[ Home ] [ Library ] [ Links ] [ Search ] [ Email ]



IRAN'S EUROPEAN SPRINGBOARD?


by Yossef Bodansky & Vaughn S. Forrest
September 1, 1992

Task force on terrorism & unconventional warfare,
House Republican Research Committee


Members of Congress who got this report are: Bill McCollum, Florida, chairman Dana Rohrabacher, co-cairman Williams Broomfield, Michigan Christopher Cox, California, Robert Dornan, George Gekas, Benjamin Gilman, John Doolitle, Jim Lightfoot, Bob Livingston, Olimpia Snowe, and others.


The escalation of the fighting in Bosnia-Hercegovina has a significance for Europe that extends far beyond the human tragedy of the conflict. The struggle for Sarajevo and the fate of the area's diverse population is rapidly transforming into a proxy battlefield for the future and fortunes of the growing Muslim community of Western Europe. This fact directly affects the extent and nature of the assistance provided by several outside powers led by Iran to the local Muslim authorities.

Thus, Tehran and its allies are using the violence in Bosnia- Hercegovina as a springboard for the launching of a jihad in Europe. Consequently, the character of the armed struggle waged by the Muslims of Bosnia-Hercegovina -- against the Serbs and Croats, as well as against their own brothers -- has been determined as much by the "needs" of the Muslim world as by the peculiarities of the local situation.

* * *

The history of Yugoslavia's Muslim community has been one of victimization by the Slavic majority. However, Bosnia- Hercegovina's Muslims have long been considered by the Islamist leadership in the Middle East to be ripe as a vehicle for the expansion of Islamic militancy into Europe. Additionally, the pro-Arab policies of the Tito government during the 1960s further enhanced the situation of the Muslims as radical Arab movements were permitted to conduct active propaganda in Yugoslavia, and during the 1970s were even allowed to recruit volunteers to join Palestinian terrorist organizations such as the PLO. Yugoslavia also provided extensive military assistance to the Arab world and numerous experts and technicians, many of them Muslims, spent long periods in the Middle East.

That said, although Muslims constitute only some 40% of the population of Bosnia-Hercegovina, they have defined the character of the republic because of the peculiarities of the power structure that was imposed during Marshal Tito's rule. Further, beginning in the mid-1970s, Islam began experiencing an unexpected renaissance in communist Yugoslavia. This was a direct outcome of Belgrade's close relations with the Arab world and involvement in Arab radical politics.

Indeed, the 1980s saw a marked increase in the number of mosques throughout Bosnia-Hercegovina in the wake of a revival of Islamic life. Increasingly, a growing number of local youth were sent to higher Islamic studies in the Middle East, especially Iran, where the classes in schools for radical mullahs included some 250 Bosnians a year. This interrelationship developed so much so that by the summer of 1984, Yugoslav security authorities had become worried about the growing internal security risks posed by illegal immigration, particularly of Muslims from Albania and the Middle East.

Thus, as of the early-1980s, the Belgrade authorities were aware of the "increasing militancy" of the Muslim population and their growing contacts with Iran and other radical Arab states. Belgrade recognized that having become a base for "Muslim terrorists" operating against the West, the Yugoslav Muslim youth were drawn into cooperation with, and emulation of, Arab terrorists.

Consequently, in due course, Islamic revolutionary violence began in 1983-84, albeit on a small scale, but the precedents were established. For example, 18 Muslims were convicted in Bosnia in August 1983 for "political and religious activism" which amounted to membership in a clandestine terrorist/subversion Islamist organization, including contacts with Islamic Jihad. In March 1984, a Muslim terrorist threw a home-made bomb into a crowd in a local municipality. He committed this act of terrorism as a protest against the authorities' refusal to recognize Islam and the suppression of religion by the communist authorities in the township. It is important to note that these and other fledgling Islamic terrorist activities received assistance from the Middle East, especially Palestinian organizations. However, most of the militants did not act in the name of Islamic solidarity because they did not want to adversely affect the extensive support they were receiving from Belgrade.

Meanwhile, the Muslim youth of Bosnia-Hercegovina were being exposed to Islamist terrorism. The Syrian-Iranian terrorist campaign in Western Europe was conducted in the early-1980s under the cover of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Forces (LARF) from a forward base in Yugoslavia that included several Islamic Jihad operatives. Other Palestinian terrorist organizations operating in close cooperation with Syria and Iran were also using Yugoslavia as their own forward base as well as for launching operations by their international partners. Since 1987, Ahmad Jibril's "foreign division," optimized to conduct operations in the West, has been the primary operational channel of the international terrorist system controlled by Syria and Iran. The PFLP-GC had networks and offices in Yugoslavia that also housed HizbAllah operatives. "Islamic Jihad's planners expect to be able to use Yugoslavia as their base in Eastern Europe if only because of the assured sympathy of the Bosnian Muslims," John Laffin observed in 1988.

