We are now up to TWO Albanians and one Bosnian being involved in the North Carolina cell disrupted last year.

Bajram Aslani (Tanjug)

For Immediate Release, June 17, 2010, U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888

Kosovar National Charged with Terrorism Violations

RALEIGH, NC — Bajram Asllani, 29, a resident of Mitrovica, Kosovo, has been charged in a criminal complaint with providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to murder, kidnap, maim, and injure persons abroad, David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; George E.B. Holding, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina; Owen D. Harris, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Charlotte Field Division; and Robin Pendergraft, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, announced today.

Let’s note that the terror suspect is from Mitrovica, the town whose northern half is the last Serbian holdout from a Muslim-Albanian Kosovo. This is whose control we want to bring all of Mitrovica under, as we try to submit Northern Mitrovica to what the rest of Kosovo has been submitted to: lawlessness and terror. Though I suspect this development could slow down our attack plans on northern Mitrovica — not only because the terror connection is too conspicuous right now, but also because our military (if not our leaders) may finally and reluctantly take the long-existent hint that an official Serbian presence in Kosovo could help be our eyes and ears in that increasingly Islamic “country”. (Well, they’ll entertain this notion until our Albanian “partners” remind us that the deterioration of our security will accelerate if we don’t support and secure all of Kosovo for them.)

Asllani, also known as “Bajram Aslani,” or “Ebu Hatab,” was arrested earlier today [Thursday] by authorities in Kosovo in connection with a U.S. provisional arrest warrant issued in the Eastern District of North Carolina. The United States intends to seek his extradition from Kosovo to stand trial in Raleigh. In accordance with the extradition agreement between the United States and Kosovo, Asllani faces a potential maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted.

Last July, eight defendants were indicted in the Eastern District of North of Carolina on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad; and other violations. Those charged were Daniel Patrick Boyd, a U.S. citizen and resident of North Carolina; Hysen Sherifi, a native of Kosovo and a U.S. legal permanent resident in North Carolina; Anes Subasic, a naturalized [BOSNIAN] U.S. citizen and resident of North Carolina….

A superseding indictment returned on Sept. 24, 2009, added new charges against Daniel Patrick Boyd, Hysen Sherifi and Zakariya Boyd, alleging, among other things, that Daniel Boyd and Sherifi conspired to murder U.S. military personnel as part of a plot to attack troops at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia. …

An April 19, 2010, criminal complaint unsealed today alleges that Asllani was a member of the conspiracy involving the defendants listed above. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Asllani has had repeated communications with the conspirators; solicited money from the conspirators to establish a base of operations in Kosovo for the purpose of waging violent jihad; tasked the conspirators with completing work to further these objectives and accepted funds from the conspirators to help him travel.

Among other things, the complaint alleges that Hysen Sherifi departed from Raleigh for Pristina, Kosovo, on July 30, 2008, to pursue violent jihad. While in Kosovo, Sherifi allegedly formed a relationship with Asllani. Sherifi often referred to Asllani as “the brother” in Kosovo who was advising him and who was “wanted.” According to the complaint, Asllani had been arrested by Kosovar law enforcement in 2007 and been placed on house arrest for a period of time. He was later convicted in absentia by a Serbian court in September 2009 for planning terrorist-related offenses and was sentenced to eight years of confinement.

According to the complaint, Asllani provided Sherifi with videos related to violent jihad for the purposes of translating them so they could be used to recruit others for violent jihad or to motivate those currently involved in violent jihad. Sherifi, did in fact, translate videos provided him by Asllani, the complaint alleges.

The complaint further alleges that Asllani directed Sherifi to collect money for the purpose of later purchasing land and establishing a community in Kosovo, where they could store weapons and ammunition and which they could use as a base of operations for conducting violent jihad in Kosovo and other countries. Sherifi did, in fact, return to the United States on April 5, 2009, and collected money for this purpose, receiving a check for $15,000 in July 2009. Sherifi was arrested on July 27, 2009, before he could take the money back to Asllani in Kosovo.

In addition, the complaint alleges Asllani received money from Sherifi that was sent with the intention of being used by Asllani to obtain travel documents. And finally, the complaint alleges that Daniel Boyd stated his desire to assist Sherifi in his plan to raise money for the mujihadeen in Kosovo. Specifically, Boyd stated he wanted to send his sons, Zakariya Boyd and Dylan Boyd, and himself to Kosovo after Sherifi returned. Zakariya and Dylan Boyd spent time online with Sherifi chatting with Asllani in Kosovo.

