December 09th 2009 04:03:05 PM
Next to baseball, the favorite American pastime is to ignore the Balkans. Despite its being the genesis of the first world war, a key player in the second world war and the pivotal and defining point in the current world war. And despite the fact that the biggest overseas U.S. military installation since Vietnam is situated in what Americans continue to wishfully think is a small, insignificant and obscure land called Kosovo.
Despite that place being the site of America’s most recent war until 9/11.
The name of the base, of course, is Camp Bondsteel. As is my favorite pastime, I was recently going through some old files on the Balkans, and only just noticed that attacks on Bondsteel have been planned since as early as the year after our 1999 war carrying out Albanian bidding. Here is a BBC Monitoring translation of a March, 2007 article which mentions a 2007 plot:
BBC MONITORING INTERNATIONAL REPORTS
Text of report by Serbian newspaper Vecernje novosti on 20 March
[Report by “M.A.”: “Al-Qa’idah Preparing for Jihad”]
Five members of a terrorist Wahhabi group arrested in the Novi Pazar area [in Southern Serbia, near Kosovo] are just an offshoot of the Mujahidin and Al-Qa’idah, which are preparing concurrent conflagrations in Kosmet [Kosovo-Metohija] and the Raska [Sandzak] region.
Vecernje novosti has learned from diplomatic sources close to the international peacekeeping forces in Kosmet that Kfor [NATO’s Kosovo Force] and UNMIK intelligence services informed their governments and the NATO head office to this effect back in late February. They especially stressed that the command of the “New Army of Kosovo” has instructed its followers in Sandzak to prepare for a “decisive battle” and to provoke violence in Sandzak at the same time as an offensive against Serbs is launched in Kosmet and so prevent any interference by Serbia in Kosmet.
How much terrorist groups of the former OVK [Kosovo Liberation Army - KLA; UCK in Albanian] are counting on armed support from Sandzak is evident from a Kfor intelligence report that literally says that “terrorist groups in Kosmet have begun intensively to transfer armaments and military equipment from the territory of Kosmet to Sandzak.” It quotes the fact that depots with armament for the extremists in Sandzak are situated on Mt Bajgora in the north of Kosovo (it stretches from Vucitrn to Leposavic). A terrorist organization known as the Bajgora Storm is active in this mountain.
The channel for transferring armament to Mujahidin and Wahhabis goes through Mt Rogozna, along the stretch between Vucja Lokva and the village of Kaljin.
A major arms delivery was made by way of this channel in early March. It all happened between the hours of midnight [2300 gmt] and 0300 [0200 gmt]. Under cover of darkness, eight trucks laden with all kinds of armament and explosives and covered with wool carried their cargo from Kaljin village, by way of Batnjak, to Novopazarska Banja spa. There, the cargo was taken over by an Al-Qa’idah group that then transported it through special channels to its bases in Sandzak. Part of the armament and explosives reached its cell on Mt Ninija, where the first group of Islamic warriors was captured.
Kfor intelligence operatives said in their report that the arms cargo was smuggled into Sandzak “with the help of corrupt Serb policemen” and that the Al-Qa’idah cell in Novi Pazar had planned to use the same convoy of trucks to send chemical weaponry - nerve paralysing gases - in the opposite direction, allegedly to be used in an attack on US Camp Bondsteel outside Vitina.
According to this report, Mujahidin and Wahhabis have at least 10 training camps on Sandzak territory and hundreds of followers “prepared to contribute to the struggle of the Muslims in the Balkans.”
[Box] ‘Islamic Salvation Front’ Arrives, too
The Islamic Salvation Front terrorist group was infiltrated into Sandzak two months ago. According to the Kfor intelligence report, this is a religious terrorist organization made up of Arabs from Sudan, Algeria, Palestine, Turkey, and Egypt. It is under the command of a Turkish national and two Bosnian nationals. Active parallel with it is a 20-member group of Islamistsfrom Turkey that have entered Sandzak illegally. They are specialists in chemical warfare.
In my digging, I also came upon this 2006 email from Kosovo whistleblower Tom Gambill:
More proof that Al [Qaeda] is and has been operating in the Balkans and specifically in Kosovo. The planned attack against Bondsteel in 2004 or it could [have] been in 2005…it was going to be a suicide attack planned in the dining facility…it was thwarted by a polygrapher, interviewing an Albanian Terrorist[.]
What was it that the Camp Bondsteel job advertisement was saying about hiring only Albanians rather than Serbs because of fear of infiltration?
Quoting Gambill in his book The Coming Balkan Caliphate, Chris Deliso mentions what sounds like yet another attempt that was planned:
After 9/11, the Saudi charity organizations not only became more secretive; they also became more hostile, at times showing classic signs of organized intelligence activity. According to Gambill, who a year earlier had personally witnessed soldiers from the United Arab Emirates filming the U.S. military base, Camp Bondsteel, by the fall of 2001 the [Saudi Joint Committee for the Relief of Kosovo and Chechnya] had begun conducting “aggressive surveillance of US personnel and property…[Saudi Red Crescent Society] ambulances were thought to be transporting weapons and explosives — they had never been seen transporting sick or injured locals.”
Indeed, things are in place all around Kosovo to provoke incidents and restart a war, in the event of a partition or of international recognitions grinding to a halt and Kosovo not gaining UN membership. Former UN rep for Mitrovica Gerard Gallucci warns of precisely such a scenario still ahead in his Kosovo blog:
…Serbia rejects independence but is trying to pursue a pragmatic policy of rapprochement with Brussels, offering cooperation even at some cost to Kosovo Serbs. Kosovo Serbs are split between north and south – with the latter having little choice but to try to co-exist with the Albanian reality surrounding them – but both wishing for more outside help in preserving their communal existence than they get from either Belgrade or the internationals. The Kosovo Albanians are pushing for more international recognition while also using all means to press the Serbs – north and south – into accepting their subordinate place under the Pristina institutions. The countries supporting Kosovo’s independence – led by the EU and US – are seeking to help the Albanians by replacing the UN and adding to the pressures on the Serbs. The Russians continue to support Belgrade and to insist on the UN’s lead role.
Logically, there can be only three outcomes: Kosovo’s status is settled through force, if not outright war then perhaps through targeted provocations or violence to further “clean-up” the ethnic map of Kosovo (and possibly southern Serbia); status is settled through new negotiations; or the current status quo becomes more or less entrenched for some indeterminate period (perhaps until the whole region merges into the EU). Of course in reality, the actual result may include all three, either at once or ad seriatum. But possible elements of a negotiation scenario can be discerned.
Or, it may be that after a [International Court of Justice] ruling, the issue could be framed as one of defining Kosovo’s borders. The legality of these borders cannot be justified on the basis of an UDI. Pristina and friends cannot have their cake and eat it too. They cannot on one hand claim that Kosovo’s current borders are legal because they were established under Yugoslavia while also unilaterally declaring independence from the legal successor state.
The other element for a possible negotiation is “who” might facilitate and play the role of honest broker. As it now stands, the two candidates seem to be the Contact Group – again uniting the Quint and Russia – or the UN. Both have a legitimate mandate and the political responsibility to finish resolving Kosovo’s status…But the EU currently has no credibility with Kosovo Serbs. It has done nothing to intervene in Albanian efforts to press the southern Serbs to surrender and has supported Albanian efforts to take territory in north Mitrovica and to push Pristina institutions – customs, courts, KEK – into the north whilst squeezing Serbs everywhere to participate in the November local elections called by Pristina. The EU has repeatedly made clear that it is not neutral, with its role being instead to help spread Pristina institutions everywhere.