Bosnia: Suspected Islamist bombing 'the beginning' say experts

Sarajevo and Belgrade, 28 June (AKI) – Sunday's bloody bombing of a police station in Bosnia in a suspected radical Islamist attack is only the beginning of a wave of violence in Bosnia, terrorism experts said on Monday.

Police have arrested at least five people over the attack in the central town of Bugojno, in which one person was killed and six wounded.

Among those arrested was Haris Causevic, who admitted planting the explosive device near a police station in the town 75 kilometres northwest of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.

Causevic is believed to be a member of the fundamentalist Islamic Wahabi Islamist movement. Benevolence towards Wahabism by Bosnian authorities have allowed it to radicalise supporters and plot violence, according to Galijasevic and other terrorism experts.

Local politicians have for too long treated Wahabi groups propagating violent Islam with excessive tolerance, Bosnian terrorism expert Dzevad Galijasevic, told Adnkronos International (AKI).

“This (attack) was to be expected and it is just the beginning,” Galijasevic, who is a Muslim, told AKI.

“Bosnia has a very stormy period ahead,” he warned.

Galijasevic said about five percent of Bosnia’s 1.5 million Muslims had been indoctrinated by Wahabi ideology, but the number of their supporters may be about 12 per cent of the population.

Though Wahabism is considered a radical religious movement in Bosnia, Wahabis are playing a central role in terrorist activities in the Musim-majority country, according to Galijasevic.

"Their activities have nothing to do with religion," he said.

There had been scores of murders and terrorist activities in Bosnia, but local authorities have played these down as “isolated incidents and ordinary crime,” Galijasevic said.

“Bosnia-Herzegovina simply isn’t ready to explicitly call it terrorism, although western intelligence agencies are pefectly aware of what's going on," he stated.

Galijasevic claimed radical Islam had a strong supporter in wartime Bosnian Muslim president Alija Izetbegovic and current Muslim member of the joint state presidency Haris Silajdzic, who condemned Sunday's bombing as an attack on the state.

Galijasevic heads a non-governmental southeast European counter-terrorist organisation with Serbian expert on terrorism Darko Trifunovic and a Croatian Domagoj Margetic.

They have frequently warned that Bosnia has become a European hotbed of radical Islam and Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist activities.

Trifunovic agreed that most of Bosnian Muslim leaders have ignored the activities of radical Islamists and played down their terrorist activities.

“We have been highlighting this problem for years, but no one paid attention,” he told AKI.

Attacks such as the one in Bugojno were the "logical consequence" of ignoring the security threat posed by Wahabism, he said.

"I’m afraid this is not the end,” Trifunovic said.


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