February 29th 2012 07:33:05 PM
While I finally posted updates this week on Albanian killers and would-be killers of Americans (Arid Uka of the fatal Frankfurt shootings, Hysen Sherifi of the North Carolina Eight, and Sami Osmakac/Osmankaj of the Tampa plot), I never logged the updates on Mevlid Jasarevic, the Bosniak jihadi — or as media and governments would have you know him, “Serbian Muslim,” who in October opened fire on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo:
A state court in Bosnia ordered…that Mevlid Jasarevic, a 23-year-old Serbian Muslim, be detained for a month to prevent him fleeing the country, influencing witnesses and hampering an inquiry into the shooting on the embassy on Friday.
“I do not recognize your court. It is worthless before Allah,” he told the judge during his first appearance in court.
Jasarevic’s lawyer Senad Dupovac told the court the defendant had wanted to become a “martyr.” “His goal was to get killed by the officers guarding the U.S. embassy in order to become a martyr and go to heaven.”
Dupovac had earlier said that Jasarevic had no accomplices and expressed concern over his mental state.
Many young Bosnian Muslims, particularly from rural areas, have in recent years adhered to Wahhabism under the influence of foreign fighters, most of whom left Bosnia after the 1992-95 war.
Gee, that wasn’t supposed to happen. Most unexpected!
In a Nov. 14th update, we learn that Jarasevic may have had accomplices after all:
Bosnia detains another suspect over US embassy attack
Bosnia’s state court has detained for one month a man suspected of assisting a gunman who fired at the US embassy in Sarajevo, wounding a police officer.
The court on Monday said Emrah Fojnica, 20, was suspected of a “criminal act of terrorism” over the Oct. 28 attack in which Mevlid Jasarevic paralyzed central Sarajevo for 30 minutes as he fired on the embassy.
The authorities have already detained two men, Dino Pecenkovic and Munib Ahmetsphaic, who they say helped Jasarevic.
Police officers arrested Fojnica during a raid last week on the northeastern village of Gornja Maoca.
The police found a large cache of weapons in sports bags during the raid including an automatic rifle and Fojnica’s identification card, local media said.
The assault revived questions over the threat from radical Islam in the Balkans.
On the use of “Serbian Muslim” in favor of “Bosniak” or “Bosnian Muslim,” from Nebojsa Malic (Nov. 4):
This deliberate conundrum about identity helps explain a peculiarity about last week’s [Oct. 28] jihadist attack on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo. Both local and Western media have described the attacker as “Serbian” – that is, a citizen of Serbia. Yet those very same media vocally insist that the Muslims living in that region of Serbia are “Bosniaks”. So apparently, one can be a “Bosniak” when special privileges are about to be dispensed [and autonomy claimed], but magically becomes “Serbian” upon engaging in terrorism.
Early in October, Canadian daily The Globe and Mail published a feature on a Quebecois composer of Serbian origin, who explained that only in Canada did she become aware of her roots and the richness of her native culture. While she still lived in Serbia, she believed, along with many others, that traditional identity and culture were something to be despised and ashamed of, cast aside in favor of some higher, global, cosmopolitan identity.
This was in the 1980s, before the wars that broke up Yugoslavia, or the “democracy” brought by NATO bombs, boots and bribes. Back then the identity to aspire to was that of the socialist workers of the world. Today it is of global conspicuous consumers. Either way, it was at the expense of genuine identity, culture and traditions. Back then, it was the Yugoslav Communists who demanded this. Today it is the Euro-Atlantic “Democrats”. It makes one wonder what exactly is the difference.
Also noting the sly switching between “Serbian” and “Bosniak” to describe Muslims in Serbia was a Serbian citizen named Dragan Rakic, who had a question regarding the following development: Zukorlić the Muslim imam from Sandzak, “opens” embassy in Sweden (Nov. 14)
Mufti Muamer Zukorlić last weekend opened the first diplomatic mission of the Bosniak Muslims organization National Council of Sandzak (NVS) in the Swedish city of Gothenburg as part of a broader strategy aimed [at] internationalization of the status of this part of Serbia…. “We are asking in this proclamation to restore the autonomy of Sandzak” was said at the opening of representative offices in Brussels and Washington, “…but we are very pleased that the Scandinavia Bosniaks forestall our efforts and opened the first office here,” said Zukorlic adviser Sead Šaćirović, quoted the [Belgrade] daily “Hello.”
