Polish Press Reports on Training of Mujahideen in Bosnia

Published on December 21, 1997, TANJUG

Category: Islamic Terror in Kosovo

Intelligence services of the Nordic-Polish SFOR Brigade suspect that a center for training terrorists from Islamic countries is located in the Bocina Donja village near Maglaj in Bosnia, Warsaw daily Rzecspospolita writes on Tuesday. The author of the article, Marek Popowsky, who used to be in both SFOR and its predecessor IFOR in Bosnia, writes that mujahideen had first come to Bosnia in 1992, and numbered over 3,000 in the summer of 1995. Besides mujahideen from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan, there were several hundred Muslim extremists who had come from Italy, France, Germany and Britain, he notes. Deserters from the Turkish, Malaysian and French UNPROFOR battalions also volunteered as mujahideen, Popowsky writes. In addition to dangerous military actions, the mujahideen also carried out a religious and ideological mission, enforcing abidance by the Koran and recruiting young soldiers to die for Allah, Popowsky writes. Noting that Bosniac (Muslim) troops respected their allies but feared them at the same time as Allahs' warriors used to carry out high-risk actions and were cruel fighters, Popowsky quotes Serb officers as saying that the mujahideen never took prisoners. Wounded enemy soldiers were usually decapitated or slaughtered by mujahideen, Popowsky writes. The Dayton Agreement committed (Bosnian Muslim leader) Alija Izetbegovic to remove all foreign fighters from Bosnia, but about one thousand mujahideen who obtained Bosnian citizenship in the meantime remain in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zenica and about ten villages, the daily writes. The largest group of mujahideen is now in Bocina Donja, a formerly Serb village near Maglaj, the daily writes, adding that the Nordic-Polish intelligence service G-5 is following the activities of such unusual "settlers", as it suspects that a camp for training terrorists is located in the village following reports from Serb and Croat forces' commanders. Noting that Islamic states had allocated to the Muslim part of Bosnia military and humanitarian aid to the value of over one billion dollars and that decisions to this effect had been taken not only by governments but also by various extremist Muslim groups and informal institutions, the daily writes that the activities of mujahideen in Bocina Donja would continue to be monitored by international special services to prevent the village from being transformed into a base for launching terrorist operations. (Tanjug, Warsaw, December 16)

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