radical in his Muslim faith and publicly railed against Jews and Christians in videos he posted on the Internet, according to relatives and friends.
Sami Osmakac’s life in the U.S. began about a dozen years ago, when he was 13 and his family immigrated to the U.S., according to a video he posted on YouTube. Those who know Osmakac said he mostly kept to himself as a high school student who loved rap music and rapped about bombs and killing in a song he made with a friend. As he grew older, they said, he grew increasingly confrontational: One Tampa-area activist said Osmakac physically threatened him, and Osmakac was jailed on charges that he head-butted a Christian preacher as the two argued over religion outside a Lady Gaga concert.
His family in Florida has said the charges are untrue.
Now FLASHBACK to this guy in February 2011, just days before the Frankfurt attack:
…Lajqi used racial slurs in describing Jews and talked of wanting to “slaughter the enemies of Islam.” He also discussed getting a D.C. hotel room where he could watch the landmarks blow up, the prosecutor said.
Three of Lajqi’s siblings were in the courtroom Monday, telling The Washington Examiner after the hearing that Lajqi is not a terrorist but instead a garrulous man who never intended to carry out attacks.
“He’s a dreamer,” said Richard Sica, a friend of Lajqi’s from New York. “He’s a talker.”
Now back once more to the current Albanian terrorist:
Family members told The AP that Osmakac was born in the village of Lubizde in Kosovo, a tiny hamlet of scattered houses near the Cursed Mountains, a row of snowcapped peaks that divide Kosovo from Albania…
Osmakac spent his early years in a home shared by his father and two uncles, but difficult living conditions and simmering ethnic intolerance sent the family searching for prosperity elsewhere…
Osmakac’s family was in Bosnia during the bloodiest of the ethnic wars of the 1990s, which left more than 100,000 dead, and eventually fled to Germany and then the U.S. [Read between the lines to see this for the trace-the-crime-back-to-Serbs caveat that it is.]
As a child, Osmakac was “a quiet and fun boy,” said his aunt, Time Osmankaj. She said his family regularly sent money home to relatives trying to eke out a living as the wars left those who remained extremely poor.
Osmankaj said the family returned to Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, for visits during the summer months. But in recent years they noticed a change in Sami, who grew a beard, donned religious garments, and was frequently accompanied by two devout Muslims from Albania and two from Bosnia. He also began to shun his relatives during his trips to Kosovo.
His aunt said she learned of his last visit in October 2011 through neighbors and that she did not meet with him. Authorities in Kosovo have said he used those visits to meet with Islamic radicals there.
Islam came to Kosovo with the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans in the 15th century, but it had not grown political until more recently. For instance, hundreds of Muslims have taken to the streets to protest a ban imposed by Kosovo authorities on wearing headscarves in schools. Protesters also have demanded that new mosques be built to accommodate a growing number of faithful after a Roman Catholic cathedral was built last year in the center of the capital, Pristina.
The increase in religious tensions has raised concerns that U.S. soldiers serving as part of a NATO-led peacekeeping force could be targeted in attacks.
REALLY? Gee, this eminently foreseeable scenario when one is playing for the enemy’s team isn’t what I’ve been warning about for 13 years at all, is it? And yet when I brought the issue up in 2007 in American Legion magazine, I was accused by two National Guard “information officers” of “trying to scare the troops’ loved ones.” But here we have a mainstream AP writer finally connecting Islam to Kosovo and, gee, twying to scare the twoops and their famiwies.
The mainstream is finally catching up to what a Kosovo vet warned about in 2008, letting us know that saying “soldiers could be targeted” ain’t exactly the whole story:
Islamic extremism is on the rise in Kosovo. KFOR soldiers have been attacked in Gjilan [Gnjilane], Ferizaj, and Prizren when I was there. You just won’t see or hear about it in the news. More Mosques have been built in Kosovo in the last five years than schools, roads, health clinics, and all other [sanitation] projects combined. Compliments of Muslim charities from the Middle East.
So now the question is: Are they finally going to use the body armor that the Command previously had them boasting they patrolled without? (Incidentally, mentioning the no-armor factoid got me compared by the same PR duo to a New York Times reporter who publicized our problematic armor in Iraq — despite this DoD press release advertising in 2005 that our troops patrol Kosovo without armor.)
Back again to Osmakac:
Avni Osmakac told WTVT-TV in Tampa that his brother had tried to travel to Saudi Arabia last year so he could study Islam, but that he had problems with his visa and never got farther than Turkey. Sami Osmakac wanted to become an imam and teach Islam in the Middle East, his brother said.
Osmakac’s family had settled in Pinellas Park, Fla., where his father opened a bakery and bought a home. There, Osmakac attended at least two high schools and was mostly a loner, classmate Alan Stokling wrote in an email to The AP.
Stokling said the two did have something in common: a love of rap music… “Sami’s part came on and he was talking about murder and bombing and stuff,” Stokling recalled. “I wasn’t surprised by that. It wasn’t anything different from regular hip-hop songs.”
What was different was the song’s ending: Stokling said Osmakac rapped about killing Jews.
“The weirdest ad libs I’d ever heard,” Stokling said. “They were so beyond the realm of what was accepted back then as far as what was a consistency in the realm of a rap song that it was comical.”
The two discussed religion only once, when Osmakac asked about Stokling’s religion. Stokling recalled that when he said he was a Christian, Osmakac “got kind of quiet then started laughing to himself under his breath in a smug fashion. In his own mind he seemed to be an elitist. That’s the vibe I got from him.”
Osmakac’s run-in with the preacher outside the Lady Gaga concert in April 2011 was far less subtle. According to police accounts of the fight, which the preacher recorded on video, Osmakac said, thumping his heart with his fist for emphasis: “My message is, if you all don’t accept Islam, you’re going to hell.”
At the mosque where Osmakac began worshipping in 2010, he mostly kept to himself. However, he occasionally had run-ins with other area Muslims. At the mosque, he and another man were cited for trespassing in November of that year after a heated discussion with Ahmed Batrawy, vice president of the Islamic Society of Pinellas County.
In another instance, he accused the Council on American-Islamic Relations of being an “infidel organization,” said Hassan Shibly, executive director of the council’s Tampa office. And Ahmed Bedier, a Muslim community activist and radio host, said Osmakac had threatened him because Bedier’s organization encourages minorities to get involved in politics.
“He thought I was taking people out of the faith,” Bedier said. “On at least one time, he got very close as if he was going to hit me, and someone held him back.”
Bedier reported Osmakac’s behavior to authorities more than a year and a half ago. However, he said Osmakac’s hatred was so overt that many people suspected he may have been a government informant.
Bedier asked: “What terrorist goes on YouTube?”
A lot. And this one went on “Canadian Idol.”
Some details about the youtube videos:
…In the first video clip, a man who appears to be Osmakac, confronted Christian protesters and assaulted one outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum - leaving the man bleeding from the mouth…In the second video with the title ‘Convert to Islam NOW! To all Atheist Christian (Non-Muslims)‘ a man who looks and sounds like Osmakac threatened members of other religions.
The message from Abdul Samia, believed to be one of Osmakac’s aliases, warns viewers to convert to Islam ‘before it is too late’. The YouTube videos were posted in December 2010 and in April last year…In the eight-minute video he is seen cross-legged on the floor with a pistol in his hand and an AK-47 gun behind him. […]
Another interesting Osmakac report — and note the caption under the photo conveniently reverting, as usual, to the resurrected-when-Kosovo-or-Bosnia-proves-embarrassing: “former Yugoslavia”:
Sami Osmakac, 25, from the former Yugoslavia, was charged in a plot to attack crowded locations in the Tampa area with a bomb, assault rifle and other explosives, federal authorities said Jan. 9.
Official: Alleged Florida bomb-plotter met radical Islamists during visits to Kosovo (Jan. 11)
PRISTINA, Kosovo — The man accused by U.S. authorities of plotting to bomb Florida nightclubs and a sheriff’s office met with radical Islamists during visits to his native Kosovo, a senior official in the country said Wednesday.
International agencies had alerted Kosovo authorities that Sami Osmakac could be linked to Islamist extremists, the official told The Associated Press. He said the 25-year-old, an ethnic Albanian and naturalized U.S. citizen, discussed “issues in support of radical elements” with the individuals he met.
So one goes to Kosovo to meet with Islamists? So Kosovo IS a jihad destination? That is, it IS what our officials say it isn’t and promised it wouldn’t be? The article continues:
…Some 1,000 American soldiers serve as part of the NATO-led peacekeeping force that is in charge of security in the country, where tensions persist because Serbia has refused to accept Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence.
So THAT’S why there are tensions. In case you didn’t know, the AP has explained it all to you. In case you had any doubt, it’s because of something Serbia isn’t doing. And not because Albanians terrorized Serbia into the position it finds itself in today: being pressured by the West to recognize our criminal-led narco-terrorist “pro-American” jihad-exploitable mafia state, to the world’s unanimous criticism when Serbia “stubbornly” refuses to.
…Osmakac arrived in the U.S. around 2000, when he as 13, according to a video he posted online.
