Monday, August 25, 2008

The Kosovo Report: Part Three

A note from Radarsite: Radarsite is proud to present this third installment in a four part series, cross posted from our good friend and fellow patriot Allan, "Spook" at Fire Base America on the truth of Kosovo.

From the Wall Street Journal Europe
November 1, 2001
-Marcia Christoff Kurop

The Balkans' uncharacteristically silent exit from the world stage as the most prominent international hot spot for a decade belies its status as a major recruiting and training center of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. By feeding off the region's impoverished republics and taking root in the unsettled diplomatic aftermath of the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts, al Qaeda, along with Iranian Revolutionary Guard-sponsored terrorists, have burrowed their way into Europe's backyard.
-al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden visited the Balkans several times in the 90's and bin Laden was reportedly in Kosovo as late as 2000. (there's no way these two haven't gotten it on.)

For over the last 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. Many recruits to the Balkan wars came originally from Chechnya, a jihad in which Al Qaeda has also played a part.

These activities have been exhaustively researched by Yossef Bodansky, the former director of the U.S. House of Representatives' Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. The testimony of an islamist ringleader associated with the East Africa bombings have also helped throw light on these actions.

They have however been disguised under the cover of dozens of "humanitarian" agencies spread throughout Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. Funding has come from now-defunct banks such as the Albanian-Arab Islamic Bank and from bin Laden's so-called Advisory and Reformation Committee. One of his largest islamist front agencies, it was established in London in 1994.

The overnight rise of heroin trafficking through Kosovo -- now the most important Balkan route between Southeast Asia and Europe after Turkey -- helped also to fund terrorist activity directly associated with al Qaeda and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Opium poppies, which barely existed in the Balkans before 1995, have become the No. 1 drug cultivated in the Balkans after marijuana. Operatives of two al Qaeda-sponsored islamist cells who were arrested in Bosnia on Oct. 23, 2001 were linked to the heroin trade, underscoring the narco-jihad culture of today's post-war Balkans.
The settling of Afghan-trained mujahideen in the Balkans began around 1992, when recruits were brought into Bosnia by the ruling Islamic party of Bosnia, the Party of Democratic Action, from Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, as well as Italy, Germany and Turkey. They were all given journalists' credentials to avoid explicit detection by the West. Others were married immediately to Bosnian Muslim women and incorporated into regular army ranks.

Intelligence services of the Nordic-Polish SFOR (previously IFOR) sector alerted the U.S. of their presence in 1992 while the number of mujahideen operating in Bosnia alone continued to grow from a few hundred to around 6,000 in 1995. Though the Clinton administration had been briefed extensively by the State Department in 1993 on the growing islamist threat in former Yugoslavia, little was done to follow through (shocker!).

The Bosnian Embassy in Vienna issued a passport to bin Laden in 1993, according to various reports in the Yugoslav press at the time. The reports add that bin Laden then visited a terrorist camp in Zenica, Bosnia in 1994. The Bosnian government denies all of this, but admits that some passport records have been lost. Around that time, bin Laden directed al Qaeda "senior commanders" to incorporate the Balkans into an complete southeastern approach to Europe, an area stretching from the Caucasus to Italy.

Al Zawahiri, the Egyptian surgeon reputed to be the second in command of the entire al Qaeda network, headed up this southeastern frontline.

By 1994, major Balkan terrorist training camps included Zenica, and Malisevo and Mitrovica in Kosovo. Elaborate command-and-control centers were further established in Croatia, and Tetovo, Macedonia as well as around Sofia, Bulgaria, according to the U.S. Congress's task force on terrorism.

In Albania, the main training camp included even the property of former Albanian premier Sali Berisha in Tropje, Albania, who was then very close to the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Controversial Relationship Between the Clinton Administration and the KLA

-a sign of the times in Kosovo

By early 1998 the U.S. had already entered into its controversial relationship with the KLA to help fight off Serbian oppression of that province. While in February of 98' the U.S. gave into KLA demands to remove it from the State Department's terrorism list, the gesture amounted to little. That summer the CIA and CIA-modernized Albanian intelligence (SHIK) were engaged in one of the largest seizures of islamic Jihad cells operating in Kosovo.

Fearing terrorist reprisal from al Qaeda, the U.S. temporarily closed its embassy in Tirana and a trip to Albania by then Defense Secretary William Cohen was canceled out of fear of an assassination attempt. Meanwhile, Albanian separatism in Kosovo and Metohija was formally characterized as a "jihad" in October 1998 at an annual international islamic conference in Pakistan.
-Sec. of State Madeleine Albright with Hashim Thaci

Nonetheless, the 25,000 strong KLA continued to receive official NATO/U.S. arms and training support and, at the talks in Rambouillet, France, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright shook hands with "freedom fighter" Hashim Thaci, a KLA leader. As this was taking place, Europol (the European Police Organization based in The Hague) was preparing a scathing report on the connection between the KLA and international drug gangs. Even Robert Gelbard, America's special envoy to Bosnia, officially described the KLA as islamic terrorists.

-Amb. Richard Holbrooke hangin' with KLA terrorists (notice the dhimmi with his shoes off)

With the future status of Kosovo still in question, the only real development that may be said to be taking place there is the rise of Wahhabi islam -- the puritanical Saudi variety favored by bin Laden -- and the fastest growing variety of islam in the Balkans. Today, in general, the Balkans are left without the money, political resources, or institutional strength to fight a war on terrorism. And that, for the Balkan islamists, is a Godsend.

1 comment:

  1. In the 1990's Clinton was warned that Kosovo would become a Jihad training ground and to deal differently with them. He ignored it. He only saw the outer, ignoring reports that the Muslims were attacking the Serbs (remember at this time the Serbs were considered and still are considered the bad guys). We are feeling the repercussion's of that bad decision today.

    In the future the truth about what happened in Kosovo and Serbia will be revealed and the West will have egg on its face.

    On a side note, Israel refuses to recognize Kosovo. Israel made many trips into the region during the 90's to rescue Jews trapped in the region and saw first hand what was really going on.