For all those Western guardians of democracy who, in their towering concern for what they were just sure was Serb “bigotry” and human rights violations, ensured a jihadist Bosnia, Dragan’s question is:
[How would they] react if something like this happened in their own countries: A Muslim Mufti, a “Bosniak” in Serbia, opens an “embassy” in Sweden in order to promote “current issues of Bosniaks in the Balkans…According to the Constitution of any sovereign country, he could be either a Serbian citizen or a foreigner. If he is a foreigner, then he cannot claim what he claims in the country in which he is a foreigner.
Sarajevo, which criticized the attack by the Muslim from a Serbian province, suddenly proudly announces that the “Bosniak” Mufti made a lecture in his “embassy” about the current issues of “Bosniaks” in Serbia.
The very same scenario we could observe in Kosovo. First there was a “human rights” question, then the “current issues of Albanians in the Balkans, looking for help by NATO, the taking of Serbian territory, then independence, and finally today the Ibrahim Rugova Highway, linking Pristina with Tirana in Albania. In other words, the making of Greater Albania.
In addition to the formerly Bosnia-friendly Croat at The Washington Times, Jeffrey Kuhner, the jihadist Jasarevic seems also to have jarred a research fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom into finally noticing what’s been going on in the West-remade Balkans. The alert to the piece, which appeared on National Review Online (NRO), came from the New English Review, which cross-posted it with the following introduction:
…A great deal of support was given to fundamentalist [sic: and non-fundamentalist] Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims by the Saudis, Al Qaeda and the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the conflict. Perhaps these Wahhabists have been trained and equipped by Al Qaeda and the IRGC? [YOU THINK? Perhaps?] That revelation could come in the wake of these latest attack on the US Embassy in Sarajevo in late October. That is, if the Obama Administration, the CIA and Gen. Petreaus come clean.
Uhhhh…that “revelation” DID come, well over a decade ago. And it was promptly ignored. Precisely because of the kind of American disinterest that causes the Hudson Institute and New English Review to only notice Bosnia now. They shouldn’t anticipate anything different after this attack. After all, bigger Bosnia-related plots and attacks couldn’t break the story. Maybe, just maybe, if one of these organizations did a little more than fart out a single article the day after a Balkans blowback attack and then move on to what everyone else is talking about, then someone in power might finally find him/herself in a position to come clean about something.
Meanwhile, if the Clinton and Bush administrations didn’t come clean — and New English Review never asked them to — why are they asking Obama to? It’s a little late to be turning the Western crime known as Former Yugoslavia into a partisan issue now. (It wasn’t too late in 2000, when I tried it myself, screaming from the rooftops, to no interest from any of these conservative outfits.)
Of course, if one of these news organizations does, for once, try a little follow-up and maybe even a partial investigation of the sort that Bush’s wars were subjected to (as opposed to Clinton’s), they’ll notice that their bombshell of a story lands with a thud as it gets aggressively ignored and dropped like a hot potato, and that their colleagues are suddenly eying them with suspicion, which could then cause them to notice that every Balkans-jihad news event dies within a week, and then they might start to finally wonder why that is. And maybe after we’re all dead, they’ll finally ask whether there wasn’t perhaps a bit of suppression going on with the Balkans, which like sheep they oblige with their disinterest. (Really, what more could the State Department, Pentagon, White House, Defense Department and CIA ask for? Could the assignment be any easier: suppress news from a region no one gives a damn about anyway.)
On to the Hudson article in question, though let me caution that the excerpt starts with the writer giving credit to “analysts such as Stephen Schwartz” for “warn[ing] of Wahhabi threats in the region for years.” See my very recent post on Schwartz, where I mention that he threatened a CNS News reporter’s career when she first asked him circa 2005 to comment on the growing Islamic threat in Bosnia. Always one to cover his hide and reinvent himself, however, Schwartz has since adjusted his take to reflect the current realities that he’d previously denied. So that the guy who spent the 90s pushing the U.S. to join the Bosnia and Kosovo jihads can now be credited with “warning” of the resulting dangers, now that he can no longer cover for his Balkan babies. (His mind, however, still manages to keep unconnected the war he supported and fanned, from its predictable negative developments — and he still manages to blame Serbs and love his Muslims there.)