That’s just after the war, making him one of the Clintons’ goodwill refugees — another “rescuee” from the Serbs, like the KLA sniper Agron Abdullahu, who provided the guns for the three Albanian brothers who wanted to kill “as many American soldiers as possible” at Ft. Dix.
…In Sept. 2003, he had his first brush with the law. According to a police report, Osmakac got into a fight with some other students and punched a teacher at Pinellas Park High School during the melee…
Really? An Albanian having brushes with the law before becoming a terrorist? That doesn’t sound familiar at all from this FLASHBACK:
Prior to their arrest on terror charges, the Duka brothers ran into trouble with the law on numerous occasions. Shain Duka has been arrested on charges of making physical threats, obstruction of justice, and hindering apprehension. He has also been cited for traffic violations five times. Eljvir Duka has been arrested on drug charges and amassed two motor vehicles citations. And, Dritan Duka was arrested for disorderly conduct, drug possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Moreover, he was ticketed for speeding or driving with a suspended license a total of six times.
Back to today:
At some point, Osmakac became deeply religious. In 2010, Osmakac began worshipping at a local mosque. [Again and again and again: If you’re not getting away with straight-up crime, give it a higher, religious purpose.]
In November 2010, Osmakac and another young man — an American convert to Islam — had a heated discussion with Batrawy at the mosque. The American convert, Batrawy said, was the one “radicalizing things.” Osmakac later started to “trash talk,” Batrawy said.
“We don’t condone that in our place of worship,” Batrawy said he told the young men. When they wouldn’t calm down, Batrawy called police, who cited Osmakac and the other man for trespassing.
A month later, Osmakac posted his first video on YouTube, ranting about Christians and Western life. It was titled “A Question For All Christians: What Are You Worshipping???” …CAIR said Osmakac was banned at two Tampa-area mosques.
Indeed. He was too volatile and risked blowing Jihad’s cover vis-a-vis the long-term goal. (Imagine, though: a non-Muslimy Albanian blowing the cover.)
Earlier in this post I mentioned Hysen Sherifi, one of the two Albanians in the 2009 North Carolina plot. There have been two updates on him. Last month he was “convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism and conspiracy to carry out attacks overseas,” plus “two counts of firearms possession, and conspiracy to kill federal officers or employees by discussing an attack on the Quantico, Va., Marine Corps base with ringleader Daniel Boyd, who had lived on the base as a child with his Marine officer father.” The other update, which many readers have already seen, was on Jan. 24th:
[Hysen Sherifi] has been accused in a federal court document of plotting to kill witnesses who testified against him at trial.
An affidavit unsealed in federal court Monday accuses Hysen Sherifi of plotting against the witnesses from his jail cell. Authorities say an FBI informant posing as a hit man met with Sherifi’s brother and a female friend and accepted $5,000 and a photo of an intended victim.
FBI agents have arrested the brother, Shkumbin Sherifi, and Nevine Aly Elshiekh, a school teacher. Now in federal custody at the New Hanover County Jail, each is charged with a felony count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.
The informant soon befriended Sherifi, who requested help in hiring someone to kill three people who had testified against him at his trial, according to the affidavit. Sherifi specified that he wanted the witnesses beheaded and that he would be provided photos of the severed heads as confirmation of the deaths, according to the document.
FBI agents said in the document that they arranged for a second informant to pose as a hit man and monitored Sherifi during a series of jailhouse visits with Elshiekh.
Following a Dec. 21 visit at the jail, Elshiekh left a voicemail on the fake hit man’s cell phone, identifying herself as “Hysen Sherifi’s friend,” according to the affidavit. It added that the FBI observed and recorded subsequent meetings between Elshiekh and the fake hit man, during which she provided names, addresses and photos of those targeted and $750 in cash toward the first murder.
Agents also observed Elshiekh meeting with Shkumbin Sherifi, who met with the FBI’s fake hitman on Jan. 8, the court document said. According to the affidavit, the brother traveled from Raleigh to Wilmington to provide the hit man another $4,250 in cash.
The Sherifi brothers and other family members emigrated from Kosovo following the wars that ravaged the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. A call to the Sherifi family home in Raleigh on Tuesday was not returned.
What we have here is a Kosovo Albanian importing — at our invitation — the way Kosovo justice goes down. Witnesses are the ones who go down. This is why former “prime minister” Ramush Haradinaj is being re-tried at The Hague. His 2007 trial was plagued with witness deaths. The only difference between that documented criminal-slash-Kosovo leader and the current documented criminal-slash-Kosovo leader is American muscle keeping the latter (Hashim Thaci) out of The Hague. Witness death and intimidation are why Albanians are used to not going to jail. No wonder Sherifi’s family are in shock over his arrest. (Incidentally, witness safety is also a big stumbling block for Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty in the Albanians’ organ-harvesting operation.) I’ve been warning that America would be Kosovized, which is why it’s important to pay attention to America’s Kosovo. So now the U.S. is getting a taste of the beast it “saved.”
Note that Sherifi wanted the witnesses’ heads. The first point about this is, gee that’s strange for non-Muslimy Muslims like the “Kosovars,” no? (And note that his brother and the woman who was going to help him accomplish this didn’t even require radicalization themselves to get it done.)
Second point: We were told that the Albanian beef with Serbs was Serb-specific. We were told that this would not be happening in America or to Americans by our friends the Albanians. This was just a “Serbian problem”:
Enjoy, America. You’ve worked hard for it.
A few FLASHBACKs:
Kosovar Albanian ultra-nationalists decapitated a Kosovo Serb in Pec, who is prepared for burial. Only the head was found. Pec, Kosovo, late 1800s.
Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro serves the funeral for three murdered Serbian men of the village of Belo Polje, near Pec, June 1999
The body of Fr. Chariton Lukic found near Prizren, Aug 2000. Fr. Chariton was kidnapped by the KLA Albanian extremists on June 14th 1999 in the streets of Prizren. His body was found one year later on August 8th 2000 near Prizren. According to the post mortem report Fr. Chariton’s body was decapitated and severely mutilated. He was stabbed several times by knife. The perpertrators of this murder have not yet been found.
An Orthodox priest killed by an Albanian Nazi in WW2, Kosovo. Dozens of priests and monks were killed by Albanian Nazis including the Bishop of Raska and Prizren Rt. Rev Vladimir who was sent to prison in Albania and killed in a prison.
In 1912, Kosovar political leader Isa Boletini, front and to the right: “In the spring, we will manure the plains of Kosovo with the bones of Serbs.”
And so they did yet again in 1999, this time backed by the Red, White and Blue.
“The Serbian population of Kosovo should be removed as soon as possible. Serbian settlers should be killed.” — Mustafa Kruja, Nazi-fascist Prime Minister of Greater Albania, June, 1942
“The time has come to exterminate the Serbs. There will be no Serbs under the Kosovo sun.” — Ferat-bey Draga, Nazi-fascist Kosovar Muslim political leader, 1943
Mission just about accomplished.
An update to the update on Sherifi trying to behead witnesses: Man must stand trial in plot to hire hit man (Jan. 27)
A North Carolina man must stand trial in a plot to hire a hit man to behead three witnesses from his brother’s terrorism case, a federal magistrate judge ruled on Friday….
Sherifi, 21, was arrested last weekend after FBI agents tracked him to a Jan. 8 meeting in the parking lot of a Wilmington Food Lion grocery store with a government informant posing as the representative of a hit man. He is accused of paying the informant $4,250 toward the first killing while his mother waited nearby in a Honda minivan.
On Jan. 22, prosecutors said Sherifi met with the informant again, this time receiving fake photos that showed the blood-covered witnesses lying in a shallow grave and what appeared to be the man’s severed head.
Those targeted for death, according to the government, were three confidential informants who testified against Hysen Sherifi and his co-defendants….
The Sherifis are naturalized U.S. citizens who emigrated from Kosovo in 1999 following a bloody sectarian war. On Friday, one of their three sisters took the stand as a character witness and asked the judge to let her brother go home. Hylja Sherifi, 24, said her younger sibling was a primary caregiver to their ailing father, who has lung cancer.
Shkumbin Sherifi has also volunteered as a youth soccer coach and is an aspiring songwriter, she said. Several of his rap songs are available online on a website intended to promote his music.
“He has a lot of passion,” Hylja Sherifi said, a college student. She added that her family loves the United States. [THERE IT IS! Never mind the terrorism, Albanians are pro-American!]
“I have hope in the American government and support America,” she said. “I supported my boyfriend when he was fighting in Iraq for 13 months.” [And there’s the ubiquitous served-in-the-armed-forces card that’s supposed to be a conversation stopper in all cases.]
The soldier she spoke of sat with the family in the courtroom, along with about 25 other people who made the two-hour drive from Raleigh to show their support for the defendant. Many were members of the Islamic Association of Raleigh, the city’s largest mosque. [Similarly, see in the Jan. 13th AP report: “Dozens of members of Raleigh’s Muslim community made the five-hour drive to coastal New Bern to witness the fate of men their supporters believe were unjustly convicted.”]
