Be sure to check out the highly illuminating photos here.
Here is some background on the KLA. From “Al Qaeda’s Balkan Links” by Marcia Christoff Kurop in the Wall Street Journal Europe, November 1, 2001:
[…] Islamist infiltration of the Kosovo Liberation Army advanced, meanwhile. Bin Laden is said to have visited Albania in 1996 and 1997, according to the murder-trial testimony of an Algerian-born French national, Claude Kader, himself an Afghanistan-trained mujahideen fronting at the Albanian-Arab Islamic Bank. He recruited some Albanians to fight with the KLA in Kosovo, according to the Paris-based Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues.
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 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.
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.
ThaÃ§i is now the Prime Minister of Kosovo. He is not only a jihadist, but is involved in organ trafficking and international organized crime. Here is more on this story. “Follow-up to Kosovo ORGANized Crime,” by Julia Gorin at Republican Riot, December 20:
It looks like crying “Serbian Propaganda! ™” can fool people for only 12 years. Or so one hopes. This has yet to play out, and the rapporteur Dick Marty is handing the evidence-collection and prosecution over to the EU “justice” mission in Kosovo. So we know what that usually means for the welfare of evidence (or else for the welfare of those collecting it).
The follow-ups to the breaking Albanian organ-trafficking story have continued all week since the EU Council released its report on Tuesday.
…EU prosecutor Jonathan Ratel told the court the organs had been illegally removed from victims and transplanted into wealthy recipients in the clinic, known as Medicus. Those who paid up to â‚¬90,000 (Â£76,400) for the black-market kidneys included patients from Canada, Germany, Poland and Israel, Ratel said.
The story would be shocking enough if it ended there. But what the court did not hear is that the Medicus clinic has been linked in a Council of Europe report to a wider network of Albanian organised criminals. They are said to have had close links to senior officials in Kosovo’s government, including the prime minister, Hashim ThaÃ§i. Their supposed links to the underground organ market allegedly go back more than a decade when, in its most gruesome incarnation, the operation is said to have involved removing kidneys from murder victims.…
The claims initially surfaced two years ago, when the former chief war crimes prosecutor at The Hague, Carla Del Ponte, said she had been prevented from properly investigating alleged atrocities committed by the KLA. Marty’s report suggests the KLA held Serbs and other captives in secret detention centres in Albania for almost a year after the war ended…
…Kosovo’s guerrilla army formed “a formidable power base in the organised criminal enterprises” in Kosovo and Albania. A group known as Drenica, led by ThaÃ§i, became the KLA’s dominant faction and senior KLA figures from the group hold senior positions in Kosovo’s government today.
In 1999, ThaÃ§i was identified as the most dangerous of the KLA’s “criminal bosses” by intelligence reports, according to Marty…A KLA medical commander based in Albania, Shaip Muja remains a close confidante of ThaÃ§i’s, and is currently a political adviser in the office of the prime minister, with responsibility for health. “We have uncovered numerous convergent indications of Muja’s central role [in] international networks, comprising human traffickers, brokers of illicit surgical procedures, and other perpetrators of organised crime,” the report states.
There is much, much more. Read it all.