Slovenian intelligence recently confirmed a Kosovo link to the March terror-camp raid and arrests in Sandzak, southern Serbia:

A Slovenian intelligence source has confirmed for Balkanalysis.com a claim made recently in the Serbian media — that the Wahhabis arrested at a training camp broken up near Novi Pazar on St. Patrick’s Day had connections with Kosovo militants, the final status process there and potential violence again Serbs in the North Mitrovica enclaves.

The March 17, 2007 Serbian police operation against a suspected Islamic extremist mountain training camp near Novi Pazar, which yielded weapons, ammunition and assorted paraphernalia, has inspired unprecedented interest in the phenomenon of Wahhabi extremism in this forgotten area of western Serbia in the international media.

What is perhaps most interesting about the recent foreign media coverage, however, is that no one has cast doubt upon the Serbian government’s version of events. For the first time in a long time, a Serbian counter-terrorism operation has gotten the “benefit of the doubt.”

According to Serbian counterrorism expert Darko Trifunovic, who has compiled a lengthy report identifying numerous members of the Sandzak Wahhabi substratum, “All but one of the arrested men were bearded in the fashion of jihadis, but all were white Europeans.”

Although Albanian Muslims in Kosovo base their identities much more on secular nationalism than do the Bosnian Muslims just north of the border, Wahhabism has nevertheless caught on in pockets of Kosovo, including even the capital.

New information received by Balkanalysis.com from a Slovenian intelligence source confirms Serbian media allegations that at least some of the weaponry found in the Wahhabi training camp had arrived from Kosovo — and for a reason: according to our information, extremist Albanians in Kosovo opposed to negotiation with Serbs are collaborating with the Wahhabis [in Sandzak]… in the case of new violence, the goal would be a show of force against Serbs from both sides.”

Adding that both groups have different ideologies and purposes, both the ex-KLA militants and Islamic extremists have similar needs. “Both use weapons, and both [rely] to varying extents on organized crime to fund their movements,” said the Slovenian source, adding that his country had recently taken a more active role in Kosovo/Serbia intelligence-gathering.

(And still, the march toward Kosovo independence continues apace, with the Bush administration itself making the case against the famous Bush credo — and demonstrating that, indeed, you can be both “with us” and “with the terrorists”.)

Slovenian intelligence-gathering operations have been enhanced of late, according to an OSCE officer in Kosovo, who points to the replacement of Italian security officers by some 600 Slovenes a month or two ago, in the area of Pec. One of the most dangerous areas of Kosovo, nationalistic Pec also has a thriving Wahhabi community and was visited by Pakistani al Qaeda member Arfan Qaeder Bhatti at the behest of the powerful former narcotics trafficker, Princ Dobroshi, who exerts considerable influence locally despite being jailed in the Czech Republic. Bhatti had been arrested after plotting to bomb the Israeli and American embassies in Oslo…

Meanwhile, the non-Wahhabi Balkan Muslims of Novi Pazar — where Wahhabis last year broke up a concert — aren’t averse to Wahhabism necessarily on the grounds that Balkan Muslims have a more secular tradition; many actually believe that the Wahhabis are perverting early Islam.