Farris Barakat, a 21-year-old college student who attended the hearing, said Elshiekh was his second-grade teacher at the mosque’s school. At the time of her arrest, she was also teaching at a secular Montessori academy in suburban Morrisville. Elshiekh is charged with using interstate facilities for murder for hire.
Barakat stressed that he did not in any way support the type of violence of which the Sherifis are accused of plotting. Islam is a religion of peace, he said.
However, he questioned whether an overzealous government was seeking to prosecute Muslims for terror offenses using questionable tactics, such as using paid informants with criminal records.
Hylja Sherifi echoed those sentiments, suggesting the full story had not been told in the courtroom.
Asked on the witness stand if any of the evidence presented Friday changed her positive view of her younger brother, she replied: “Not at all.”
Closing with an update on Arid Uka, the Albanian from Kosovo who killed two U.S. servicemen in Frankfurt this time last year:
Germany jails Kosovo man for life for murder of US airmen (Feb. 10)
FRANKFURT — A German court sentenced a Kosovo man to life on Friday for killing two US soldiers and attempting to kill three more at Frankfurt airport last March in Germany’s first deadly jihadist attack.
[Again, note that Germany’s FIRST deadly jihadist attack was committed by a supposedly non-Muslimy Albanian from Kosovo. Germany having of course provided a Serb-killing training base in 1996 for the Kosovo Liberation Army.]
Presiding judge Thomas Sagebiel said 22-year-old Arid Uka — who was born in Kosovo but brought up in Germany — was found guilty on two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder when he opened fire on March 2 last year on a group of US soldiers on their way to serve in Afghanistan.
“The degree of guilt is particularly grave,” Sagebiel said, which means Uka is unlikely to be released early after 15 years.
“Yes, this is indeed the first Islamic-motivated terror strike to have happened in Germany,” the judge said.
US soldiers Nicholas Alden, 25, and Zachary Ryan Cuddeback, 21, were killed in the shooting. Two other soldiers were wounded. [One of whom lost an eye.]
Sagebiel told the court: “He would have shot at a third, but the weapon got jammed.”
The verdict had already been postponed twice since the trial opened with Uka apologising to his victims and their families.
[OK, that’s non-Muslimy, I’ll admit.]
“On March 2, I killed two people and opened fire on three others. Today I can’t understand myself how I could have acted this way,” he said.
He said he had been influenced by “lies” and “propaganda” after seeing a video on the Internet purporting to show US soldiers in Afghanistan raping a local woman.
[Notice that his Serbian-Orthodox enemy, which we grafted as our enemy, has yet to be influenced by any lies or propaganda leading to dead Americans.]
Defence lawyer Michaela Roth had not contested Uka’s guilt but argued that extenuating circumstances should allow him to be eligible for release after 15 years in jail.
“A jihadist would never have asked for forgiveness as Arid Uka has done from the first day of his trial. On the contrary he would have been proud of himself,” Roth told the court earlier.
Sagebiel also said the court had found no evidence that suggested he had accomplices or had been to ideological and military training camps.
The brother of one of the murdered soldiers was present for the verdict and the judge concluded his statement by addressing the court’s “commiseration” to the victims’ families.
“The attack was not only cowardly and perfidious, but also damaged Germany’s reputation,” Sagebiel said.
[So Germany’s reputation, such as it is, has been damaged by an Albanian Muslim, of all things.]
The court “hoped that by our bringing the perpetrator to justice swiftly, you can find some comfort… and will not harbour any rancour towards Germany,” he said.
A “saddened and outraged” US President Barack Obama said the day of the killings that Washington would “spare no effort in learning how this outrageous act took place.”
[How about: by marking the wrong enemy in 1999, and not regarding our new ‘friends’ with a tad bit of suspicion.]
…The September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States were planned in part in the German port city of Hamburg by an Al-Qaeda cell led by Mohammed Atta, the hijacker of the first plane to strike New York’s World Trade Centre. […]
Note: In the course of doing research for his book Revenge of the Prophet, author Vojin Joksimovich learned that German investigators had discovered that Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a Syrian-German citizen who was a senior commander of the Al Mujahid unit in central Bosnia, was assigned by Osama bin Laden to recruit the Hamburg cell consisting of Atta et al.
Note also that the sentencing had been delayed in light of possible new evidence by German reporter Franz Feyder, who testified that Uka had been recognized by several people as having attended a terror training camp in Zenica, Bosnia in the summer of 2010, under the name Abu Reyyan, the same name that Uka used on Facebook. Ultimately, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to satisfy either the defense or the prosecutors and the last-minute testimony was dismissed.
But what we do know is this:
Under his Islamist handle he spread jihadist hymns on YouTube online, professed hatred of Jews and Shiite Muslims and took part in violent computer games. Within just four or five weeks, Uka is thought to have established contact to radical Islamist preachers including the Moroccan Sheik Abdellatif and German Muslim extremist Pierre Vogel.
So yet another Albanian jihadist who doesn’t like Jews (See the aforementioned Lajqi who wanted to blow up Washington landmarks but was arrested in Maryland last March for visa fraud; see also the Albanian in Britain who had a bomb factory in his apartment; and of course see our Tampa guy, whose fondness for Jews is mentioned earlier in this post. Relatedly, let’s not forget that Jewish-cemetery-desecration business in December in Kosovo’s capital, which clueless Jewish students from Dartmouth had just cleaned up over the summer.) On this point, I would direct readers to note the names of Uka’s defense attorneys: Michaela Roth and Jens Joerg Hoffman. Roth and Hoffman. I guess Uka made the same exception that other Jew-haters make for lawyers and doctors.
In the Jihad Watch item citing the article about Sherifi having his brother and Elshiekh behead witnesses, were these two opening paragraphs by Robert Spencer about an unrelated case:
According to former Detroit Public Schools Superintendent Eddie Green, Kifah Jayyousi was “a great guy, one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.” While Green was superintendent, Jayyousi oversaw the Detroit school district’s capital improvement program.
Jayyousi was charged, according to the Detroit Free Press, with “conspiring to kidnap, maim and murder by providing money, recruits and equipment for Islamic struggles in Bosnia, Kosovo and Chechnya from 1993 to 2001.”
WHAT Islamic struggles in Bosnia and Kosovo?!?! We were told these conflicts had nothing to do with Islam beyond the Serbs targeting people allegedly for nothing more than being Muslim. Kind of like we and our judicial system are now targeting all these innocent Muslims like Sherifi, Osmakac, Uka and Duka. And in the years 1993-2001, no less! When jihad in the Balkans was perfectly OK — and often funded — by the West? Most confusing! Sounds like someone is being prosecuted ex post facto. Or at least ex post 20/20-hindsighto.
******And Huffington Post had this Feb. 10th update on the Uka case******
Arid Uka, Frankfurt Airport Shooter, Sentenced To Life
…Uka, an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, killed Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, from South Carolina, and Airman 1st Class Zachary R. Cuddeback, 21, from Virginia in the March 2 attack on the Afghanistan-bound servicemen as they were boarding a bus at the airport.
Judge Thomas Sagebiel ruled that Uka bears “particularly severe guilt,” citing the nature of his ambush on the soldiers, the fact he shot unarmed people from behind and the severity of the injuries he inflicted.
That means he won’t immediately be eligible for parole after 15 years as is usual in Germany.
“I’m satisfied. I’m at peace. There’s a huge weight off our shoulders,” Nicholas Alden’s brother, Joe, said in the courthouse after the ruling.
“I think justice has been served – I think he got what he deserved and I think the court did a great job,” said Alden, of Indianapolis. “I wish there was more they could do but he got the maximum.”
Prosecutors said Uka was an example of a lone-wolf extremist who became radicalized on his own by reading and watching jihadist propaganda on the Internet. During the trial, they introduced as evidence dozens of files containing songs and written material pulled from his cell phone, music player and computer.
Although Germany has experienced scores of terrorist attacks in past decades, largely from leftist groups like the Red Army Faction, the airport attack was the first attributed to an Islamic extremist.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, there have been about a half-dozen other jihadist plots that were either thwarted or failed – including a 2007 plan to kill Americans at the U.S. Air Force’s Ramstein Air Base.
The airmen at Frankfurt airport were part of a security team traveling from an air base at Lakenheath in Britain.
As they loaded their bus in front of the airport, Uka approached the soldiers and asked for a cigarette, then asked if the group was headed for Afghanistan. Told that it was, Uka pulled a pistol from his backpack and shot the unarmed Alden point blank in the back of the head.
He then boarded the bus and fatally shot Cuddeback, the driver, before turning the gun on two more airmen, Staff Sgt. Kristoffer Schneider and Edgar Veguilla. The weapon jammed as he pointed it at Staff Sgt. Trevor Brewer, who testified that Uka had “hate in his eyes” and said “Allahu akbar” – Arabic for “God is great.”
Schneider, who testified by video link from an Air Force base in Grand Forks, North Dakota, was shot in the right temple and lost the sight in one eye. The right side of his face had to be rebuilt with titanium and titanium mesh, and he testified he suffers continuing eye and head pain and has had a seizure. Part of his skull had to be removed after an infection.