Many of these Islamist terrorists established contacts with the local Muslim communities and began to actively recruit supporters from their ranks. Tehran was very encouraged by the local welcome, for by then, many Bosnians who had undergone extensive terrorist training and Islamist indoctrination in Lebanon and Iran were returning home, where they immediately began organizing and radicalizing the local communities. However, with the growing intra-ethnic tensions in Yugoslavia, many of the Iranian controlled and trained terrorists and their local support networks gradually shifted their attention away from Islamic Revolution to supporting their Muslim brethren in the more local struggle against the Serbs and Croats.

Meanwhile, Iran has also consolidated a Muslim leadership network supportive of Tehran's world view. At the center of the Iranian system in Europe is Bosnia-Hercegovina's President, Alija Izetbegovic, "a fundamentalist Muslim and a member of the Fida'iYan-e Islam organization," who is committed to the establishment of an Islamic Republic in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The Fida'iyan-e Islam group advocates the struggle for the establishment of Islamic rule wherever Muslims live, and as early as the late-1960s, had already recognized the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeyni and maintained close cooperation with his people.

Indeed, in 1970, Izetbegovic published his Islamic Declaration stating his world view: "There can be no peace or coexistence between Islamic faith and non-Islamic faith and non-Islamic institutions," he wrote. "The Islamic movement must and can take power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough, not only to destroy the non- Islamic power, but to build up a new Islamic one." After Khomeyni's triumph in Tehran, Izetbegovic renewed his call to implement his Islamic Declaration, began organizing an Islamist political movement, and within a few years was thrown in jail for subversion.

Later, in early-May 1991, Alija Izetbegovic made an official visit to Tehran where he reiterated his long-held views about the future of his country. He was described by Tehran as "a Muslim believer whose party is the strongest political organization in Bosnia-Hercegovina and rallies Yugoslav Muslims" to the Islamic cause. While in Tehran, Izetbegovic emphasized that "Islam has very deep roots in Bosnia- Hercegovina" which affects its ~ policies. Alija Izetbegovic also declared that Bosnia-Hercegovina was "anxious to expand" its diverse and comprehensive ties with Iran. In return, Iran promised massive financial assistance and other help to rejuvenate Bosnia's local economy. In Tehran, members of the Bosnian delegation emphasized the importance of the Islamic factor in generating Iranian investments in Bosnia-Hercegovina: "Muslim intellectuals in Yugoslavia believe that in the event of inevitable privatization of the Bosnia-Hercegovina's (sic) industry, the capital from the larger neighboring republics of Serbia and Croatia could flow into these industries and outvote Muslims in the republic's economy. This will lead to their political weakness, they fear, adding that Islamic countries' investments in the republican economy could change such unfavorable developments."

In addition to these economic considerations, special attention was paid to the expansion of religious and cultural ties, including expansion of the training of Yugoslav Muslims in Iranian schools as well as the translation and publication of key Islamic texts, including the basic Shi'ite works, in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Tehran, needless to say, has been enthusiastic concerning Islamic-cultural assistance.

Later, in pursuit of his goal to establish an Islamic Republic, Izetbegovic also visited Libya in the summer of 1991, seeking financial and political support. "At present," he explained upon returning to Sarajevo, "I do not ask our brothers in the Muslim states for weapons, only political support. However, if the civil war expanding in our country endangers our Muslim brothers, then many things can happen."

* * *

However, with the changes in the military situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina, primarily the tightening of the siege on Sarajevo, and the off- again, on-again cooperation between the Muslims and the local Croat forces under Mate Boban, (who repeatedly cuts off the supply of weapons to the Muslim forces), Izetbegovic became convinced that it was necessary to undertake drastic measures of a kind that had long been advocated by Tehran. The Iranians had argued that before any escalation in the fighting could take place, it was imperative to either gain the sympathies of the West or, at the least, to ensure that there existed a legitimate excuse that would enable the presentation of any action undertaken by Muslim forces as justifying revenge for Serbian atrocities.

