September 05th 2007 01:38:08 AM
Chris Deliso’s book The Coming Balkan Caliphate describes the ordeal of former OSCE official and Kosovo whistle-blower Tom Gambill as he tried to sound the warning about terror groups operating in the Balkans. In the process, Deliso sheds light on the difference between the type of soldier my erstwhile KFOR source is and the types of military hacks who muzzled him are:
[Gambill] knew from police reports and photos that the group [Revival of Islamic Heritage Society] was active in the central Kosovo village of Malisevo and was presumed to be dangerous. The security officer made a point of bringing it up at security meetings and in written correspondence with the U.S. Department of State throughout 2003. However, he ran up against a brick wall. “I had this info [about the charities] all the way back in 2001,” says Gambill. “But the State Department didn’t want to hear about it.” He recalls:
“I brought it up at every meeting I went to that included [the U.S.] military, but nada. Many of the American KFOR guys were there for their six months — you know, get the ribbon, do a few good deeds, and go home. And those who confided in me didn’t want to rock the boat with their superiors…the thinking was, ‘hey, we’re here for only six months — let’s get the job done as assigned and get home.’
Cases such as that of the RIHS attracted attention, says Gambill, from a handful of “motivated” American security officials….However, he says, “they were held back in some cases by orders from those higher up in the pecking order. This was much to the disappointment of the lower echelons — lieutenants, captains, some majors…the same thing with the CivPol [UN Police].” When Gambill presented photographic evidence of the RIHS presence in Kosovo, and waved the UN decree outlawing the group, the FBI representative at the time was “somewhat peeved.” Later, he claims, “I was verbally attacked via e-mail by an American major…He said that I was not qualified to make comments, and that neither my information nor comments were accurate…After forwarding his comments to my point of contact on the American base, he (another major) was taken back at this kind of behavior.”
Yet most who dismissed Gambill’s concerns, he contends, only claimed to be experts — though they visited Kosovo once or twice a year:
“The ones who did not believe my reports were many internationals who argued that these things [Wahhabi penetration, etc.] didn’t occur in Bosnia, and that therefore the Islamic fundamentalists were not a threat. They claimed that there were no organized efforts on the part of the Islamic fundamentalists and that the [Albanian] rebel groups causing trouble were not a significant concern. That line came from many of the U.S. military commanders who came through the region once every six months. There was no continuity in the passing of intelligence from one unit to another — ever.”
These realities have been only too evident throughout the Bosnian and Kosovo peacekeeping missions, where arrogant, careerist diplomats and military men claim to know the situation on the ground better than do those working there. Yet these were the people shaping policy — by listening to the underlings who said what they wanted to hear and ignoring those who, like Gambill, had a less flattering story to tell about the aftereffects of the Western intervention.
Quietly, however, some of the whistle-blower’s colleagues were thanking him for his contributions: “In several meetings of the combined group (U.S. military, UN, and CivPol), just as many commended me for the information that I brought to the table,” he recalls. “I was told that my sources and reports were 90 percent accurate and were appreciated. In one case, a commander came to me after a meeting and commended me on my participation in all his meetings and gave me a unit coin for my contributions. It was done quietly, of course.”
The chronic changeover of civil and military staff meant that whereas the locals had learned early on how to understand and manipulate the internationals, the latter were always starting from square one… “The UN didn’t really understand what was going on — and they didn’t want to know,” he charges, citing cases such as higher-ups’ apparent disinterest in investigating six Albanian-American radicals with stated foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. “There was no continuity of mission, or pass-on intel.” The endless stream of fresh-faced, ignorant personnel posed no threat to Kosovo’s powerful criminals and extremists. Peacekeeping in Kosovo became a thankless and truly Sisyphysian labor.
But it actually gets more sinister than a Sisyphysian labor, as Deliso continues:
One American special police investigator recalls how, in early 2006, several wanted men — North African Islamists — with passports from a Western European country were sheltered in a Kosovo apartment belonging to local Islamic fundamentalists. “A police buddy and I staked out this building, and interviewed some people,” he said. “We had photos and good information that showed these guys should be dealt with. You think anyone [in UNMIK] cared? No chance. Why do you think I’m leaving?”
Further, the officer charged that the Kosovo Albanian government leaders — the same ones that, according to Jane’s [Intelligence Review], are supplying the United States with “intelligence” on Islamic extremists in the province — have blocked investigations and staffed the civil administration with the often underqualified friends and relatives of known Islamists. “The Kosovo Department of Justice won’t act on [counterterrorist information], because the people inside the institution are from the ‘other side.’ It’s very frustrating — and a very dangerous thing for the future.” Michael Harrison [UNMIK Field Coordinator for Protection of Minorities] refers to another case later in 2006, in which an undercover investigator from a Central European country posed as a mafia figure interested in buying rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) from an Albanian Islamist. “No one cared. No one [in UNMIK] gives a shit. We have terrorists here, and the Wahhabis coming in from everywhere. Instead of doing something about it, you have the Germans donating 30 tons of weapons for Kosovo’s future army, the TMK, now in storage.” Tom Gambill added in the fall of 2006 that a NATO internal map from 2003 listing some 17 illegal paramilitary and terrorist training camps was “still currently valid, to the best of my knowledge.”