Veguilla was hit in the jaw and arm and testified he has numb fingers because of nerve damage.
Check out this headline and byline from this past November:
Radical Islam in the heart of Europe:
Wahhabis unsheath terror in campaign to impose Shariah
By Jeffrey T. Kuhner
The Washington Times
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Belated though it is, my snide commentary is required. So here it is:
Well. Well. Well. Thanks for finally noticing, Kuhner. But let’s take a moment to appreciate how this Croatia-defender is able to see Bosnia for what it is, but resents anyone seeing Croatia for what it is. ( “I saw the hit job you did on Croatia,” he told me after my 2007 piece “When Will the World Confront the Undead of Croatia” ran in Baltimore Sun. “I wasn’t very impressed.” To which I responded — after realizing whom, or what, I’d accidentally gotten on the phone at Insight magazine which I used to write for: “Well you haven’t had a problem with over 15 years of hit pieces on Serbs, so that’s pretty standard. Have a nice day.”)
Shouldn’t The Washington Times’ Kuhner have started a conversation by now with The Weakly Standard’s Stephen Suleyman Ahmad Schwartz? A fine pair. The conservative press’s resident Ustasha and its resident Balkans-Muslim promoter.
Schwartz wouldn’t appreciate Kuhner’s recent observations about Bosnia (indeed, he threatened a CNSNews.com reporter’s career when she asked him to comment on the growing post-war Islamist and terrorist threat in Bosnia; on the other hand, only a few years later — seeing the writing on the wall and to cover his behind — he was already styling himself as the alarm-sounder on rising radicalism in Bosnia, albeit redirecting attention to usual suspects such as Pakistan and Afghanistan). Conversely, Kuhner surely wouldn’t appreciate Schwartz’s likely resentments toward Croatia’s doings during the Bosnian war, which undermined the ambitions for an Islamic Bosnia when the two republics turned on each other. If you pick on Croatia, Kuhner isn’t happy, and if you pick on Bosnia, Schwartz isn’t happy.
So when Croatia isn’t the target, Kuhner ‘gets’ it. But he certainly wasn’t worried about the eminently foreseeable progression (regression) of Bosnia when the Bosnian Muslims and Croatian Catholics were repeating history together and slaughtering Orthodox Serbs while the U.S. and Iran were flying in weapons, mujahedeen and Iranian Revolutionary Guard trainers to Bosnia.
As welcome as Kuhner’s remedial piece on Bosnia is, you nonetheless get to that inevitable point where, as with all evil souls who write on this topic, the heavily invested Serb-hater stops ‘getting it.’ Observe:
Is Bosnia-Herzegovina doomed? The small Balkan nation is being subverted by powerful internal forces that threaten its existence. The West must wake up before the former Yugoslav republic descends once again into sectarian bloodshed.
Last month, an Islamic terrorist from neighboring Serbia, Mevlid Jasarevic, opened fire on the U.S. embassy in Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo…Mr. Jasarevic was protesting American policy toward the Muslim world…Police also raided a northern Bosnian village, Gornja Maoca, which is a hotbed of Wahhabist activity and a place Mr. Jasarevic often visited. The terrorist attack shocked both Sarajevo’s political establishment and the U.S. State Department. It shouldn’t have. In Bosnia, radical Islam has been growing for years. In fact, America and the West have deliberately turned a blind eye to its dangerous rise. [Not unlike the blind eye that we — including Kuhner — turned to 1990s Croatia’s resurgent Nazism.]
From 1992 to 1995, Bosnia was ravaged by a war pitting Muslims (known as Bosniaks), Serbs and Croats against each other. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the conflict was not - and never was - a civil war driven by “ancient ethnic hatreds.” Instead, the country was a victim of outside aggression. Serbia’s late strongman, Slobodan Milosevic, waged a genocidal campaign to annex large chunks of Croatia first and then Bosnia in order to erect a Greater Serbian Empire.
Here we see that Kuhner is still on-program, still blindly blaming Serbia for the war Bosnia started — despite Bosnia’s true colors now being on view for more than just the besieged Serbs. He remains immune to his own evidence and unwilling to extrapolate backwards or benefit from hindsight. So we’re left with the predictable, common reason for Kuhner’s learning-disabled pace of understanding: he, like everyone else on the planet, is still trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, to contort and hammer the outgrowths and repercussions of a war we inflamed and took the wrong sides on, into the flawed premise that he stubbornly clings to as his framework for the conflict. He even still cites the outdated figure of dead as he continues “enlightening” his readers:
More than 200,000 were murdered and nearly 2 million ethnically cleansed. To counter Serbia’s expansionist [sic] ambitions [sic], Islamic countries sought to help the besieged Bosniaks.
OH YES. They came to Bosnia to “help.”
In particular, Saudi Arabia and Iran [always pure of motive!] offered extensive financial and military assistance. Thousands of foreign Mujahedeen guerrillas entered the country to battle rampaging Serb forces.
[Rampaging were they! With Islamic knives protruding through their eyes.]… Yet, after the war, many jihadists did not leave. [Imagine!] The Saudi government has spent millions funding the construction of mosques and religious education centers. More ominously, Saudi-backed clerics have vigorously promoted Wahhabism….In pamphlets, books and sermons, Wahhabis demand an Islamist Bosnia where Orthodox Christian Serbs and Catholic Croats are subjugated under Shariah law. [Gee, didn’t see that coming; you think maybe the Serbs might have figured that out 20 years before we did?] The goal is also to drive out Western, especially American, influence. It’s no accident that Mr. Jasarevic is a Wahhabi. Militant Islam has regained a foothold in the Balkans.
For the past decade, anti-American sentiment has intensified among segments of Bosniaks. Following the toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, U.S. troops found more than 1,000 dead jihadists on the battlefield possessing Bosnian passports. The Saudis have supported several Bosnian charities serving as front groups for al Qaeda cells. Radical organizations, such as the Young Muslims, have proliferated. During the Iraq war, some Bosnian Muslim fighters joined the insurgency against American forces. At one of Sarajevo’s main mosques, the second-highest-ranking cleric in the country, Ismet Spahic, publicly denounced the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq as “genocide.” Western intelligence reports say Bosnia has become fertile soil for recruiting “white al Qaeda”…
Western public officials, however, have refused even to acknowledge the Islamist problem. [He’s faulting them for taking a few years longer than it took him?] For example, from 2002 through 2006, the international high representative for Bosnia, Paddy Ashdown, repeatedly downplayed the rise of Wahhabism under his watch. Mr. Ashdown acted as the viceroy of Bosnia. [Sounds like someone belatedly has been reading some Serb-American commentary; didn’t hear the words “Ashdown” or “viceroy” from Kuhner’s lips previously.] He preferred to preside over pompous ceremonies, amass administrative power and gorge at elaborate banquets. He refused to speak out against incidents of Islamic extremism, such as vandalism against Catholic churches, the harassment of priests and nuns, and the growing persecution of Bosnian Croatians. He feared offending Muslim sensibilities.
Ah, so now that Catholic Croats are today’s Orthodox Serbs of the 90s, the roles of victim and aggressor are exceedingly apparent to Kuhner. He could apply the lesson to the 90s, but perhaps he fears offending Muslim sensibilities.
Muslims persecuting Bosnian Croatians is a no-no, but when Muslims were picking off Bosnian Serbs, that wasn’t yet a problem. (Incidentally, Ashdown was among the Westerners who openly said that going against the Serbs would help us be on better terms with Muslim nations; Schwartz’s boss at Weakly Standard, William Kristol, was another. But god forbid Kuhner should put admissions like this in context and deduce that maybe such an agenda skewed the information we were being fed about victim and aggressor.)
The result is that Bosnia has become a safe haven for Islamic militants. They remain a minority but increasingly pose a mortal danger to a unified Bosnian state. The government in Sarajevo rightly condemned the terror attack. [Gee, that’s hard.] The majority of Bosniaks remain secular or moderate. For too long, however, they have tolerated the Wahhabis in their midst. This must change. Radical mosques must be shut down; fundamentalist clerics must be confronted and marginalized; videos sold on the streets of Sarajevo glorifying jihadists must be outlawed; and outside Saudi money must be banned. [Then again, it’s not banned in the U.S.]
Otherwise, Bosnia will disintegrate. The country’s ethnic Croatians are chafing under Sarajevo’s centralized rule. Yet the bigger danger is the Bosnian Serb Republic.
Bwaaaaaah ha ha ha ha! That’s his story, and he’s sticking to it! One step forward and 20 years back…to 1991. An Orthodox-hating fanatic to the end.
It is led by a bellicose nationalist, Milorad Dodik. [Remember when Dodik was a “reasonable” “moderate” while we needed Milosevic as the bellicose nationalist? Really, click on those brief preceding links to read all about Serbs electing Dodik, with Croat and Muslim backing — just two months before Wesley Clark was dispatched to Kosovo to prepare to bomb the Serbs the following year.]
