April 2015

Gee, why how does a “docile” Bosniak get to become a hate preacher?

ANZAC terror plot: Alleged teen terror plotters had “scoped” police stations for possible planned attack (Daily Telegraph, April 20)

The 18-year-old, whose identity is now a secret under the tough laws, is a BOSNIAN teen, who revels in showing off his abs to social media followers.

The teen only applied for a passport last week and attended the controversial Islamic group Al-Furqan.

The father of the teen terror suspect, who cannot been named, has close ties with the centre’s hate preacher Harun Mehicevic. His mate Sevdet Besim, 18, was charged with conspiracy to commit a terror attack. One man described Besim as a “very good kid.”

Melbourne’s Al-Furqan information centre and its leader self-styled Shiek Harun Mehicevic went to ground yesterday refusing to speak to the media.

Three other teens were also arrested and later released in Saturday’s dawn raids across seven homes in Melbourne’s southeast involving about 200 Australian Federal and Victoria Police.

Besim and the preventive detention order teen attended the funeral of Haider, shot dead last year after stabbing two officers at a Melbourne police station after he planned an ISIS-styled attack.

One of the teens arrested but released on Saturday, Eathan Cruse, 19, was school mates with a junior jihadi recently killed fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Police allege the men were planning to attack police and the public with knives and swords.

At least two of the five men arrested in Saturday’s terror raids were active members of the group and had attended lectures given by its leader.

A high-ranking Islamic State figure also attended the Springvale South centre before going to Syria to fight.

Last year it was revealed teen terrorist Numan Haider attended lectures at the Springvale South centre before he was killed when he violently attacked two police officers.

IS recruiter Neil Prakash, who goes by the name Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, has regularly been in contact with those at home over social media.

Yesterday the Daily Telegraph revealed spy agency ASIO had warned one of the men arrested in the raids, Eathan Cruse, to cease contact with an Islamic State recruiter.

It is believed Sevdet Besim, charged with conspiracy to commit acts done in preparation for or planning terrorist attacks, was a regular at the centre. The 18-year-old, locked up on a preventive detention order, visited Al-Furqan every Friday for prayers.

Thanks to Aleksandra Rebic for circulating:

“KINGDOM OF YUGOSLAVIA DURING WORLD WAR II” by Miloslav Samardzic to be screened on Sunday April 19, 2015 (In Serbian with English subtitles)
at St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church
10660 River Road, Potomac, Maryland 20854
after the Liturgy and Coffee Hour
(To start around 12 p.m.)

Trailer can be seen here and here:

It will be interesting to see whether or not the film, which is full of rare footage and photos, accounts for the Allied betrayal of Mihailovich and Yugoslavia with the little-known fact that, according to American WWII intelligence officer Lt. Col. Robert McDowell, the Vatican needed for the barbarity against Orthodox Serbs by Catholic Croatia — a Hitler-aligned WWII loser and therefore vulnerable to punishment — to be concealed. Meanwhile, Churchill needed the Vatican’s help in keeping the Irish in check. And so a deal was struck: Yugoslavia would be handed over to the Communists, who were adept at suppressing information; Croatia would be reabsorbed into Yugoslavia and therefore would lose without losing; and Tito — that big Partisan warrior against the Fascists, who nonetheless entertained close to 300 meetings with them — would be our man to help everyone forget who did what to whom, under the Commie banner of Brotherhood and Unity.

The film comes at an opportune time, given that the E.U.’s newest pride and joy, Croatia, has just appointed its first female president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, of neo-Ustasha 1990s president Franjo Tudjman’s party. One of many NATO-approved “former” fascists, she promises to continue the fine Croatian tradition of minimizing the horrors that went on at Jasenovac. (So, America, let that be instructive in case we think that female “firsts” promise anything other than business-as-usual.)

A sampling of those horrors surfaced on Thursday in a Haaretz book review:

“A Hell Called Jasenovac” by Erwin Miller, translated from Croatian to Hebrew by Miriam Steiner-Aviezer. Yad Vashem Publications, 143 pages, 68 shekels.

…It is based on the articles, eyewitness accounts and memories of Erwin Miller, a young Jew from a small community in Croatia, who was imprisoned for four years, from age 17, in the hell that was named Jasenovac, the concentration camp that was considered “the Auschwitz of the Balkans.”

[We know, of course, that Jasenovac was more than the Auschwitz of the Balkans, it was the blueprint for Auschwitz, if one looks at the timeline.]

…It provides detailed description of the tortures and abuse and killings of Serbs, Roma and Jews by Croatians, who employed primitive, cruel, blood-curdling methods throughout most of the war years…Jasenovac existed from mid-1941 until the end of the war.

