Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Global Jihad Movement In Bosnia, by: A. Ceresnjes and R. Green

Main Points In Imamović's Ideology

Salafis in Bosnia, and Imamović chief among them, openly support Al-Qaeda and global jihad movements. In their sermons, they grant religious legitimacy to harming infidels and attacking the West. An example can be found in a lecture Imamović delivered on March 7, 2011, titled "The Laws of Jihad," in which he explained that the struggle against the infidels is "an armed struggle, a struggle with guns and not pens. For in Arabic we say 'qatl,' which means 'kill,' and killing can only be done with guns".

In a 2008 fatwa, Imamović legitimized suicide bombings. A reader of "The Way of the Believer" website posted the question: "Is it a sin to wear an explosive belt and detonate it among the infidels?" Imamović replied: "We do not see this form of combat as forbidden; however, unlike conventional weapons, it must only be used in special circumstances". In the spirit of Salafi-jihadi doctrine, Imamović takes a hard line with regards to Muslims who are not sufficiently pious by his standards. According to him, even Muslims who pray, perform the hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), are charitable, etc., are targets for jihad if they neglect a single law of Islam.

Support for jihad is also expressed in ceremonies, events and folklore of Bosnian Salafis. In several online videos, the preacher Bilal Bosnić sings songs of praise for the mujahideen, as well as songs beseeching them to take vengeance upon the U.S. and other Western nations. In one video Bosnić sings: "Beautiful jihad has risen over Bosnia/ Bosnians have begun saying takbir and praying.../ Let America know that I perform Da'wa/ and pray that it fall to pieces. Oh infidels! Try to touch the mujahideen one more time/ and our brothers the Taliban will immediately come/ and judge you with their sword."

In another song of praise for suicide bombings, Bosnić says: "Jihad, jihad, oh Allah/ Jihad, jihad, oh Allah/ is the redemption of the Muslims. Let America and the other tyrants know/ that now all Muslims as one are the Taliban/ Hear now, all my brothers/ believers from all over the world: With explosives on our chests we will pave the paths of jihad... Themujahideen of Palestine/ give their lives for the shahada/ May they all enjoy paradise."

Spreading The Concept Of Jihad On The "Way Of The Believer" Website
Jihad is a central theme on "The Way of the Believer" website, which reports from all the jihad fronts: Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Chechnya, Iraq, and recently from Syria as well. Almost all of the reports are based on statements by Al-Qaeda and its affiliate organizations. In addition, the website features these organizations' propaganda videos translated into Bosnian. The videos include statements by Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Anwar Al-Awlaki, the Taliban, Chechen rebels, and more. Some of the videos have been downloaded as many as 4,000 times.

The website recently featured an article marking the first anniversary of the death of bin Laden, which said: "Despite the expectations of the U.S. and Europe, Al-Qaeda has only grown stronger since the elimination of the Sheikh [bin Laden], and has seen victories in Yemen, Mali, and Somalia. Its influence has also increased in Libya, Algeria, Syria, and Egypt. For us, Osama is the greatest warrior who ever rose against the Crusaders and the Zionists... The fact that the Americans managed to kill Sheikh Osama is no shame, for heroes die on the battlefield. The day of every man's death is preordained. Can the Americans, with all their media, their military, and their intelligence apparatuses, kill the cause for which the Sheikh lived and was murdered? Absolutely not! Sheikh Osama did not establish an organization that would die when he did and disappear along with him!"

"America will long for the days when Osama was alive. After his murder, jihad against the Western enemy and its puppets will only increase and become more humiliating for all the infidels. Let the Americans know that the flame of jihad will burn brighter than it did during the days of Sheikh bin Laden!...
"Time will prove that the murder of bin Laden is a boomerang that will come back to bite the killers. [By perpetrating] this murder, America sparked a desire in the heart of Muslims and non-Muslims alike to take an interest in the Sheikh's life and ideas. Contrary to the expectations of many in the West, it actually strengthened Al-Qaeda."

The article is accompanied by a series of links to speeches by bin Laden, in which he addresses the citizens of Europe and the U.S.

The Influence Of Bosnian-Salafi Clerics Outside Of Bosnia

As mentioned, the center of Bosnian Salafi preacher activity is in Bosnia itself and in the former Yugoslav countries. However, they wield influence in the Bosnian diaspora throughout Western Europe. A review of videos featuring Bilal Bosnić and Idriz Bilbani shows that they have lectured in Sweden, Holland, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and other countries.

Another indication is the ties they maintain with French jihadis. These ties became apparent when members of the jihadi message board Ansar Al-Haqq asked Idriz Bilbani to approve the content of an anti-democracy flyer they were circulating ahead of the French elections as part of a campaign titled "Everyone against Demon-cracy." The flyer, titled "The Truth about Democracy," called on French Muslims to boycott the elections, on the grounds that participating in them was an act of unbelief. The flyer expresses a clear Salafi-jihadi ideology, and notes that its content is approved by Sheikh Abu Osama Bilbani – the nickname of Idriz Bilbani.

Serbian Sources: Toulouse Shooter Spent Time In Jihadi Training Camp In Bosnia

According to sources in Serbia and Republika Srpska, Toulouse shooter Muhammad Merah spend time at a jihadi training camp in Bosnia some two weeks before starting his series of attacks. The camp is run by the Poziv U Raj ("Call to Paradise") organization. This is the Bosnian branch of a German organization by the same name (Einlaudung zum Paradies), headed by the radical preacher Pierre Vogel, whose activity was banned in Bavaria due to its missionary nature. 

R.I.M.S.E. note: In most respects the same network that was formed in the aftermath of the Bosnian wars in the 90's and functions up to date as described to an extent above, is also concurrently involved in assisting the recruitment of a significant number of fighters that are send via Turkey and the Gulf to Syria. 

Approximately 750 Albanians from Kosovo, FYROM and Albania, and around 300 Bosnian Muslims together with Montenegro and Serbian nationals from Sanjak. The majority of those fighters that will survive the war will return back in the Balkans, bringing with them hundreds of EU nationals that also joined the war. 

The French "Mujahedeen batallion" in Syria numbers 700 persons for instance. Due to the already well established relations between Balkan Jihadists and their EU counterparts this osmosis will grow bigger having fought alongside in Syria, whilst the terrorist alert for most European and especially Southeast European countries is definitely rising.