He is a vulgar liar. He has denied the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, [INSERT STOCK PARAGRAPH HERE:] where about 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb forces(TM) - the worst atrocity on European soil since the end of World War II(TM).
More ominously, Mr. Dodik has called for secession. [Oh no! Not like Bosnia’s Croatians who are freaking out over what Kuhner himself just finished describing: The Muslim component’s increasing radicalism. But again, he’s immune to his own evidence and believes this is a good situation, a Bosnia worth keeping unified.] He wants the Bosnian Serbs to form a common homeland with Serbia. He is Milosevic’s ideological heir, championing a Greater Serbia. [Didn’t Kuhner just write, “The country’s ethnic Croatians are chafing under Sarajevo’s centralized rule,” which relates to the Croats’ growing demand to secede as well?] There is only one problem: The Bosnian Serb Republic is founded upon genocide and mass ethnic cleansing. [This comes right out of the Bosnian-Muslim talking points.] It is morally illegitimate. To this day, the Bosnian Serbs have not allowed most of the Bosniaks and Croatians expelled during the war to return to their homes. [And that’s different from the policy toward Serbs by Croatia and Muslim Bosnia — how?] An independence bid almost certainly would trigger another war with Sarajevo - drowning the Balkans in blood once again.
Kuhner is an illustration of the Croatian diaspora being more fanatical even than the Croats still living in the region. Compare his word-for-word propaganda with this Bosnian-Croat deputy:
Bosnia: Muslims dominate capital, claims Croatian MP (Aug. 6, 2008)
The Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, once a symbol of ethnic diversity, has become an entirely Muslim city, a Croat deputy in the Bosnian Parliament, Branko Zrno, said on Wednesday.
“Sarajevo definitely isn’t a multi-ethnic city, but the city of one group, the Bosniacs (Muslims), ” Zrno told local media.
He pointed out that Serbs and Croats in Sarajevo have no institutional protection, and continue to leave the capital.
Zrno echoed allegations from Bosnian Serb leaders, including Serb entity Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, that non-Muslims in Sarajevo suffered discrimination and were denied their rights.
Zrno said that the Croatian presence in the city had been halved and that neither Croats nor Serbs held any important posts in local government.
Serbs claim that in the city of 400,000 only 7,000 Serbs have remained, compared to 160,000 before the 1992-1995 civil war.
The Serb claims have been supported by the Muslim President of the Bosnian Helsinki committee for human rights, Srdjan Dizdarevic, who said in a recent interview that Sarajevo had become a “monoethnic” city.
“Over 90 percent of Sarajevo inhabitants belong to only one group, the Bosniacs,” Dizdarevic told weekly Fokus.
“Ethnic cleansing in this city has, unfortunately, been successfully completed. If the will exists to reconstruct Bosnia on multiethnic principles, one should start with Sarajevo,” he concluded.
But as ethnic tensions deepened, the Muslim chairman of a three-man rotating state presidency, Haris Silajdzic, on Wednesday launched a fresh attack on the Serb entity.
Silajdzic repeated earlier claims that the Serb entity is a “symbol of genocide” allegedly perpetrated by its first president, Radovan Karadzic.
“Karadzic has been arrested, but his project continues to live,” Silajdzic said… “The international community is obliged to remove consequences of the genocide,” Silajdzic added, referring to the Serb entity.
The statement prompted the top international representative in Bosnia, Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajcak, to state that it is Karadzic who faces prosecution in The Hague, not the Serb entity.
“The Serb entity is not a creation of Karadzic’s, but of the Dayton peace accord,” Lajcak said.
Bosnia’s majority Muslim leaders have continued to call the Serb entity a “genocidal creature” that should be abolished - a move strongly opposed by Serbs.
Finishing up that Sour Croat’s WT article:
The irony is that it was American air power that finally brought the Bosnian Serbs to heel and saved countless Bosniak lives. [Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! But it was the Serbs who brought the Serbs to “heel,” along with the Croatians and Muslims — all of whom also brought the Croats and Muslims to heel by reluctantly signing the Cutileiro Plan; it was Washington that insisted on war, via Ambassador Warren Zimmerman who had called outright for Yugoslavia’s dissolution as early as 1992.] And still, jihadists such as Mr. Jasarevic are eager to wage holy war. This reveals the moral depravity and spiritual darkness at the heart of Islamic fundamentalism. The fundamentalists cannot be appeased. The West — including the peoples of the Balkans — must awaken to this evil force lurking in the heart of Europe.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute. [Too bad for them.]
So, in the end, all that Kuhner is willing to understand is the evil of Islamic fundamentalism. What a genius. I guess he and Schwartz could be best friends after all.
(But the accompanying illustration was kind of cool, along with the caption which told you that this is what a Bosnian Wahhabi looks like:
Bosnian Wahhabis by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times)
No doubt, both Kuhner and his kindred spirit Schwartz missed the following, related news item. Or if not, met it with a shrug. After all, the guy below made a name for himself by killing mere Serbs. And Serb-killers just aren’t an issue until they become a danger to the rest of us. As the person who distributed this item put it, “While the ‘useful idiot’ West scrambles to recognize non-existent genocides of Muslims, the Muslims allow their worst mass murders to walk free:
Bosnian Federation president pardons Orić
Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina President Živko Budimir pardoned Naser Orić, the former commander of the Muslim forces in Srebrenica.
Orić was sentenced to fours years of probation for carrying illegal arms and ammunition.
Budimir, who heads the Muslim-Croat entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina, has thus enabled Orić to carry weapons without fear of ending up behind bars once again, since a repeated offense would have landed him in prison immediately under the conditional sentence.
Along with Orić, Budimir pardoned several other convicts, including murderers, robbers and sex offenders, daily Press writes. [Muslim heroes are always in good company!]
Explaining his decision, Budimir said that all those pardoned were fully rehabilitated and “present no danger to society.”
Interesting. That’s what our officials keep telling us about Muslims, often a synonym or religious cover for murderers, robbers, and sex offenders. Again, notice how here we have the “hero of the Bosnian war” mentioned in the same breath as “murderers, robbers and sex offenders” who were pardoned with him. Further, it seems, after being acquitted for his most heinous crimes, Oric is now pardoned for any subsequent crimes, demonstrating the criminal he always was.
Closing with the rest of that item:
The wartime Bosnian Muslim commander in the Srebrenica region, who was tried and acquitted before the Hague Tribunal for war crimes, was sentenced in June 2009 by the Sarajevo Municipal Court to two years in prison. A year later, the sentence was converted to four years of probation.
At least 1,300 Serbs were killed during the war in the municipalities of Srebrenica, Zvornik, Milići, Bratunac, while 3,267 Serb civilians and soldiers were killed in the wider area of middle Podrinje and Birač.
The Hague Tribunal sentenced Orić to two years in prison for failing to prevent crimes, but the judgment was overturned on appeal in 2008.
The Hague Tribunal Appeals Chamber concluded that “it had no doubt that grave crimes were committed against Serbs detained in Srebrenica” but that “proof that crimes had occurred was not sufficient to sustain a conviction of an individual for these crimes.”
Hmm, The Hague certainly doesn’t see it that way when it comes to convicting Serb individuals for crimes — often of undefined nature — that are known only to have occurred. And the media have long convicted Ratko Mladic of being “responsible” for the still undefined crimes in Srebrenica.
P.S. Please note that Kuhner is not too embarrassed to parrot Islamic propaganda even while warning about Islam in Bosnia…despite having been preemptively corrected years earlier. For example, John Laughland’s 2008 piece:
The arrest of Radovan Karadzic in Serbia has provided yet another occasion for all the tired old propaganda about the Balkans wars to be taken out of the cupboard and given one last [sic] airing. In particular, the war is presented as one between a Serb aggressor and an innocent victim, the Bosnian Muslims, and the former is accused of practising genocide against the latter. Even if one accepts that crimes against humanity were committed during the Balkan wars, it should be obvious that both these claims are absurd.
First, the Serbs were no more the aggressors in the Bosnian civil war than Abraham Lincoln was an aggressor in the American Civil War. The Yugoslav army was in place all over Bosnia-Herzegovina because that republic was part of Yugoslavia. Bosnian Muslims (like Croats) left the army in droves and set up their own militia instead, as part of their drive for independence from Belgrade. This meant that the Yugoslav army lost its previous strongly multiethnic character and became largely Serb. It did not mean that Serb forces entered the territory of Bosnia, or even that the Serbs attacked the hapless Bosnian Muslims.
The accusation of aggression is intended to introduce by the back door an allegation which in fact has vanished from modern international criminal justice. Although the crime of waging an aggressive war was pronounced to be the supreme international crime at Nuremberg, it has been dropped from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia which will presumably try Karadzic once he is extradited to The Hague, and even the new International Criminal Court (also in The Hague) does not for the time being have jurisdiction over it.