Isn’t that odd? What could the potential that the Boyd family sees in Kosovo possibly be?

“The facts as alleged in this complaint underscore the connectivity between extremists at home and abroad and the global nature of the terrorist threat we face. At the same time, the arrest of Asllani demonstrates how effective cooperation among international partners serves to address such threats. I applaud the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who helped bring about this important case,” said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

“People who are plotting to harm America and Americans are no longer a world away from us. This case began in Raleigh, N.C., and now stretches across the globe, a circumstance no one would have thought possible less than 10 years ago,” said Owen D. Harris, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina. […]

Uh, actually. Actually, uh, 11 years ago when we took the Muslim side in a war for land — and resettled a few hundred thousand of those Muslims here and in Europe — this possibility did, uh, sort of cross some of our minds. Two news reports on the initial arrest are here.

Meanwhile, we have an update: the suspect has been released. The reason is the Kosovo standard: “not enough evidence.” Though one does find this surprising in a case where the U.S. also wants the guy. Perhaps the suspect has protection from someone in Pristina officialdom and so a “message” was sent to the EULEX judge. Still, thanks to U.S. security interests being at stake (rather than just expendable Serbian ones), there seems to be a twist to the usual arrest-and-release policy for Kosovo Albanians: he has to report to police twice a week.

EULEX releases terrorism suspect
19 June 2010 | 10:47 | Source: B92

BELGRADE — An EULEX judge has freed Bajram Aslani from custody, who was suspected of planning terrorist attacks in America and Kosovo.

Aslani was arrested earlier under a warrant issued by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.

He was freed after the prosecution confirmed that there was not enough evidence to keep him, though he is obligated to report to the police twice a week.

Aslani, an ethnic Albanian from the town of Kosovska Mitrovica, was arrested on Thursday and is the second suspect in Kosovo from a group of nine terror suspects.

The Associated Press stated that Aslani was arrested in 2007, and that we was convicted in absentia by the Serbian courts in 2009 for involvement in the planning of a terrorist attack. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

One may wonder why, if his whereabouts are now finally known, he’s not being delivered to the Serbian authorities who convicted him, but that conviction was only for his being a threat to the Balkans — and terrorism in the Balkans doesn’t qualify as terrorism. Plus, “guilty” in a Serbian court is all just “Serbian propaganda” until we’re targeted too. (Besides, he only killed Serbs.)

Another report: Kosovo terror suspect wanted in U.S. released

PRISTINA (Reuters) …”He has to report to police twice a week,” Kristiina Herodes, a spokeswoman from the EU police and justice mission (EULEX) said. “The prosecutor will have a close look at the written decision by the judge and then will decide to appeal against the decision or not.”

Despite the decision from the EU judge, Herodes said that now it is up to the Kosovo government whether Asllani will be extradited to the United States or not.

“I personally have asked to be extradited to the United States because I am not afraid of U.S. justice, I believe in justice because I am innocent,” Asllani told local media in his town in Mitrovica after he was released.

He said that Americans are good people and he has nothing against them. The United States is the biggest supporter of Kosovo’s independence and has 1,480 troops on the ground. […]

Here Asllani is struggling with his identity crisis: his inner Albanian wants to love Americans for furthering those supremacist ambitions, but his inner Muslim knows that the love affair has to end.

Further update:

Interior Minister condemns Aslani release
19 June 2010 | 16:59 | Source: Tanjug

BELGRADE — Interior Minister Ivica Dačič said that the decision of an EULEX judge to release terrorism suspect Bajram Aslani from custody is surprising and condemnable.

He is wanted in Serbia and America for involvement in the planning of terrorist attacks in America, Kosovo and other locations.

Dačič said that Serbia expects that the international presence in Kosovo will take into consideration the demands of the Serbian courts and that it will also respect the American demands for processing Aslani, as one of the leaders of an extremist radical Islamic group in the province.

He added that Aslani’s release “can point to the fact that there are suspicions of some double standards for members of Albanian radical groups.”

Aslani is also suspected of planning terrorist attacks in Jordan and the Gaza Strip.

Now what could an Albanian’s interest in the Gaza Strip be? After all, Albanians feel they have so much more in common with Israelis than with Palestinians. So let us be reminded that four Albanians were among the “protesters” in the anti-Israel war convoy to Gaza. Let us also be reminded that the same month saw the arrest of five Wahhabis and seizure of a huge weapons cache in Kosovo, which involved three Bosnians and two Albanians.

