After the shootings (AP)
Remember that strange story out of Kosovo, in which a Jordanian UN policeman started firing at Americans? It may have been just another part of the global jihad: Sgt. Maj. Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim Ali may have been tied to the jihadist group Hamas.
PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) — Authorities are investigating whether a Jordanian U.N. policeman who killed three American corrections officers in a gunbattle at a Kosovo prison had links to the Palestinian militant group Hamas, a senior NATO official said.
As investigators tried to pin down Sgt. Maj. Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim Ali’s motive, a clearer picture of the April 17 attack emerged this week. Witnesses, U.N. officials, medical personnel and NATO officers, in interviews with The Associated Press, described a scene in which the officers were trapped between a locked gate and Ali’s assault rifle.
Eleven officers were wounded before the officers shot and killed Ali, a Palestinian from Jordan. No one is certain what prompted him to open fire, but a survivor said Ali was smiling during his shooting spree, a U.N. source familiar with the investigation said. …
A senior NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that besides the investigation into any links with Hamas, authorities were examining a trip Ali took to Saudi Arabia only a month before he joined the mission in March to see if it might be connected to the attack.
Jordan’s government said Ali, 30, was a distinguished member of his homeland’s special police unit and had been decorated for helping to ward off an attack on the Israeli Embassy in the Jordanian capital, Amman. The United Nations has refused to discuss details of the investigation.
Much is at stake for the United Nations in the outcome of the investigation because the police mission in Kosovo, and others like it, rely on throwing together officers from member countries regardless of political philosophy.
“The incident is so grave and appalling that it really calls into question the mission’s integrity and unity,” said Alex Anderson of the International Crisis Group, a Brussels, Belgium-based think tank.