In my “tribute” to Richard Holbrooke earlier this week, celebrating the one-year anniversary of his death, I mentioned Croatia’s weapons-smuggling-for-al-Qaeda role in the German- and U.S.-mandated proliferation of jihad to Europe, via 1990s Bosnia. I’m sure we won’t be surprised to learn that it never stopped, despite Washington’s insistence that jihadists are a spigot which can be turned on and off. One would also think that maybe, just maybe, this might give the EU some pause about Croatia, which it’s bringing in full-speed this year.

But one would be wrong. A series of items from 2008 about al Qaeda’s Croatia stop/thruway: Bosnia Muslims ‘Move Weapons to Croatia’ (BalkanInsight, May 21, 2008)

Sarajevo — Muslim radical groups have been secretly moving large caches of weapons to Croatia, a Banja Luka daily reports citing anonymous intelligence sources.

Muslim extremists are counting on Croatia’s fast-track European Union membership and expected liberalisation of its visa regime, to move the weapons and explosives further into EU countries and use them for terrorist activities, said the report published by Nezavisne Novine on Wednesday.

The newspaper said the report was based on information received from Bosnian intelligence agencies. It listed a number of people who are reportedly involved in this transfer but stressed it was not able to [either] contact any of the listed people [or] independently confirm the report.

According to the article, Bosnia-based radical groups who follow the conservative Islamic teachings of Wahhabism, have used prolonged political crisis and lack of attention from local politicians to move on with their plans.

Ever since 1994, the international community has been pushing local Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) leaders to expel the few thousand Mujahedeen fighters who came to Bosnia during the 1992-1995 war to fight alongside local Bosniaks in the war against Serbs and Croats.

In 2002, Bosnian authorities, working under United States supervision, raided and closed several Islamic non-governmental organisations operating in Bosnia. They also delivered nine Wahhabis to Americans, and they eventually ended up in Guantanamo prison, yet no charges have even been pressed against them.

Al-Qaeda Smuggling Weapons Via Croatia (May 21, 2008)

Al-Qaeda is smuggling weapons from Bosnia through Croatia’s capital Zagreb, Gunja and Split.

Members and sympathisers of Al-Qaeda and radical Wahhabi Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina have been smuggling large amounts of weapons and explosives into Croatia in the past several months with the aim of using them for terrorist attacks in Europe, Bosnian Banja Luka’s Nezavisne novine daily reported on Wednesday.

Citing intelligence agencies in Bosnia, the paper writes that members and sympathisers of Al-Qaeda and Wahhabi were “taking advantage of the current political situation and engagement of Bosnian authorities with reforms so they could transfer a large amount of weaponry and explosive devices from Bosnia to the Croatian territory”.

The leaders of the said terrorist organisations are relying on Croatia being admitted into the EU in the near future, creating favourable conditions for weaponry and explosives to be distributed across Europe from Croatia for the purpose of terrorist attacks because the borders towards the EU will be open, the daily writes.

There is information that the weaponry is being transferred into Zagreb, Karlovac, Gunja and Split, says the paper, quoting an intelligence officer who requested to remain anonymous.

Split. That’s the Croatian vacation town where you can pick up a copy of Mein Kampf at a travel bookshop.

A similar report whose origins I no longer have handy: “Wahhabis are transporting weapons from Bosnia to Croatia”

MOSTAR – Members and followers of Al-Qaeda and radical Moslems-wahhabis are transporting large quantities of weapons from Bosnia to Croatia in past couple of months, so that they can use it from there for terrorist attacks in European Union, as per The Independent Newspapers from Banja Luka.

Quoting intelligence agencies in BiH, The Independent writes that members of Al-Qaeda and wahhabis are “using current political situation and the fact that Bosnian authorities are preoccupied with current reforms in order to transport large quantity of weapons, mines and explosives”.

“Masterminds of the aforementioned terrorist organizations deem that Croatia will soon become a member of EU, and better conditions will be created for distribution weapons and explosives from Croatia to Western Europe, because the borders towards EU will become porous, and it will be easier to organize a terrorist attack”, as per the information collected by intelligence agencies in Bosnia.

“Current findings point to illegal transportation of weapons and explosives being conducted from several directions to Zagreb, Karlovac, Gunja and Split”, the Independent quotes the intelligence officer who wanted to remain anonymous.

It was added that “one illegal channel for transporting of weapons goes via Posavina, and its being managed by one Vladimir Popilovski, known to be closely related to mujahedins and members of “El Mujahid” Unit since the war time, and he is taking orders from one Šemsudim Mehmedović.

Mehmedović is former Police Minister of Zenica Canton. As per The Independent, Mehmedović was the one signing wedding certificates to mujahedins in BiH, ensuring “Algerian group” to get Bosnian citizenship.

