A follow-up to this incident:

Bosnia court indicts six Muslims over fatal bombing (Dec. 17) by Maja Zuvela

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnia’s state prosecutor on Friday indicted six Bosnian Muslims on terrorism charges over a June bomb attack that killed a policeman and injured several others in the central town of Bugojno.

Police investigators and media said the group were part of the radical Sunni Muslim Wahhabi sect. It has taken root in Bosnia under the influence of Islamic foreigners, some of whom stayed after fighting alongside Bosnian Muslims during the country’s 1992-95 ethnic war.

Haris Causevic, 26, Adnan Haracic, 23, and Naser Palislamovic, 36, are charged with “committing a terrorist attack aimed at seriously intimidating the population, coercing the police and destabilising the country’s political, constitutional and social structure,” the prosecutor’s office in Sarajevo said.

It added that the three planned to attack the Bugojno police station “in a premeditated attempt to kill several individuals and cause material damage, knowing that many policemen would be in the building to provide security for a religious event on June 27″.

Tens of thousands of Muslims visited the nearby religious shrine Ajvatovica on Mount Prusac that day to pray during a pilgrimage, seen as the biggest for Muslims in Europe.

The remaining three indictees, Emin Osmanagic, 27, Haris Spago, 40, and Nedzad Kesko, 37, are charged with helping the suspected perpetrators carry out the attack.

The bombing, one of the most serious security incidents in the Balkan country since the war ended, occurred outside a police station, leaving a large crater in its wall and causing damage up to about 300 metres from the site.

Police have recently stepped up efforts to curtail small but vocal Wahhabi groups. In February they raided a community in the northern village of Gornja Maoca and arrested several men whom authorities accuse of trying to destabilise the fragile country.

The prosecutor proposed extending the detention of the six to prevent them from fleeing the country, intimidating the probe or hiding evidence, as well as from influencing witnesses and potential accomplices or committing other criminal acts.

The fight against terrorism and organised crime were key requirements for visa-free travel for Bosnians to the European Union, which started on Thursday, and remains a condition for closer ties with the bloc.

Well that explains the indictments, then!

As for the visa-free travel that has now been allowed for Albanian and Bosnian citizens after much political pressure and criticism of the EU for excluding (I wonder why?) those two particular Balkan countries last year while including Serbs, Macedonians and Montenegrins: Good luck, Europe! Just hope for the best.

Bosnians, Albanians rush to get visa-free passport

By Rusmir Smajilhodzic and Briseida Mema (AFP) – 13 Nov 2010

SARAJEVO — Thousands of Albanians and Bosnians have been rushing to get biometric passports since the EU’s decision to lift visas restrictions for their countries, opening access to most of western Europe.

“We have been imprisoned for so long, because Bosnia was the largest prison in Europe,” said Amir Ramic, preparing to wait for hours in front of a police station in Sarajevo to apply for his biometric passport.

The 37-year-old waiter plans to celebrate the New Year with his brother who has emigrated to Sweden as the document will allow him to travel throughout the 25-nation Schengen zone from mid-December.

On Monday the European Union approved a visa-free regime for Bosnians and Albanians who want to travel to the Schengen zone countries.

But they will need a biometric passport for the trip, which is restricted to a maximum three-month stay.

“This is the best news since the end of the war,” said Ramic, referring to the conflict that devastated Bosnia between 1992 and 1995.

In Sarajevo, the local police stations which issue the passports have been swamped with would-be travellers.

“If this continues, we will hire more staff next week. It can not go on like this any more,” police official Dusan Popovic told AFP.

According to him, from an average of around a hundred demands for passports per day in September, police were now struggling with five times that number since the EU decision to waive the visas.

“This is the best thing that has happend in 20 years,” said Rifat Selimovic, a 27-year old mechanic.

As a child, he said, he had lived for seven years in Germany, where his family had fled during the war, and he regretted their having returned to Bosnia. He would not however, use his new travel freedom to try to settle in Germany or another EU state, he said.

“I have a family and I live here,” he said cheerfully.

“But the first thing I will do is to go and watch a Champions League match in Germany,” he added.

In Banja Luka meanwhile, the capital of the Serb-run entity in Bosnia, the number of requests for passports had doubled, said officials.

“I have a boyfriend in Italy,” said 24-year-old Radenka who did not want to give her second name.

“Until now I was unable to visit him. I hope that I will go often now. We will get married and I will stay to live there. There is no future here.”

Albania experienced a similar rush on new passports.

Before the EU’s decision, an average of 3,500 biometric passports were issued every day, deputy interior minister Fedrinand Poni told AFP.

“Since the visa liberalisation was announced, more than 6,000 people now submit a demand” for a new passport each day, he added.

Almost 800,000 Albanians live in Greece and there is a Greek minority in southern Albania.
Before the visa system was relaxed, some Albanians even took on Greek sounding names to facilitate their entry into their neighbouring country, a longstanding EU member. […]