Wahhabism: A Forgotten Legacy of the Bosnian War (by Sarah Schlesinger, Nov. 7)
[Forgotten? Forgotten by whom? By the writer, of course. And the rest of the conservative establishment clones. Or, more precisely, ignored. As for the liberal establishment, they ‘forgot’ on purpose. And conservatives simply took their cue rather than setting the terms of debate, as usual.]
…Analysts such as Stephen Schwartz, Esad Hecimovic, Anes Alic, and Vlado Azinovic have warned of Wahhabi threats in the region for years. Numerous attacks, including the murder of a Catholic Croat policeman in 1996, have been linked to Wahhabis. Several Wahhabis were arrested in 2008 and 2009 for plotting terror attacks on Christian sites and European Union Forces in Bosnia. In July 2010, a Wahhabi group was suspected in the bombing of a police station in Bugojno, killing one police officer and wounding several others.
Originally from the Muslim-majority city of Novi Pazar in the Sandzak region of Serbia, Jasarevic recently spent time in Wahhabi communities in Vienna and Gornja Maoca, a settlement in a remote part of Bosnia that has been the site of repeated anti-terror raids. He was imprisoned for armed robbery in Vienna in 2005 and arrested in his hometown in 2010 after brandishing a knife at an appearance by the American ambassador to Serbia .
The Wahhabi movement has taken hold among a small but vocal portion of the Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) population — the group is estimated to include a mere 3,000 out of 1.4 million Muslims. [a.k.a. A TINY MINORITY!] They largely live in isolated villages that they govern according to strict Islamic law. Men wear long beards and distinctive short pants and women are fully veiled, in sharp contrast to the majority of Bosniaks, who are moderate in practice.
And now, here she goes. Try not to get nauseous from going ’round and ’round on the same ride over and over again:
The movement’s presence in Bosnia dates to the 1992–1995 civil war in Yugoslavia….The largely defenseless [DEFENSELESS!] Muslim community was unable to withstand the onslaught by well-armed Bosnian Serb militias. [MILITIAS! SERBS STILL THE AGGRESSORS! Ms. Schlesinger needs a paycheck, after all, so she’s not about to push sand against THAT tide and question whether we got the original story right. And, of course, god forbid the lesser evil and more civilized element should be better armed.] Their desperate [DESPERATE!] situation drew an influx of Wahhabis, such as veteran mujahideen and Islamic aid agencies, including the al-Qaeda front the Benevolence International Foundation. [YES, YES, they came TO HELP! Even the holy warriors themselves have boasted that they saw a vast “opportunity” via Bosnia. The repentant former al Qaeda officer Ali Hamad has repeated and repeated that this is what the fight was about. Is Ms. Schlesinger listening?] Many of these remained in Bosnia, where they provided material support to the devastated Muslim community [sic: self-devastated, and by Sarajevo’s design; they chose it, Ms. Schlesinger. Just like the “Kosovars” would a few years later], but also influenced it ideologically with Wahhabism. Leading the way was Saudi Arabia, which raised more than $373 million for the “Bosnian jihad” in the 1990s. The mujahideen, charity staff, and foreign-educated Bosniaks provided the vanguard of a local Wahhabi movement.
Thanks to this foreign support, Wahhabis have been able to aggressively challenge Bosnia ’s mainstream Islamic community. Two figures led early efforts: Jusuf Barcic and Muhamad Porca, both Bosnian imams who had studied in Saudi Arabia on Saudi-funded scholarships. In early 2007, Barcic and his followers gained national attention by (unsuccessfully) attempting to claim a number of mosques for their movement in Tuzla and Sarajevo. When Barcic died in a car accident two months later, more than 3,000 people attended his funeral.