Dačič said that operative information of the Serbian police shows that Aslani came into the possession of plastic explosives in Bosnia last year, which were taken to Kosovo, adding that the explosives were planned to be used in a terrorist attack in central Serbia.

“Operative information of our police also shows that Aslani is still a member of the Wahhabi movement and that he was in close relations and ties with known radical Islamists on the territory of Novi Pazar and Sjenica,” Dačič said.

Dačič also said that there is information pointing to the fact that Aslani had organized a Wahhabi camp that was uncovered in a police action in March 2007.

So now we’re beginning to see how beautifully, how symbiotically not-like-that Muslim Kosovo collaborates with not-like-that Muslim Bosnia. On that subject, here is the Aslani/Asllani news from last year, relating to his absentia trial in Serbia (again, we can see the timeless and historic Albanian/Bosnian sandwich):

Serbia: Four radical Muslims jailed for terror plot

Belgrade, 8 Sept. (AKI) - A special Serbian court has sentenced four radical Muslims from the volatile Sandzak region of the country to up to eight years in prison each for planning terrorist attacks on targets in the Balkans. The four men were sentenced on charges of terrorism, illegal possession of weapons and alleged links with unidentified foreign terrorist groups, following an eight-month trial.

Adis Muric and Bajram Aslani were sentenced to eight years each, Nedzad Bulic to seven and Enes Mujanovic was given a four year jail term. Bulic and Aslani’s sentenced were delivered in absentia as they earlier escaped from police and are on the run.

The four men were arrested in police raids in 2007 in the Sandzak region, which borders Kosovo. They are from predominantly Muslim town of Novi Pazar and adhere to the fundamentalist Wahabi interpretation of Islam followed by Osama bin Laden and many Al-Qaida members.

The group formed a cell in 2007 that planned to carry out terrorist acts in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, judge Milan Ranic stated, explaining the court’s verdict. The group’s objective was to spread fear among citizens and to gain religious power.

The prosecution claimed the group planned to plant explosives at Novi Pazar football stadium and to kill policemen deployed there.

The group was in close contact with other Wahabis from Bosnia, Albania and Syria and had in their posession a large quantity of terrorism prosyletising materials, according to the court indictment.

The group was based in Novi Pazar and in Kosovska Mitrovica, where weapons and explosives were found.

Twelve Wahabis were sentenced in July to a total 60 years in jail for terrorism, conspiracy and planning terrorist attacks in Serbia, including a plot to assassinate local mufti Muamer Zukorlic, who the group considered to be an American spy and betrayer of Islam.

Most of those convicted were arrested in 2007 during a raid at a Wahabi training camp on Ninaj mountain in Sandzak, where police found a large weapons cache in a cave.

The group’s leader Ismail Prentic was killed as security forces tried to arrest him in Donja Trnava village a month later.

The radical Islamist movement was brought to the Balkans by fighters from Muslim countries during the 1990s Bosnian war. Many have remained and are believed to operate camps and recruit young people in a bid to gain influence in Serbia, Bosnia and elsewhere in the region. […]

In a related story, please observe. This is Kosovo:

Thousands rally in Kosovo in support of Muslim headscarf

Photograph by: Hazir Reka, Reuters

PRISTINA - Thousands [about 5,000] Kosovo Albanians staged a protest rally Friday in Pristina after girls were banned from school for refusing to take off their Muslim headscarves.

The protesters, who carried signs saying “Stop Discrimination” and chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), demanded that the Kosovo government allow the wearing of religious symbols in schools.

They also urged the authorities to reverse the recent suspension of several girls from school because they were wearing the headscarf.

“Communists out”, the protesters chanted in the front of the government offices.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, adopting a secular constitution which stipulates the separation of religious and state authority.

With an overwhelming Muslim majority but a tradition of moderate Islam at ease with Western values, the government prohibits girls from attending public schools wearing the headscarf. […]

Previous post on Kosovo and headscarves here.

Meanwhile, a reader named George sent me this link, according to which it turns out that the first mosque in America was built by Albanians (Maine, 1915). Looking only a wee bit further (on Wikipedia), one finds that the first organized Muslim community was that of…Bosnian Muslims! (Chicago, 1906) To paraphrase Nebojsa Malic, it’s certainly interesting that the supposedly non-Muslimy Bosnians and Albanians are the first mosque- and community-builders in the US.