The accusation has the effect of condemning the Bosnian Serb war effort at its very origins (in terms of ius ad bellum) independently of any condemnation for the way the war was fought (ius in bello). In fact, the Bosnian Serb war effort was no more or less legitimate than the Bosnian Muslim war effort. The Muslims wanted to secede from Yugoslavia (and were egged on to do this by the Americans and the Europeans) while the Bosnian Serbs wanted to stay in Yugoslavia. It was as simple as that.
In my view, it is not possible to adjudicate such matters using the criminal law since, as political questions, they transcend it. But the fact that the Muslims blatantly cheated by holding the vote on an independence referendum at 3 a.m. after the Bosnian Serb deputies in the Bosnian parliament had all been told to go home, and the fact that the Bosnian Muslim president, Alija Izetbegovic, remained in office throughout 1992 long after his term had expired and long after he should have handed over to a Serb, meant that the Bosnian Serbs had excellent grounds for believing that the Bosnian Muslim secession was quite simply a coup d’état.
In any case, once the Muslims had seized power in Sarajevo, the Bosnian Serbs sought not to conquer the whole republic but instead simply to fight for the secession of their territories from Muslim control. [Greater Serbia indeed, Kuhner!] Of course atrocities were committed against civilians during this period, especially ethnic cleansing. But the same phenomenon is observed, I believe, and by definition, in every single war in which a new state is created, whether it is the creation of Pakistan in 1947 or the creation in 1974 of what later became the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. If the Muslims had the right unilaterally to secede from Yugoslavia, why should the Bosnian Serbs not have had the right unilaterally to secede from the new state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had never before existed as a state, and to which the Bosnian Serbs had no loyalty whatever?
Second, the Bosnian Serbs are accused (and two have been convicted) of committing genocide against the Bosnian Muslims in the massacre perpetrated at Srebrenica. Let us leave aside for a moment the Serb claims that the numbers of people killed in that summer of 1995 has been artificially inflated for propaganda purposes; let us also leave aside the undoubted fact that the Bosnian Muslims were using…Srebrenica as a safe haven from which to conduct constant attacks against the Serb villages surrounding the town, during which many atrocities were committed against Serb civilians. (The commander of the Muslim forces, Nasir Oric, was released by the ICTY in February.)
What is clear is that the Srebrenica massacre cannot possibly be described as genocide. Even the most ardent pro-Muslim propagandists agree that the victims of the massacre there were all men. The Bosnian Serbs claim that they were combatants (although that is certainly not an excuse for killing them) but the point is that an army bent on genocide would precisely not have singled out men for execution but would have killed women too. The Srebrenica massacre may well have been a crime against humanity but it is impossible to see how it can be categorised as genocide.
Unfortunately, there is a very clear political reason why it has been so categorised. The Muslim president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haris Silaijdzic, said carefully on CNN the day Karadzic was captured that Karadzic’s trial was only the beginning of the process by which justice would be done in Bosnia. He said that there were hundreds of thousands of Muslims who had been ethnically cleansed by “Karadzic and Milosevic” and that their project therefore remained in force. The clear implication of what he was saying was this: if the very existence of the Bosnian Serb republic…is found, in a court of law, to have had as its president a man, Karadzic, who is convicted of genocide in the process of creating it, then its status would be illegitimate and it should be abolished. The Muslims continue to claim control over the whole of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the Serbs merely want the preservation of their considerable autonomy within it.
In other words, far from bringing peace to the Balkans, it is quite possible that a conviction of Karadzic for genocide will reopen the Dayton settlement and egg the Muslims on to claim control over the Serb republic too. Under such circumstances, it is inevitable that the Bosnian Serbs would try to proclaim formal secession from Bosnia, just as the Kosovo Albanians did from Serbia.
From the horse’s mouth, via a summary of wartime Bosnian MP Ibran Mustafic’s 1996 book Planned Chaos:
However, it turned out that the “problem” Bosnian Muslim leaders and their foreign sponsors wanted solved was far more profound than the issue of one town in Bosnia-Herzegovina [Srebrenica], and that is how to take over the rule over the entire Bosnian republic after the destruction of Yugoslavia, even though Bosnian Muslims are just one of three large nations living in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and even today not a majority. The only way they thought this could be done, was if Bosnian Serbs were entirely exterminated or, failing that, if the entire Serbian nation is pinned with charges of “genocide”, which would enable the complete assimilation of all the Serb-owned land and property in state.
Ibran Mustafic confirmed this claim back in July 1996:
“According to our [Bosnian Muslim] custom, when someone finishes the foundation for a house, an animal must be slaughtered on top of it. It seems that Srebrenica was a sacrificial lamb for the foundation of this [Muslim] state.”
I’ve often said that in bombing the Serbs, we were bombing the same clueless, multi-culti, in -denial types that we are. The difference is that over there, the shit had hit the fan and the Serbs found themselves under physical attack and being forced to react. A reality that God has been kind enough so far, to drag out over decades for us here. From a series of letters by “S.J.,” starting in October:
…In spite of what is usually thought about the conflict in B&H, it wasn’t a clear-cut three-sided ethnic conflict (or, perhaps more correctly, ethno-religious conflict). The fact of the matter is, little was done to curb the rising nationalism among Croats and Muslims early on. People like Tudjman and Izetbegovic were let off with a slap on the wrist, even though they openly advocated policies that were identical to those that led to WWII.
Under normal circumstances such people wouldn’t be likely to survive for long in a communist/socialist country, and the fact they didn’t conveniently “disappear” is a clear indication those who shared their views had infiltrated the Yugoslav institutions. These people, with outside assistance, formed groups of like-minded individuals that were FAR from
representative of the views held by average people (who generally wouldn’t have supported the breakup of Yugoslavia), so, theoretically at least these groups shouldn’t have been able to do what they did.
In reality, the people didn’t really even know what was going on. Characteristically, Serbs (and particularly those from the urban areas, who were far less in touch with the reality, and less aware of the rising hatred that was more openly expressed in the rural areas) were less aware than most, and the war came to most as a COMPLETE surprise. My family lived in Mostar, and even after a terrorist attack on one of the military bases, and a massacre at a Serbian wedding party, and the advice given to my mother by a Muslim friend (advice that my mother, like other Serbs, thought was completely out of the blue, which further indicates just how detached from reality they were), they decided it was perhaps a good time to visit my grandparents’ village for a few days. Little did my parents know that they would never again return home. They took nothing with them, as it was never meant to be the start of their refugee life. They, like most others, thought that the Yugoslav government would sort everything out in no time. But things quickly spiraled out of control.
The Muslims and the Croat secessionists, together with more and more Croats and Muslims from within the Yugoslavian military, organised further attacks, and the war broke out in no time. The Serbs, on the other hand, had no paramilitary organisations (not until later on), and were entirely unprepared. They were completely reliant on the Yugoslavian state, which was disintegrating on all levels.
To get back to the issue of ethnic conflict: It is commonly thought that it was simply a conflict BETWEEN different ethnicities. It wasn’t. Yes, all Serbs were on one side, the side of the legitimate state. But it wasn’t so clear-cut among Croats and Muslims. Not only were there Muslims who fought on the side of Yugoslavia, but there were conflicts among the secessionist Muslims as well. It’s not exactly clear why they fought with each other, but these were Muslims coming from extremely backward rural areas, and their reasons are as complex to fathom as the reasons behind the tribal conflicts in Afghanistan.
Some of these villages were almost unknown. I’ve heard of at least one instance of a Serbian village being attacked by Muslims coming down from the mountains behind the village, that the Serbs didn’t know were even inhabited. It was later found out that there we 13 Muslim villages on that mountain, mostly formed by mujahideen and their families preparing for the war. How they escaped detection is unknown. Regardless, Serbs — faced with the realisation that they were in the midst of something that was CLEARLY planned, and a war that all but they prepared for — soon formed their own paramilitaries.
With subsequent accusations of genocide and whatnot, all sides were further polarised, and the conflict became an inter-ethnic one. Most Western media, late on the scene as always and not caring enough that it was crossing the line between journalism and propaganda, only showed that later side of the conflict.
“Zelenilo’, which approximately translates to ‘greenery’, a Croatian organization charged with taking care of public spaces and the like, posted overdue-payment notices on Jewish graves in the cemetery in Karlovac. Essentially, it’s to inform the “visitors” that the dead have overstayed their lease. It’s, however, uncertain who “Zelenilo” expects to pay for an extension of the leases, given that virtually all of the descendants of those buried were killed in the Holocaust.
Truth be told, the article comes from a Croatian news portal, and the tone seems to suggest they are a bit surprised as well (not necessarily shocked in a “this is incredibly insensitive” sense, but more like “this is ridiculous”).
But this is nothing new. The Croats and Muslims alike seem to have very little respect for the graves of others. Knowing from past experiences, many Serbs fleeing during “Operation Storm” decided to exhume the bones of their more recently deceased, and took them for reburial in more deceased-friendly regions. That [is] in stark contrast to what happened in my grandmother’s village (to give an example of which I have first-hand knowledge), where a Muslim graveyard was built INSIDE the village (which had no Muslim population) while the Turks still ruled, specifically to annoy the Serbs (as both Serbs and Muslims normally don’t build graveyards so close to houses. The fact that they did in a village that was entirely Orthodox seems to indicate malice on their part). Anyway, the Muslim graves were never touched. The Serbs even built a fence around it recently, to prevent cattle from disturbing the graves (something the Muslims didn’t bother with).