Let’s pause on that for a moment. Ms. Schlesinger earlier used the “3,000″ tiny minority figure to estimate the extent of Bosnia’s Wahhabi community. Yet here we already have “more than 3,000 people” showing up to the funeral. (Though one allows for a foreign presence there as well.)
Barcic’s primary financial supporters, according to Bosnian authorities, had been Porca and Porca’s close friend Adnan Buzar, the Bosnian-born, Vienna-based son-in-law of Palestinian terrorist leader Abu Nidal. Reportedly, Porca has now been supplanted by Nedzad Balkan, a Vienna-based Wahhabi with openly violent views who gained power after his role in the Bugojno police station bombing.
…Wahhabis in Bosnia have succeeded in demonstrating that even in small numbers, they present a threat, especially as Nedzad Balkan’s followers allegedly now promote armed jihad. Bosnian authorities and the international community would be wise to closely monitor links between Wahhabis in Bosnia, Sandzak, and Vienna and larger militant networks. Without closer attention to this growing threat in the region, the October 28 attack undoubtedly will not be the last.
Nor was it the first, Ms. Schlesinger. (Talk about the need to pay closer attention.)
Meanwhile, and again, I like that Americans finally have to learn words like Bugojno, Sandzak, Novi Pazar, and Gornja Maoca. It’s about time. And a little too late. [Gornja Maoca should have been noticed in October 2001, actually, when investigators descended on it right after 9/11, which should have had Americans asking questions about Bosnia and our stubbornly immovable position on it.)
I suppose I should be happy that at least some of these conservative buffoons are waking up to the backwardness of the Bosnia intervention (oh wait a second — they haven’t figured that part out yet). And at least this Schlesinger outed the Bosnia jihad to the conservative slowpokes at NRO. Hopefully it’ll do more good than the two articles I futilely wrote for them on the subject way back in 2004. But I doubt it.
Giving Ms. Schlesinger and other oblivious Westerners some context, for when the grand plan starts coming together and our government and media again cue us to blame the Serb side, is a November 11th interview with security and counter-terrorism expert Ioannis Michaletos, explaining the big picture so that Ms. Schlesinger doesn’t find herself again fooled as she was about the 90s:
…[Q:] The Wahhabi’s Green Corridor in the Balkans — [the] establishment of the Republic of Sandzak and its merging with the Bosniaks in BiH — are these the goals of the Wahhabi Movement?
[A:] These are exactly their main targets and they are using a two-way approach.
 It is the “soft power” approach by recruiting people to their sect, by providing charity to people of financial-social need, so as to have a “good name” and via buying land and businesses with the assistance of individuals and organizations from the Middle East. Moreover, soft power approach means that they use propaganda through media and especially websites and forums, plus trying to merge the concerned individuals in Sanzak, BiH, as well as in Muslim communities in Montenegro and in Balkan Muslim communities that live in other European countries such as in Austria. Therefore soft power means establishing a concrete political-social force that they believe in the future will be able to create a “Green corridor.”
 It is the “hard power” approach. That is terrorism of course, acts of violence against perceived enemies, criminality in order to raise money and gain influence and contact in the organized crime world, which of course is still strong in the Western Balkans. Hard power approach means also intimidation campaigns against moderate Muslims that are against Wahhabism and also against the local Christian population.
[Q:] What would encompass Republic of Sandzak?
[A:]Their aim, however farfetched it may seem, implies that the divisions between the Muslims and Christians in that area, will implode sometime in the future, and then they will seize the opportunity to raise their voice — gain support of other neighboring Muslim communities and thereafter place the whole issue into the international agenda, thus seek recognition for their “struggle” by other Muslim countries and especially those in the Middle East.
Therefore a hypothetical Republic of Sanzak would resemble the “Kosovo example” and it is highly likely that should a development like this occur, it will involve BiH as well.
[Q:] Do you believe that Wahhabi movement poses a security threat to the Balkans – Serbia and BiH?
[A:]It poses a threat, not so much [because] of the number of the people involved, but of their connections with international Islamic origin terrorism; the involvement of foreign powers and their connection with criminal groups. For the time being they can be considered as extremist elements capable of destabilizing the present day social consensus in the region. What they try to achieve in a second phase is to become destabilizers of the ethnic consensus in the region and drive Muslims apart from Christians similar to the early 90’s wars in the region.
