Bosnia, of course, is held up by some “experts” as a bastion of Islamic moderation. And in many ways it is just that; but the moderates’ lack of a theological foundation within Islam makes them always vulnerable to radical encroachment. From AFP, with thanks to Ali Dashti:
BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Hercegovina : Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is actively directing terrorist cells in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia, a top US terrorism analyst told a local daily.
Yossef Bodansky, director of the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the US Congress, told the Glas Srpske daily that terrorists responsible for the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad last year were trained near the central Bosnian town of Zenica.
“There is a terrorist network in Bosnia, composed of several well-trained and connected groups, which are directly or indirectly responsible to … Osama Bin Laden,” he was quoted as saying in the Serbian-language paper.
He said the cells were using Bosnia as a training ground and a gateway to send terrorists to western Europe or to hide them on their way to the east if they were on the run.
“The network in Bosnia … is training and controlling terrorists who later travel to Western European countries,” Bodansky said in comments translated from Serbian.
“On the other hand, terrorists for whom arrest warrants have been issued in the west are coming back to Bosnia where ‘liaison officers’ welcome them and provide accommodation and hiding places, and they are later transferred to the east.” …
Foreign Muslim fighters were ordered to leave Bosnia under the 1995 peace accords, but some of them stayed and obtained citizenship either on the basis of their army service or by marrying local women.