There are jihadists even among the multinational peacekeeping force in Kosovo, who are there to keep an eye on the internationals more than on the locals, as witnessable from the April 2004 incident (just a month after the orchestrated riots and attacks on churches in Kosovo) in which a Jordanian CivPol officer opened fire on American ones, killing two female American peacekeepers and leaving 10 others injured — a story that disappeared from the news almost sooner than it appeared. I recently heard from a KFOR criminal intel analyst who helped load the women’s bodies onto helicopters. Apparently, the State Department suppressed information that the Jordanian peacekeeper had Hamas and Hezbollah literature in his dorm; as well, the source reports that “after this incident, there were other weird things that happened — mostly threats/waving of guns at American CIVPOL by foreign CIVPOL.” He too paints a grim picture of our “progress” in the region:
March ‘04 riots, Wahhabis and Salafis, Nationalists, Islamist[s], training grounds for paramilitary stuff, it goes on…KLA begat Kosovo Police Service and PDK [Democratic Party of Kosovo]…These two REMF’s (OK, intrepid journalists!) are completely unaware. [He is referring to the Fellenzer-Staggs duo; REMFs stands for “Rear Echelon Mother F–kers” — those who do not venture outside the wire — known in Iraq as FOBBITs.]…The place is a snake pit…Anyway, glad to see that someone is on it. The whole existential threat thing just isn’t catching on here in the US.
Some have suggested that the Greater Albania that is forming will be more like a Greater Kosovo, which is an even scarier creature. Here it is in action, from Deliso:
The danger of Kosovo becoming a terrorist transfer zone has been increased since the internationals handed over border control duties to the local Albanian authorities. What this means, in essence, is that there is no longer a border with Albania itself. While border policing was hardly stellar during the period of UNMIK’s direct control, it has now effectively vanished. For the United Nations, relinquishing control of Kosovo’s borders is just another of the scheduled “transfer of competencies” from international to local rule. In Macedonia, too, where an experiment in ethnic coexistence has left the western third of the country largely in the hands of former NLA [National Liberation Army, Macedonia] leader Ali Ahmeti’s men, there is no appreciable border with Albania either. According to one Macedonian military intelligence officer, even though small militant groups are “smuggling heavy weapons in every day from Albania,” there is no will to stop the trade, “because all the local police are Albanian, they are in it together, and they don’t talk [to outsiders].” The officer feared that the well armed groups could act to destabilize the country in the case of any failure to make Kosovo independent — indicating the complex trap the West has made of the region through its interventions.
Which brings us to last week’s news reflecting precisely this reality:
But the Albanian Threat of the Week award goes to Klinaku:
If the international community fails to recognize the right of the Albanian people for self-definition, and the status is defined on the basis of compromises, we would naturally resume the fight…Every other decision different from [independence] would lead to violence for which both the politicians and the international community would be guilty.
Serblog’s Melana Pejakovich paraphrases: “If we have to make any compromises, there will be a war and it will be the international community’s fault…Give us exactly what we want or we will start killing people, and YOU will have made us do it!”
Pejakovich further breaks down the Klinaku interview thus:
1. Albanians consider wherever they live (or have ever lived) to automatically be “Albania” and the non-Albanian governments of wherever they live — including the governments of the sovereign countries of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Greece — to simply be “Occupiers”. If Albanians live in a place in significant numbers, they consider it to be “theirs”, independent of any international borders — and they consider the non-Albanian governments of those countries to be “the enemy”…
2. If Kosovo is granted independence, then that automatically justifies “the right of self-determination” (and secession) for Albanians in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece.
In other words, “Kosovo Independence” is just the beginning of a series of conquests in the “Greater Albania Project” and to grant Kosovo independence, is to encourage the conquest of the rest…So much for the delusion that granting Kosovo independence will “bring peace and stability to the Balkans”…
3. According to Klinaku, Albanians believe that they fought “a war of liberation” for Kosovo and part of Macedonia, and they won, so there is no need for them to compromise with Serbs or anyone else. Albanians were “the victors” so there is no need to consult anyone else re their “self-determination” or to “discuss anything in Vienna”. The 1999 NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia appears to be perceived as irrelevant to Albanians, because Albanians did it all.
Here we are faced with the consequences of letting Albanians believe they can have it all — and for the most part delivering it to them — sans legality or any kind of established norms of statecraft, while holding them to none of the agreements governing the region. In fact, just yesterday we saw what happens when you do something uncharacteristic and crazy, such as say the words “UN Resolution” to Albanians:
[Commentary by Express Chief Editor Berat Buzhala: “This Is Provocation, Mr. Ruecker“]
At a time when an entire nation is desperately waiting to hear what will happen to the final status of Kosova [sic], the Kosova [sic] chief administrator [Joachim Ruecker] returned from holidays and provoked us openly by saying that no one should be hasty by setting dates for declaration of independence because the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 is still valid.