[Q:] Where are the centers of Wahhabism in the Balkans and how they are connected in Europe, how would you describe their network?
[A:] Zenica is a traditional center; Sarajevo also hosts pro-Wahhabi elements and many other villages in Bosnia. Also Wahhabist elements are to be found in Kosovo in Prizren and also in localities in Montenegro, as well as in Novi Pazar and they have been noted as well in Tetovo [and] Skopje [Macedonia], [and] in the southern parts of Bulgaria and limited groups exist in Albania and Croatia.
Also in Europe they are mainly based in Vienna and also in Munich, Koln, Malmo, and Milan and in many small towns in Germany, Netherlands and Italy. Their hierarchy is decentralized in essence, they tend to communicate via the internet, especially the younger generations, they try in general not exposing themselves in the European cities and for the time being their interaction with other radical Islamist networks has not reached a maturity level, although they do of course cooperate both with Turkish and with Arabic groups.
[Q:] How would you describe the goal or mission of the Wahhabis in Serbia and BiH?
[A:]They reject societal values and norms and they seek to overthrow what exists now and form a new reality by imposing their will. Thus, they need to create their own territorial space in order to achieve their aims and at the same time to push forward plans made in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere that call for the Islamisation of European territories.
[Q:] [Given] foreign powers’ interference — [e.g.] the US, Germany — what countries might have financial benefits from that?
[A:] USA is systematically trying to please Middle Eastern powers and that is why many times in the past it has turned a blind eye in the situation we are discussing. Germany to a lesser extent follows the same policy and both of these countries resent the Serbian element in general in the Balkans for reasons relating to the struggle for hegemony in the Balkans since the early 90’s. In this perspective, sentimental approaches that demonize the “bad Serbs” vs. the “good Muslims” have blinded foreign policy makers in Washington and Berlin, although that has started to change gradually over the past few years, in relation to the Wahhabi issue.
Going back again to the “3,000 Wahhabis” figure, a Serbianna.com article from days after the embassy attack indicates that “3,000″ appears to be hopeful. (Nor, as we know, does one have to be a Wahhabi to be a jihadist):
Of 100,000 devout Bosnian Muslims, 3,000 to 5,000 are implicated in terrorism, says Dzevad Galijasevic LINK, member of the Expert Team against terrorism and organized crime for the Southeastern Europe. [Note: That’s up from “3,000″ in July 2010]
Referred by Galijasevic as [”Wahhabi”] sects, these terror cells, for those interested in geography, are located in villages Osvam and Bocinja near Maglaj, then in Zeljezno Polje, Serici, Babina Reka, Tetovo near Zenica, Lepenica, Miljanovci near Tesanj, Mehurici by Travnik, Rujnica near Zavidovici, Blagaja near Mostar, Buzima, Sanski Most, Sarajevo, Jablanica and Konjic. [Americans may have to learn even more new place names yet.]
Galijasevic expressed concern that Western media wants to portray these Islamic terror cells as “foreigners” either as Middle Easterner[s] or as in the case of the recent attacker on the US Embassy as “Serbian citizen”.
“That is minimization and undermining of this terror act,” Galijasevic said about this latest incident.
Prime Minister of the Serb Republic Milorad Dodik also noted Western efforts to use the media in order to portray the Muslim attacker on the US Embassy as a Serb.
“The attacker is portrayed as a Serb, and not a Muslim, or Bosniak or a [Wahhabi]. Most world media have shown it like this because to most they like the idea that ‘Serbs are the bad guys’,” said Dodik.
Dodik also said that Bosnia’s chief Imam, Mustafa Ceric is very much respected by these extremists and that Imam Ceric has direct contacts with them. Dodik says that Imam Ceric along with the son of the former Bosnian Muslim leader Izetbegovic, have direct contacts with the Iranian intelligence service which has its cells in Bosnia. “[This] creates an atmosphere in which radical Islamist circles can develop in Bosnia…”
Galijasevic is already on the record saying that Imam Ceric is the responsible party for the development of radical Islam in Bosnia. […]