December letter, in response to my blog “Jewish Cemetery Desecrated in Kosovo Capital“:
Desecration of cemeteries is nothing new to the enemies of Serbs (be they Croats, Muslims, Albanians or Hungarians). Traditionally (and despite the decades of communist brain-washing, still today) Serbs have enormous respect for the dead. It manifests itself in various ways, with one of them being the tendency (again, among those “in touch” with their roots) to NOT speak badly of the recently deceased…. Those sentiments don’t seem to be present among our neighbours, and desecration of Serbian cemeteries, which to many Serbs is even more horrifying that the slaughter of the living (as it is seen as something absolutely sacrilegious, cruel, and when you think about it, unnecessary regardless of how much you hate someone), become one of the preferred methods of terrorizing Serbs. The dead don’t fight back, after all.
[And if dead Serbs did, they’d be tried for war crimes.]
That tactic was employed by the Croats in Croatia (to be fair, it wasn’t done EVERYWHERE, at least not back then), and it became clear to us Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia to what extent the Serbs from Croatia were brutalized when we saw them in convoys, on trucks and in cars, with the bones of their dead wrapped in plastic. It seemed morbid even to us (and somewhat sacrilegious in itself, as bones are not meant to be moved without Church, family and State approval), but one can understand the sentiments of a mother not wanting the grave of her child desecrated by those who did similar things in the past (WWII).
Of course, what happened afterwards proved that these measures were necessary… The number of times swastikas and “U’ signs (Ustasha equivalent of a swastika) have appeared scribbled on Serbian Churches, particularly in the Dalmatian region and other areas where Serbs were a significant element, is alarming, and a clear message to Serbs that they’re not welcome.
In Kosovo we saw an even worse level of savagery. It wasn’t enough to vandalize graves and destroy churches. They resorted to turning Churches into PUBLIC TOILETS, and some graveyards proved useful spaces for rubbish [dumps].
…It’s important to mention that [my grandmother’s] village, [inside which a Muslim cemetery still stands,] like most in Herzegovina, was a target of Ustashe and Handzar terror. My grandmother’s elderly parents were locked inside their house by the Ustashe…and the house was set on fire. Some people were thrown into “jame” (pit caves), injured or dead, and some sent to Jasenovac (my grandfather was among those sent to Jasenovac, but he managed to escape by jumping into a river and swimming for his life. As it was nearly winter, the Croats just let him go, probably thinking he’d freeze to death anyway). And as if that wasn’t enough, “jame” throughout the region were later concreted over by the communists, as it was seen that “dwelling on the dead” would cause a strain in ethnic relations.
So, if anyone had reason to hate, it was these people, but they didn’t resort to desecrating the graves of others. If only the Albanians, who enjoyed a better life in Yugoslavia and Serbia than in Albania itself, and who have essentially had everything go their way, had just a little bit of that respect. They don’t even have the “excuse’ of taking revenge. Revenge for WHAT, exactly? […]
And from this week, in response to my “Disfiguring the Disfigurement of Jasenovac” blog:
More information can be found here:
The difficulty in establishing definitive facts in relation to the WWII genocide in Yugoslavia (by which I mean ALL of Yugoslavia, including the areas occupied by Germans, Italians, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Albanians, and Croatia which was controlled by the Ustashe with the aid of Bosnian Muslims who took part in both SS Handzar divisions and special Muslim Ustashe divisions) lies in the fact that study was repressed for some 50 years by the communists, and some 20 years by the West and their local allies.
Nevertheless, there is more than enough information to go on. However, one thing needs to be made clear. Evidence DOES NOT MEAN bodies, because there simply aren’t as many bodies as those killed. Just as in the Holocaust outside Yugoslavia, bodies were burned, or otherwise completely disposed of, so that the actual mass graves don’t contain as many bodies as there were people killed. The Ustashe went one step further (some rather sickening details will follow, for which I apologise, but it is necessary), and cremated people WHILE STILL ALIVE, threw people into icy rivers, after cutting their abdomens open to ensure there was no “risk” of survival, but there was still suffering involved. They also used the body fat to make soap, similar to how lampshades were made out of skin of Jews.
I won’t go on, but in short, body count isn’t something we can rely on. So to compensate for it, Serbian historians have relied on reports made by the Croats, Italians, and Nazis, and also on the census information. Not even that is entirely reliable, as those in more remote areas wouldn’t have been covered by the census, and as entire families and villages were wiped out, there was no one to report the deaths after the war.
Another thing needs to be taken into consideration: Jasenovac was only ONE of many concentration camps operated by the Ustashe. It wasn’t even the worst among them, as there was one camp which was only for children. That particular camp was run by Catholic nuns, and the wives and sisters of those who operated Jasenovac.
Another thing Serbs find particularly insulting is the insistence on referring to almost all camps in Yugoslavia as “concentration camps”. VERY FEW were concentration camps, and most were in fact death camps. One of them, Sajmiste in Belgrade, has a unique position in WWII history in that it was the only URBAN death camp. No other death camp operated so openly. Sajmiste was designed to frighten Serbs into submission, its horrors a daily [reminder] as they went to and from work and school.
Also related to the Jasenovac post, reader Steve responded:
Hi, just read your piece about Jasenovac. I can’t remember the source now, but I read someone quoting that in German war archives it is clear in German Officers records that 1,000,000 Serbs were killed by Croatians.
Indeed, I am reminded that in the course of doing research for my 2010 Jerusalem Post article “Mass Grave of History,” I came across such an official German figure for Croatia. So we know that at least a million Serbs were killed there.
A follow-up to this ongoing case from 2010, in which 17 Albanian gangsters were arrested in New York, Canada and Albania including an Albanian government aide. No wire story on this outcome. No New York story either.
Just the FBI press release:
Two Leaders of Violent Albanian Drug Gang Found Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court
Defendants Convicted of Two Murders, Three Kidnappings, Racketeering, and Other Offenses
U.S. Attorney’s Office December 07, 2011, Southern District of New York
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that brothers BRUNO KRASNIQI and SAIMIR KRASNIQI, leaders of a violent Albanian organized crime group, were convicted yesterday of numerous crimes, including racketeering, murder, conspiracy to murder, kidnapping, narcotics trafficking, arson, robbery, extortion, obstruction of justice, interstate transportation of stolen narcotics, and possession and use of firearms. The KRASNIQIs were found guilty after a five-week jury trial presided over by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Holwell.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Bruno and Saimir Krasniqi led one of the most brutal and violent organized crime groups in recent memory. In one six-month period, they committed two murders, two kidnappings, two drug robberies, and an arson. Today, nearly six years after the brutal murders they orchestrated, the jury’s swift verdict has brought the Krasniqis’ reign of terror to an end and the perpetrators of these vicious crimes to justice.”
According to the trial evidence and other documents filed in the case:
BRUNO KRASNIQI and SAIMIR KRASNIQI led a racketeering enterprise (the “Krasniqi Organization”) that engaged in murder, kidnapping, narcotics trafficking, extortion, robbery, arson, obstruction of justice, and interstate transportation of stolen goods. The Krasniqi Organization operated in New York, Michigan, and Connecticut, among other locations.
Among other offenses, BRUNO KRASNIQI and SAIMIR KRASNIQI were convicted of two separate homicides. On July 17, 2005, Erion Shehu, a member of a rival Albanian drug crew, was murdered outside a Queens café in a drive-by shooting carried out by the Krasniqi Organization. On the night of the murder, SAIMIR KRASNIQI parked in front of Shehu’s car, trapping him inside. BRUNO KRASNIQI and another member of the organization then shot Shehu approximately 11 times with a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and a .22 caliber handgun equipped with a silencer. Shehu died of multiple gunshot wounds shortly thereafter.
The murder of Erion Shehu was the result of a turf battle with a rival Albanian drug gang. The Krasniqi Organization had previously robbed a member of the rival gang at gunpoint of approximately 20 pounds of marijuana. Approximately two weeks prior to the murder of Shehu, members of the Krasniqi Organization, including BRUNO KRASNIQI and SAIMIR KRASNIQI, kidnapped another member of the rival drug gang, Neritan Kocareli, at gunpoint, pistol-whipped him, and threatened to kill him if he did not disclose the locations of other members of his narcotics crew.
On January 13, 2006, the KRASNIQIs executed Erenick Grezda, a member of their organization, because they believed he had previously set BRUNO KRASNIQI up to be kidnapped by rival drug dealers from whom BRUNO KRASNIQI had stolen $250,000 worth of marijuana. Grezda was shot twice in the head while he was sitting in an SUV that belonged to another member of the organization. Following the murder, the KRASNIQIs and other organization members drove the SUV to New Jersey, where they set it on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence inside.