The purposes of this compound of camps were the imprisonment of Croatians who opposed the regime, and ethnic cleansing [extermination] of others. No less than 600,000 people were murdered there, the vast majority of them Serbs, as well as approximately 14,600 Roma…and between 20,000 and 25,000 Jews…

An international delegation eventually paid a two-hour visit to the camp, and a second delegation, from the Red Cross, visited in June 1944 — too late, of course - and without being shown any traces of the atrocities: the shattering of skulls with axes, the severing of body parts, beheadings and hanging of victims on rows of trees, slitting open of prisoners’ stomachs with a unique knife [the infamous “Serb cutter”], and disposal of their remains in the nearby river. The vast majority of killings were carried out with knives, hammers and axes…The rock bottom of the events…is the execution of a young man from [the author’s] town who tried to escape but failed due to heavy snow that upset his plans: he was skewered alive on a pole that pierced his naked body, which turned blue. The screams persisted until the young man finally died. All throughout, the prisoners stood there, weeping.

Another question pertains to the role of clergymen in the camp: the priest Miroslav Filipović-Majstorović, for instance, who with his own hands murdered dozens of prisoners, with a cruelty that was exceptional even at Jasenovac. He was in the habit of coming back from his killing sprees wearing his blood-stained priest’s cloak, the large cross around his neck, a dagger stuck in his belt and a spear in his hand. He would cut off dozens of victim’s ears with the dagger, and it was he who devised the unique knife with which the prisoners’ stomachs were sliced open…

I’m glad to see that Yad Vashem is the publisher of this book, because as recently as my 2007 visit there, throughout all the Holocaust exhibits, nowhere was the word Jasenovac — or even Ustasha or Croatia — to be found. Could 70 years of suppression finally be lifting?

Another book that’s just come out is by the above-mentioned WWII researcher and filmmaker Miloslav Samardzic. The book, which has the same name as the film, presents the basics about WWII Yugoslavia, facilitated with many photos. The volume benefits from Belgrade’s very recently opened archives, as well as from documents discovered only three or four years ago in Freiburg, Germany, about the real “Siege of Sarajevo.”

Thanks to the publisher of @PoglediFR (or facebook.com/PoglediWorld), Slobodan Kostadinovic, for getting this important work out there.

A few days ago, in blogging about an Albanian German killing an Israeli, I started a sentence thus: “If we recall, the last bit of prominent German-Albanian news had a young man named Arid Uka shooting five U.S. servicemen in March 2011…” In fact, that was not the most recent German-Albanian news. This was:

Prison Sentence for German who Joined IS

BERLIN (AP) A court on Friday convicted a 20-year-old German of joining the Islamic State terrorist group and sentenced him to 3 years and 9 months in prison.

Judges found Kreshnik Berisha, whose parents are from Kosovo, guilty of membership and activity for a foreign terrorist organization, the Frankfurt regional court said in a statement.

Berisha, a Muslim who once played for a Jewish football club, turned to radical Islam three years ago. He traveled to the Turkish city of Istanbul in July 2013, where he and six others were picked up by Islamic State recruiters and taken to Syria, the court said.

Berisha underwent combat training and took part in combat operations near the Syrian city of Hama, but was largely kept away from the front line.

While in Syria he maintained contact with his family in Germany and agreed to their pleas for him to return home five months later. Berisha was arrested at Frankfurt Airport in December 2013.

Judges said Berisha’s sentence took account of the fact that he had confessed to his actions and testified during the trial. To his detriment, they considered the “particular threat” posed by the Islamic State group, “which has carried out terrorist attacks and armed assaults in Syria and Iraq which have killed and injured a large number of people.”

It was the first case against a suspected member of the group to come to trial in Germany. […]

Albanian man arrested in connection with murder of Israeli in Berlin (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 11, 2015)

A 28 year-old German national of Albanian descent was arrested Friday in connection with the murder of an Israeli citizen in Berlin, German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported on Friday.

Czech authorities arrested the suspect on Friday near the border with Germany and will proceed with extradition protocols.

According to investigators, the suspect met the Israeli, Yosef Damari, aged 22, in a Berlin hostel last week and is believed to have murdered him the following day.

The Chabad rabbi in Berlin, Yehuda Teichtal, said the man to whom the passport belonged was supposed to celebrate the Passover Seder at the local Chabad house on Friday night but never arrived.

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Berlin told AFP that Damari had sought aid from the embassy because he lacked funds to purchase a ticket back home, adding that Damari requested that the embassy contact his family in Israel.

“The dead man had visited the Israeli embassy on Good Friday and we helped him with a few matters.”

“Our consul general is in close contact with the Berlin police and our staff is also in contact with his relatives in Israel,” the spokesman added.

Damari’s body was found with his Israeli passport on Easter Sunday in the ruins of a Berlin church where the murder is believed to have occurred on Saturday.

Initially, definitive identification was rendered difficult due to the victim’s considerable injuries.

Berlin Prosecutor Martin Steltner claimed that there was no indication of a robbery prior to or after the murder, but also suggested that there was no evidence to suggest that the murder was politically motivated.

If we recall, the last bit of prominent German-Albanian news had a young man named Arid Uka shooting five U.S. servicemen in March 2011, killing two and making history for carrying out the first successful Islamic attack in Germany (see “Closing with” portion here).

It’s certainly perplexing, for such a ‘pro-American’, ‘pro-Jewish’ lot as the Albanians. It’s less perplexing if you know that, while there is some positive history between Albanian and Jew — and, less organically, between Albanian and American — there is nothing intrinsic to keep it that way.