Mehmedović put his signature on wedding certificates of Boudela Haj and Hanouf Munir, and the two are still incarcerated in Guantanamo Prison in Cuba. [Update on the “Algerian Six” here and here.]

Mehmedović is the representative in Bosnian Parliament and member of parliamentary delegation of BiH with OSCE.

Information provided by the intelligence services advises on another route of weapon transportation to Croatia goes via western part of Bosnia and it is being managed by Kemal Alagić, Naser Panaslamović and Omer Murselović. There is no detailed information on the aforementioned three, but it is being added that one Mladen Milic and one Darko Bajic could be involved in weapon transportation.

One day before The Independent published the information on weapon transportation, BiH Presidency has held the urgent session where they adopted the protocols on cooperation with Croatia reference security issues. This protocol stipulates the establishment of joint working groups for prevention of aggravated crimes and introduction of joint patrols along the border belt.

Below is a note from the website, which goes on to quote Ottawa University professor Michel Chossudovsky and an AKI report:

Bosnian Newspaper: Al-Qaeda smuggling weapons into Croatia

Editor’s note: The headline should read: “CIA smuggling weapons into Croatia,” as there is plenty of evidence the CIA and NATO recruited and financed al-Qaeda’s operations in the Balkans. See: Al-Qaeda Family: Working for the CIA (CBC News), U.S. supported al-Qaeda cells during Balkan Wars (National Post), CIA-recruited Al Qaeda Agent Omar al-Faruq Escapes from US Military Prison in Afghanistan (Awoken Research Group),…Al Qaeda and NATO Join Hands in supporting NLA Terrorists in Macedonia (Aktuel Weekly), to name but a few.

NATO troops in Kosovo. NATO and the United States supported al-Qaeda in Bosnia and then in Kosovo.

“Ironically, the US Administration’s undercover military-intelligence operations in Bosnia have been fully documented by the Republican Party,” writes Michel Chossudovsky. “A lengthy Congressional report by the Republican Party Committee (RPC) published in 1997, largely confirms [an] International Media Corporation report… The RPC Congressional report accuses the Clinton administration of having ‘helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base’ leading to the recruitment through the so-called ‘Militant Islamic Network,’ of thousands of Mujahideen from the Muslim world.”

So successful was the “Bosnian pattern,” it was replicated in Kosovo with “the complicity of NATO and the US State Department. Mujahideen mercenaries from the Middle East and Central Asia were recruited to fight in the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998-99, largely supporting NATO’s war effort.” These “Mujahideen mercenaries” would later be called al-Qaeda.

Undated newspaper photo of a Muslim brigade of the Muslim Army marching in a military parade in Zenica, central Bosnia. Is this possibly the “white al-Qaeda” that “will create favorable conditions to distribute weapons and explosives for terrorist acts throughout Europe due to the openness of borders”?

Bosnia: Al-Qaeda smuggling weapons into Croatia, paper claims

Banjaluka, 21 May (AKI) – Al-Qaeda and the Muslim fundamentalist Wahabi movement’s operatives have been smuggling weapons and explosives into neighboring Croatia, Bosnian daily Nezavisne novine reported on Wednesday.

Quoting Bosnian security sources, the paper said huge quantities of weapons and explosives have been smuggled into the areas of Croatia with sizable Muslim population in recent months.

The weapons were shipped to the Croatian capital Zagreb, nearby Karlovac and the Adriatic port of Split, according to a document from the Bosnian security agency, quoted by the paper.

The document said the operation has been masterminded by Bosnian Muslims Vladimir Popilovski, Kemal Alagic, Semsudin Mehmedovic, Naser Panaslamovic and Omer Murselovic.

No arrests have been made in connection with the allegation of weapons smuggling to Croatia, which is an official candidate for EU membership and hopes to join the bloc by 2010.

Mehemedovic, a former police chief in the eastern Bosnian town of Zenica, was acquitted of issuing false documents to the members of the so called ‘Algerian group’ of suspected terrorists, some of whom are being held in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The alleged Islamist militants “believe that Croatia will soon become a member of the EU,” the paper quoted the Bosnian security document as saying.

This “will create favorable conditions to distribute weapons and explosives for terrorist acts throughout Europe due to the openness of borders,” the document added.

Al-Qaeda is believed to have maintained ‘dormant cells’ in Bosnia since the 1992-1995 civil war, when thousands of mujahadeen - fighters from Muslim countries - came to fight on the side of local Muslims.

Many mujahadeen remained in the country after the war and have reportedly been indoctrinating the local Muslim population and even operating terrorist training camps.

Darko Trifunovic, a Serbian expert on terrorism, says al-Qaeda has been changing tactics. For its operations in Europe, the terror network has increasingly using local white youths or ‘white al-Qaeda’, according to Trifunovic.