In addition to these crimes, the KRASNIQIs were convicted of participating in two other kidnappings. In 2003, members of the Krasniqi organization kidnapped a victim in Michigan at gunpoint and threatened to kill him because they believed he had disrespected one of their members. In July 2005, members of the Krasniqi Organization kidnapped and shot at a victim in Staten Island as part of a dispute with yet another Albanian drug gang.
The KRASNIQIs were also convicted of conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, conspiring to commit extortion, two counts of firearms possession and use, including possession of a firearm with a silencer, and obstruction of justice.
BRUNO KRASNIQI and SAIMIR KRASNIQI each face two mandatory minimum sentences of life in prison, as well as 60-year mandatory minimum sentences for the narcotics and firearms convictions.
Mr. Bharara praised the work of the FBI’s Balkan Organized Crime Task Force, comprised of Special Agents of the FBI and Detectives of the New York City Police Department, for their work on the investigation. He also thanked the Office of International Affairs, U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division, the U.S. State Department, and the Albanian authorities, for their assistance in the investigation and extradition of Almir Rrapo, who had been employed as the Senior Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Albania at the time of his arrest in Albania on charges relating to his association with the Krasniqi Organization and his participation in the murder of Erion Shehu, the kidnapping of Neritan Kocareli, and narcotics trafficking. On April 11, 2011, following his extradition to the United States, Rrapo pled guilty to racketeering, murder, kidnapping, narcotics, and firearms charges pursuant to a cooperation agreement with the government.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Avi Weitzman, Natalie LaMarque, and Ian McGinley are in charge of the prosecution.
There was a November article, or perhaps blog, in The Wall St. Journal, which escaped notice at the time but made the rounds on the English-speaking Serb circuit last week. The article was about Jasenovac, and what makes it noteworthy is that it marks the first time, to my knowledge, that the WWII “Serb-cutter” has made it to the pages of the mainstream presses.
Disfiguring Jasenovac (by Goran Mijuk, Nov. 9)
The Jasenovac concentration camp, often described as the “Auschwitz of the Balkans” for the raw brutality exhibited by its fascist commanders and guards who ran the camp from 1941 to 1945 in the Independent State of Croatia, continues to stir strong emotions. But, shamefully, often the wrong ones and for the wrong reasons.
Instead of grief and sorrow, a morbid debate about the number and ethnic background of the victims, many of whom died most brutally by having their throats cut with a special knife known as the “Srbosjek” or “Serbcutter,” is still overshadowing the darkest chapter of Croatia’s history.
The latest episode, reflecting the confusion surrounding this unfortunate story, happened in Spain, where a TV documentary about Croatian fascist commander Maks Luburic, known as “Maks the Butcher” who fled to Spain after World War II, failed to mention Serbs as victims of the Jasenovac camp.
(Note, this ubiquitous “failing” is not a failing, but a deliberate suppression that pervades even every last Holocaust museum including Yad Vashem in Israel. Similarly, in a History Channel documentary about the Tuskegee Airmen — which I happened to catch while at the gym — during the part where 500 American pilots were saved in Yugoslavia, the word “Serb” was carefully avoided.)
Spanish TV reacted by issuing an apology to Serbs. [NOW THERE’S A FIRST FOR SURE!] They had vehemently criticized that the documentary mentioned “partisans, political opponents, jews and gypsies” as victims but failed to mention Serbs, who constituted the majority of those killed in the camp.
The Serbs’ reaction can be understood as the failure to mention them as victims is opening old wounds. Since the camp was bulldozed in 1945 by the Communists, Croats and Serbs have failed to close the chapter of this bloody episode of their history. Instead, they have been engaged in a cynical numbers game.
While some Croat historians have put the number of victims killed in Jasenovac as low as 50,000 persons, some Serbian scholars have put the figure close to 1 million or even higher. Unfortunately, there is no official data confirmed by a trustworthy third party, even though there are many serious efforts by both Serb and Croat historians to establish the truth.
“We have never been able to carry out comprehensive research,” said Efraim Zuroff, coordinator of Nazi war crimes research for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of its Israel office.
The Holocaust historian, who said that many mass graves at the site have still not been opened, says that Croatian claims that some 50,000 people were killed “is a gross underestimation” and that he understand that such low-balling “angers” Serbs. But, he says, Serb estimates of around 700,000 may “possibly” be exaggerated, too.
A note on these two points. First, there is frequently a conflation between Jasenovac numbers and the overall numbers of Serbs killed in Croatia. They were being mowed down throughout the countryside of Croatia-Bosnia, and there is a credible, established figure of at least 750,000 Serbs killed in WWII, which I believe is specific to Croatia and doesn’t include Serb lives lost in the war effort. It does, however, include the number of those killed in Jasenovac, which is an unknown figure. So the “700,000″ number is not something random and made-up; it has a basis in fact, but a fact beyond Jasenovac.
Second, a note on the fact that “many mass graves at the site have still not been opened.” Let’s take a moment to ponder the significance of that statement. As I’ve pointed out before, while the earth has been scoured for as many Albanian and Bosnian Muslims as it can produce — with the results conflating fighters, civilians, locations, natural deaths, war crime deaths, battle deaths and infighting deaths — we still have unexcavated civilian Serbian bodies, mass graves the man said — from WWII. Just like the Ukrainian soil that’s still belching out Jews. And this isn’t even mentioning Serbian bodies from the 90s that aren’t accounted for, because no one is interested in those. The whole thing has been a grand charade, and the writer of the article becomes part of it with his moral equalizing between Serb and Croat.
Since no one knows for sure, many Croats and Serbs feel invited to throw in their guesses, thereby desecrating the dignity of each individual victim. Worse, a serious debate about the real perpetrators of these heinous crimes is virtually blocked, giving rise to perpetual political manipulation.
(Note the passive tense here; writer Goran Mijuk doesn’t define the blockers of the debate.)
Mr. Zuroff noted that the Jasenovac camp museum, which opened in 2007, fails to mention any of the camp’s commanders [note this is the FIFTH use of the term “failed”] but instead refers only generically to the Ustashi, the Croat fascists who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII, as the camp’s executioners.
While Mr. Zuroff said that the trial of Dinko Sakic, the camp’s commander, in 1999 was one of the most important moments in the history of modern Croatia, failure [SIX!] to educate students properly was deplorable. He describes the Jasenovac museum as a “squandered opportunity” to face up to the crimes.
Communist rule under former Yugoslav strongman Tito is much to blame for the fact that the history of the Jasenovac concentration camp has never been fully dealt with. But this deficiency, which is also endemic in the Baltics, has proven fatal here.
(Ah, the more unequivocal word “blame” — as opposed to “fail” — is reserved for Tito’s communism. While this is accurate, it’s also a common Croatian ploy to place the brunt of the blame for everything including their bloodthirst that ensured the 1991 war — on Communism. And Mr. Mijuk is, I believe, partly Croatian.)
Two writers, who later gained political prominence, used the intellectual vacuum to publish their own accounts during the 1980s after the death of Tito, who tried to suppress the truth about the camp to foster a Yugoslav identity.
One was Vuk Draskovic, who later would become foreign minister of Serbia, the other, Franjo Tudjman, the first Croatian president after the collapse of Yugoslavia. Both won fame and notoriety by using the atrocities committed during WWII for their own ends: Draskovic to vividly depict the genocide committed against Serbs [the nerve of him!], Tudjman to support his ideas that Serbs wanted nothing but to deprive Croatia of its independence.
Only a few years after the publication of their respective books, Yugoslavia fell apart in a brutal civil war as old inter-ethnic hatred was revived to rally the population to engage in another round of senseless slaughtering. Serbs blamed Croats of trying to resurrect their fascist fiefdom, while Croats argued Serbs instrumentalize Jasenovac to justify a land grab in Croatia.
Mr. Mijuk, you might consider checking out whether either of these had a basis in fact. You’d find that resurrecting the Nazi-era Croatian flag, currency, Ustasha street names and military appointments — not to mention swastikas among every vendor’s offerings — were actual events — and not a “blame” by Serbs. Count it among the multitudes of “Serbian propaganda claims” that checked out. Then try to figure out if a country can make a “land grab” within its internationally recognized borders, or whether not wanting one’s throat sliced after suddenly finding oneself under the rule of one’s former executioners, constitutes the motive of “land grab.”
While Jasenovac can’t be used to explain the fall of Yugoslavia, it is evident that the unresolved history of this camp has and is stirring unhealthy emotions and is being misused by Croats and Serbs alike to depict the other side in the most cruel terms.
One side is actually cruel, Mr. Mijuk.
It is paramount that comprehensive and objective research is being undertaken to detoxify the cynical debate about figures that dehumanizes the crimes and serves as an excuse for a perpetual tit-for-tat that continues to this day and creates a troubling and confusing picture of the Balkans. Failing [SEVEN!] to sober up and face the facts is producing a vicious circle for which the recent wars offer testimony.
“I would personally be very pleased to be part of an effort to determine the scope of the murders. It is a very important step towards reconciliation,” Mr. Zuroff said.
As breakthrough as this article is for something as noxious as the WSJ, I’d give it a grade of F. (FAIL)