To that end, beginning in May 1992, a special group of Bosnian Muslim forces, many of whom had served with Islamist terrorist organizations, began committing a series of atrocities, including "some of the worst recent killings," against Muslim civilians in Sarajevo "as a propaganda ploy to win world sympathy and military intervention." For example, around June 20, Serbian troops besieging Sarajevo engaged a detachment of Muslim special forces dressed in Serbian uniforms who were on their way to attack the Muslim sector from within the Serbian lines. Such an attack, if successful, would have been attributed to the Serbs. As it was, some of these Muslims troops were killed in the brief encounter and a few were captured.

Moreover, a UN investigation concluded that several key events, mostly strikes against civilians, that had galvanized public opinion and governments in the West to take bolder action in Bosnia-Hercegovina, were in fact "staged" for the Western media by the Muslims themselves in order to dramatize the city's plight. Investigations by the UN and other military experts count among these self-inflicted actions the "bombing of the bread queue" (May 27), the "shelling" of Douglas Hurd's visit (July 17), the "explosion in the cemetery" (August 4), and the killing of ABC producer David Kaplan (August 13). In all these cases, Serbian forces were out of range, and the weapons actually used against the victims were not those claimed by the Bosnian authorities and the Western media.

However, despite their putting the plight of Sarajevo on the front page of the world's newspapers, these provocations ultimately failed to deliver the results anticipated by Izetbegovic. The West proved unwilling to stop the Serbian onslaught and to relieve Bosnia-Hercegovina's dependence on Croatia for access to the outside world. Thus, when these actions largely failed, beyond symbolic gestures, Sarajevo turned to Tehran for assistance in undertaking more drastic measures.

Indeed, Iran has markedly intensified its political involvement in Bosnia-Hercegovina since late-June [1992]. From the very beginning, Tehran argued that the plight of the Muslims was an issue directly affecting the entire Muslim world. Therefore, Tehran argued, "the governments ruling Islamic countries should take measures to prevent genocide of Muslims in Europe." Although the West acknowledged that the deterioration of the situation in Sarajevo called for a military intervention, nothing was done by the UN. "It seems that Muslims have been left with no choice but to take practical measures to face the brutal Serbs and to make up for the indifference shown by the fraudulent West.... It can even include facilities for the participation of volunteers in the war against the Serbs to defend Muslims."

Additionally, Tehran warned that "if Muslims did not rise up today and take a practical, serious and deterrent measures, the Serbs would commit similar crimes in other Muslim- dwelling areas of former Yugoslavia and no Muslim would be immune in any part of Europe." This was the first introduction of the theme that would characterize the Iranian approach, namely, that the situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina was a microcosm of the real situation of Islam in Europe.

[...] They argued that the "blatant discrimination" exercised against the Muslims is but a part of a global conspiracy against Islam which necessitates urgent steps "to mobilize Arab and Islamic countries to help rescue Muslims wherever they are."

Tehran's perception of the challenges facing it was outlined authoritatively by Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Hussayn Khamene'i in a sermon on 29 July 1992. The essence of Khamene'i's sermon was to warn Tehran, and the entire Muslim world, that they were on the verge of a fateful confrontation between Islam and the West, a confrontation that might result in the expansion of the Muslim world by force of arms. In this context, Khamene'i paid special attention to the plight of the Muslim community in Bosnia-Hercegovina because he considered its suppression an integral part of a US-led Western/Christian campaign "against the Islamic wave throughout the world." In short, Khamene'i's thesis was that with the Church actively supporting the campaign against Islam, the entire Muslim world, led by Iran, must mobilize to support the Muslims of Yugoslavia and Western Europe as a whole.

In Europe, Khamene'i explained, the West wants the Serbs to "destroy that group of Muslims in that region. ... They do not want an independent Muslim country in the heart of Europe." Furthermore, the support of the Christian West to the Serbs is intended to further the ultimate anti-Muslim objectives of the entire European community. "They want to destroy them completely so that a Muslim entity does not remain in Europe. ... In the future, any Muslim entity in Europe, either as a nation or as a large minority within another country poses a threat. That is why they put so much pressure."

Khamene'i pointed out that it is Iran's sacred obligation to help the Muslims of Bosnia-Hercegovina not just because of their responsibility for the Muslims of the entire world, but also in view of Iran's national defense considerations. [...] The entire Muslim world should rally to the help of Europe's Muslims, and Iran will "give them every kind of support," Khamene'i declared.

