Congressional adviser increases volume on long-standing warning
As early as the 1990s there were reports that Iranians were establishing themselves in the Balkans. The U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committer under Chairman Larry E. Craig concluded that it would be a "breathtaking understatement" to say the Bill Clinton administration erred in facilitating the penetration of Iranians into the Balkans.
Bodansky joined in the discussion shortly later, with an analysis that found Osama bin Laden was focusing on the Balkans for a new wave of anti-Western terrorism.
He confirmed then that radical Islamists decided to use the terrorism infrastructure of the Balkans as a "key facilitator" in the proposed escalation of conflict aimed at Europe, Israel and the United States.
A new terrorist recruiter, identified by Bodansky as Shahid Emir Mussa Ayzi, a veteran of Afghanistan who was close to the al-Qaida elite as well as Taliban leadership, was appointed to run special operations.
A followup report, according to Bodansky, noted that "persons of Slav ethnicity" were being added to the Islamist jihad, and Ayzi said some of these "white devils" already had been indoctrinated and trained to carry out martyrdom-strikes "in a number of European cities."
He reported that the training actually was done under the cover of the Albanian National Army, with many senior officers being al-Qaida affiliates.
Al-Qaida made use of the unsettled diplomatic aftermath of the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts, and for a decade already the most senior leaders in al-Qaida have been visiting the Balkans, the reports said.
A report in the Wall Street Journal Europe edition noted the U.S. was probably two years behind when it started expressing concern about Islamic terrorists in the Balkans, and by that time they already were established.
Reports also note that Clinton's administration allowed the shipment of arms to Muslim groups in the Balkans during the conflicts over Kosova, Bosnia and others.
Bodansky, who's also served as senior editor of "Defense & Foreign Affairs" publications, has authored five major books on strategic issues. His 1999 best seller was "Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America."
A House Subcommittee report also has found that the Clinton's Iranian policy gave Iran "an unprecedented foothold in Europe and has recklessly endangered American lives and US strategic interests."
According to the Senate Republican Policy Committee, Clinton's mistake in allowing the infiltration of the Balkans by Muslim extremists "calls to mind the similar mistake of the Carter Administration, which in 1979 began lavish aid to the new Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the hopes that (if the United States were friendly enough) the nine comandates would turn out to be democrats, not communists, despite abundant evidence to the contrary."
Even at this point, the development of unrest in those disputed regions is apparent. A spokesman said the Sandzak Intellectual circle will ask Serbian president Boris Tadic to ban all Bosniak parties in Serbia, since "these parties practice violence, use minors for political games and use hate speech and intolerance."
And in Kosovo, the issue of sovereignty remains undecided. Tadic has said he expects to adopt a report and plan to refer to Kosovo as a province enjoying essential autonomy within sovereign Serbia.
A U.S. Congressional adviser is turning up the volume on his long-standing warnings that terrorists who have set up camps in the Balkans now easily can reach into Europe, telling reporters in Serbia that the idea now has a name "Balkans 2020."
Congressional adviser Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare since 1988, told Slovenian Finance that the goal of the campaign is to set up terrorist camps in Bosnia, Kosovo, Sandzak and Croatia.
He said at least five intelligence agencies now are working to track people and arms arriving from Arab nations, in hopes of preventing that plan from becoming reality, according to a broadcast station report.