Bosnia: High Representative demands expulsion of Islamic radicals

Sarajevo, 27 July (AKI) - Miroslav Lajcak, the high representative of the international community in Bosnia, has called for the extradition of foreigners with suspected links to Islamic terrorist organizations, including Syrian-born Imad al-Husseini, known as Abu Hamza.

Bosnian daily Nezavisne novine said on Friday that Lajcak, who took office of high representative (OHR) on July 1 warned Bosnian security chief Tarik Sadovic he would be fired if his ministry was too slow in extraditing foreigners, including Abu Hamza, whose citizenships have been revoked.

Thousands of mujahadeen from Islamic countries flocked to Bosnia to fight for local Muslims in 1992-1995 civil war, and many remained in the country after the war even taking Bosnian citizenship.

After intelligence reports suggested they were indoctrinating local youths to radical Islam and operating terrorist training camps, the authorities revoked the citizenship of close to 400 individuals, but failed to extradite them to their home countries as prescribed by law.

Lajcak has wide arbitrary powers, including firing local officials and imposing laws if local politicians can't agree on them. Lajcak reportedly told Sadovic he has to choose between losing his post or extraditing Abu Hamza by "respecting letter and spirit of the law".

Lajcak's move coincided with a US finance ministry report, naming hundreds of individuals and organizations working in Bosnia to help finance Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. Several former Bosnian officials, including late president Alija Izetbegovic, are high on the list of 30 suspected organizations.

According to intelligence reports, the Bosnian Muslim war effort was reportedly financed by Islamic countries and organizations disguised as "humanitarian agencies", of which many continue to operate under the same cover.

Husseini or Abu Hamza is widely regarded as an informal leader of the puritanical Muslim Wahabi sect in Bosnia which advocates radical Islam.

The fundamentalist Wahabi movement that spread throught the Arab Peninsula in the 20th century and still remains the official ideology of Saudi Arabia. It was imported to Bosnia during the 1990s civil war.

Many Wahabis remained in the country after the war, indoctrinating the local population with radical Islam and recruiting local youths for Islamic terrorist organisations, according to foreign intelligence reports.

Security officials and terrorism experts believe that Wahabis in the Balkans are receiving covert financing from Saudi 'charities'. Five of the '9/11' attackers had served as Wahabi sponsored fighters in Bosnia, according to intelligence sources.


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