We have waited beyond every limit. Besides, I can say that we are about to burst into tears and it is regrettable that we are being provoked, because we might now easily fall prey to this provocation. I recall a press statement made by the Israeli defence minister on the very first day when this country began the war against Hezbollah troops operating in Lebanese territory. He has said, “If someone meant to provoke us by kidnapping two of our soldiers, then they have managed to do so.”
That’s right. To Albanians, rule of law is provocation. On par with kidnapping.
…Leaving all these things aside, tell me, Mr. Ruecker: What happened inside you that made you issue such a surprising threat? Will this mean that in the days to come you will say that, based on that resolution, Kosova territory is part of Serbia’s sovereignty? Or perhaps, reading carefully the text of the resolution, will you mention the possibility of the return of a limited number of Serb forces based on a request made by Belgrade?
Do you believe that that resolution, which you mention so improperly, will be implemented one day? Perhaps it may be, but only through a new war that would be bloodier and less controllable and have more consequences for the region. Mr. Ruecker, we have become used to living in freedom [impunity] — something for which you, your country, and all Western countries deserve credit — therefore, it will be a very big problem to convince us to go [back].
Where have we seen this before? Oh yes — in Bosnia, as Balkans analyst Nebojsa Malic aptly illustrated when writing about the departure of UN High Representative Paddy Ashdown in 2005 (emphasis added):
So used were they to Ashdown’s support, Izetbegovic’s heirs found it shocking when last month the viceroy quashed their plan to rename the Sarajevo international airport after the departed First Bosniak [wartime Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic]. Leaders of Izetbegovic’s SDA party howled in protest and denounced Ashdown, forgetting instantly his support for their agenda, or that his decision didn’t say “no,” so much as “not yet.” Ashdown thus found himself sharing the fate of every foreign official who came to Bosnia sympathetic to the Muslim cause, only to end up an object of invective as soon as he deviated even slightly from the SDA dogma of Muslim innocence and victimhood.
And now for the Kosovo punch line of the week. Because it comes from the kings of secession and border-redrawing, the Albanians: “We can never approve of partition [of Kosovo]. It is unacceptable. If we start redrawing borders, who knows when and where it will stop.” — Kosovo “Prime Minister” Agim Ceku
Summing up the Kosovo Effect is Deliso:
Indeed, longtime UNMIK employees in Kosovo who have watched the process disintegrate over the years express disbelief at how the Western Media and politicians can get away with calling the intervention a success. As has been recounted, the direct link between Kosovo Albanians and terrorist plots, up to and including the London July 2005 attacks, has materialized in the form of arrests…
For the American special police investigator in Kosovo, a formidable ex-military man with long experience in the Balkans, the sluggish response of Western security services in the Balkans to the terrorist threat is vexing. “I saw some of the same shit in Bosnia, not going after the terrorists, letting ‘em hang out and stay comfortable,” he says. “But seeing this stuff here in Kosovo — it really ripped me out of the old red-white-and-blue, you know what I mean?
The picture gets more disturbing still, especially when one realizes that Kosovo’s future is a window into our own. Deliso:
The small semblance of order remaining in Kosovo owes to the fact that the UN has allowed former KLA leaders and the mafia to control society…Today, this chaotic situation has moved from the unfortunate to the scandalous, with the CIA, MI6, BND, and others eager to build “special relationships” with Islamic extremists bent on killing Christians, attacking Western targets, and creating a fundamentalist caliphate.
Western officials currying favor with extremists, perhaps in subconscious preparation for a future with Muslims as our masters, is by now a familiar phenomenon even on our shores. When it interferes with terror investigations, I call it the Kosovizing of police work in America, and it’s something that first hit home for me when Debbie Schlussel wrote about lasers being pointed from Dearborn, Michigan at commercial airline pilots in flight, and the reluctance of our authorities to do much about it. She specifically cites the terrorist-friendly Brian Moskowitz, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge for Michigan and Ohio:
[W]e’ve heard from several of Abu Moskowitz’s agents, who tell us they’ve brought to his and his top lieutenants’ attention Arab Muslim smuggling rings and restaurants in the same Dearborn and Dearborn Heights areas (from which the laser pointers emanated), which routinely employ illegal alien Muslims and launder funds from their all-cash businesses, sending the money “back home.” Mr. Moskowitz and his top underlings have repeatedly said they are “not interested” in pursuing those cases.
[B]oth Moskowitz and Murphy were in fawning attendance at the Hezbollah mosque, where they gushed over an Islamic cleric who openly praised terrorists, and they joked with him about why Hezbollah is on the State Department terrorist list…
We also note that Murphy, the chief U.S. Justice Department official in the heart of Islamic America, sought a very light sentence for Nemr Ali Rahal, a member of the mosque who is a member of Hezbollah and committed fraud and money laundering to send the money “back home”. Explosive material was found on the man’s and his young son’s passports. Where was Abu Moskowitz’s investigation into where the money was going (which is under his purview at ICE)? Where was Murphy’s press conference on that? (No charges on the explosives or even money laundering were ever filed — and won’t be.)…[Y]ou have a giant, radicalized, concentrated Muslim population located in one single armpit of America, and yet authorities not only kowtow to it, but put investigations into that community off limits to law enforcement…
Welcome to Kosovo, USA.