Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Wahhabi terrorist attack on the USA Embassy in Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina, by Ioannis Michaletos

On the 28th of October 2011 a lone gunman, Bosnian-Wahhabi, launched an attack against the American Embassy in Sarajevo injuring one Policeman. The latest attack comes after a series of other terrorist actions over the past few years by the Wahhabis in Bosnia and indicates the consistence under which Bosnian Wahhabis operate by using a combination of terrorist attacks and indoctrination of local citizens, so as to gain a firm hold in the region.
An interview below provides further details into the developments and the trends emerging.
(Videos from the attack can be seen in this Youtube section:
Interview of Ioannis Michaletos to Danijela Dzeletovic, Serbian Republic News Agency (SRNA) Foreign Editor. 11/11/2011, regarding the incident and its implications.

1) A Wahhabi opened fire at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, injuring a local police officer. I’d like your comment on that and How do you see it having in mind previous similar incidents in Bosnia - Bugojno police station /one killed, six police officers injured, Gornja Maoca, Brcko, Vitez…?
The bonds between the Bosnian Wahhabis spread back in the early 90′s and they also have connections with Middle East from where they get material support (money) and “spiritual guidance”. Although there were many efforts by the international authorities over the past ten years in order to address the issue, I think that this will go on, unless it is realized that the supporters of these extremists are in various international locations – and in Europe-, therefore a well-coordinated effort by many countries should take place.
2) Do you think the latest incident in Sarajevo was an isolated one or not?
First of all it seems that there is a serious issue in Bosnia regarding the radical Islamist threat, and for sure it cannot be viewed in isolation with all other past incidents. There are quite a few cells of potential terrorist action in Bosnia and they tend to cooperate via multitude “front” NGO’s, charities and private companies with radicals in Kosovo, Sanjak and with those in Vienna in Austria.
3) The Wahhabi s Green Corridor in the Balkans, establishment of the Republic of Sandzak and its merging with the Bosniaks in BiH – are these the goals of the Wahhabi Movement?
These are exactly their main targets and they are using a two-way approach.
A) It is the “soft power” approach by recruiting people to their sect, by providing charity to people of financial-social need, so as to have a “good name” and via buying land and businesses with the assistance of individuals and organizations from the Middle East. Moreover soft power approach means that they use propaganda through media and especially websites and forums, plus trying to merge the concerned individuals in Sanzak, BiH, as well as in Muslim communities in Montenegro and in Balkan Muslim communities that live in other European countries such as in Austria. Therefore soft power means establishing a concrete political-social force than they believe in the future will be able to create a “Green corridor”
B) It is the “hard power” approach. That is terrorism of course, acts of violence against perceived enemies, criminality in order to raise money and gain influence and contact in the organized crime world which of course is still strong in the Western Balkans. Hard power approach means also intimidation campaigns against moderate Muslims that are against Wahhabism and also against the local Christian population.
4) What would encompass Republic of Sandzak?
Their aim, however farfetched it may seem, implies that the divisions between the Muslims and Christians in that area, will implode sometime in the future, and then they will seize the opportunity to raise their voice-gain support of other neighboring Muslim communities and thereafter place the whole issue into the international agenda, thus seek recognition for their “struggle” by other Muslim countries and especially those in the Middle East.
Therefore a hypothetical Republic of Sanzak would resemble to the “Kosovo example” and it is highly likely that should a development like this occur, it will involve BiH as well.
5) Do you believe that Wahhabi movement poses a security threat to the Balkans – Serbia and BiH?
It poses a threat, not so much of the number of the people involved, but of their connections with international Islamic origin terrorism; the involvement of foreign powers and their connection with criminal groups. For the time being they can be considered as extremist elements capable of destabilizing the present day social consensus in the region. What they try to achieve in a second phase is to become destabilizers of the ethnic consensus in the region and drive Muslims apart from Christians similar to the early 90′s wars in the region.
6) Where are the centers of Wahhabism in the Balkans and how they are connected in Europe, how would you describe their network?
Zenica is a traditional center; Sarajevo also hosts pro-Wahhabi elements and many other villages in Bosnia. Also Wahhabist elements are to be found Southern in Kosovo in Priznen and also in localities in Montenegro, as well as in Novi Pazar and they have been noted as well in Tetovo, Skopje in the Southern parts of Bulgaria and limited groups exist in Albania and Croatia.
Also in Europe they are mainly based in Vienna and also in Munich, Koln, Malmoe, and Milan and in many small towns in Germany, Netherlands and Italy. Their hierarchy is decentralized in essence, they tend to communicate via the internet, especially the younger generations, they try in general not exposing themselves in the European cities and for the time being their interaction with other radical Islamist networks has not reached a maturity level, although they do of course cooperating both with Turkish and with Arabic groups.
7) How would you describe the goal or mission of the Wahhabis in Serbia and BiH?
They reject societal values and norms and they seek to overthrow what exists now and form a new reality by imposing their will. Thus, they need to create their own territorial space in order to achieve their aims and at the same time to push forward plans made in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere that call for the Islamisation of European territories.
8) Foreign powers interference – the US, Germany, what countries might have financial benefits from that?
USA is systematically trying to please Middle Eastern powers and that is why many times in the past it has turn a blind eye in the situation we are discussing. Germany to a lesser extent follows the same policy and both of these countries resent the Serbian element in general in the Balkans for reasons relating to the struggle for hegemony in the Balkans since the early 90′s. In this perspective, sentimental approaches that demonize the “bad Serbs” vs. the “good Muslims” have blinded foreign policy makers in Washington and Berlin, although that has started to change gradually over the past few years, in relation to the Wahhabi issue.
The latest attack against the U.S Embassy in Sarajevo should serve as a waking up call for all parties involved. Lastly I would like to point out that in a recent presentation I delivered in a NATO school, involving amongst other the perils by the radical Islamist threat in Southeastern Europe; there was an almost unanimous recognition by military and other officers of the need to address this issue. The attack on the Embassy unfortunately proved some of my findings correct and in a space of time much shorter than initially expected. Hopefully the coming period will see a new security consensus by Europeans, Americans and Balkan states in that subject.