Subsequently, the Bosnian Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic visited Tehran in early-August [1992] and met with several senior officials. He hailed Iran's resolute position and the inspiration of the Islamic Revolution to the struggle of Bosnia-Hercegovina. In his meeting with Silajdzic, Hashemi- Rafsanjani "declared the Islamic Republic of Iran's readiness to extent any form of assistance to that country." He vowed that Iran would provide Bosnia-Hercegovina with all its fuel requirements. Silajdzic was also told that "experiences have shown that international organizations have not acted in the interests of Muslims and that it is Muslims who should care about themselves."

[...]

Toward this end, "Iran's specific proposal is the formation of an Islamic army comprising volunteer forces from the Muslim world to defend and support Bosnia-Hercegovina's Muslims ..."

[...].

Iran immediately began to study the problem and closely examine the situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Consequently, in early-August, a high-level Iranian fact-finding delegation led by Ayatollah Ahmad Janati was dispatched to Sarajevo. (Janati is a member of the Council of Guardians and a veteran supervisor of terrorist activities including the US and Canada in the late 1980s). The Janati delegation traveled to Sarajevo via Zagreb and crossed the front lines on the way into the Muslim heartland.[...]

Upon returning from Sarajevo, Janati stopped in Vienna. There he proclaimed the supply of "weapons for self-defense" to the Muslims as Iran's highest priority. "It is the truth and a reality that only such help can save the lives of the Bosnians. We have already thought about that. Our foreign ministry has invited all foreign and defense ministers of the Islamic world to attend a conference on military aid in Tehran. If all countries reach agreement, we will be the first to provide this kind of help."

Returning to Iran, Janati urged Tehran to take action, declaring that "the people of Bosnia-Hercegovina badly need arms to defend their lives and property and that Islamic countries should assist the people by rapidly forming a common army and supplying arms to avert a great human tragedy in the region. ... Their major need is arms. They have resisted truly courageously. They are under great pressure now, but they lack enough arms to defend themselves and are worried about their fate; if they do not receive assistance, they may soon be defeated and their resistance may break. Something should be done, and the Islamic Republic should take the first step and overcome their needs and problems by every possible means. If the Islamic countries can form a common army or extend joint arms assistance to them, they can preserve themselves."

In a sermon a few days later, Janati further warned that if the Muslims were defeated, they "will launch a guerrilla movement" which would engulf all Europe. He added that in his discussions with Bosnian officials, "their main demand was for weapons." Janati emphasized that the fighting against Muslims in Bosnia-Hercegovina must be considered a major phase in the unfolding struggle for Islam. [...] Janati concluded that "the only solution [is] that Islamic states must form a joint Islamic army and give them military and arms assistance. If Islam is to be sovereign there can be no other way." Subsequently, in late-August, Tehran formally declared the situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina to be a test-case for the validity of its grand strategy.

Needless to say, it would not take long for the implementation of Janati's recommendations to commence. Indeed, since the early-summer [1992], Muslim troops had been reinforced by "volunteers" from the ranks of several Islamist organizations. They arrived in Bosnia-Hercegovina in answer to Tehran's call to fight the Jihad and eager to commit martyrdom in the name of Islam. They included highly trained and combat proven volunteers from Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon (HizbAllah), and several other Arab countries. Most of the Arab volunteers had previously fought in the ranks of Palestinian terrorist organizations in Lebanon and the resistance in Afghanistan, and in fact General Amin Pohara of the Bosnian Army confirmed that some 180 mujahideen had arrived from the Middle East by mid- August. (Iranian sources insist that their number is more than one thousand.)

Additionally, the flow of arms to the Muslim forces in Bosnia-Hercegovina also increased markedly during August as the Iranians flew into Zagreb strategically important weapons systems as part of their emergency "humanitarian" assistance program. At the outset, Tehran began supplying the Muslim forces with high-quality weapons that might offset the tactical superiority of the Serbian forces. The weapons supplied included "several" Stinger SAMs provided by the Afghan Mujahideen to Tehran for further distribution to "brothers in need."

Since then, massive quantities of weapons needed to create a larger army capable of waging mid-intensity wars have been shipped from Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. For example, a 32 truck weapons convoy arrived at Konjic in southwestern Bosnia in early-August on its way to Sarajevo, and a 60 truck weapons convoy arrived there in late-August. The convoys arrived from the ports of Split and Rijeka, both in Croatia. Additional shiploads of weapons have already arrived in Ploce and are being unloaded for delivery by truck convoy. However, the security of these lines of communications is extremely precarious even though Zagreb agreed "to close our eyes" and "not ... make any problems" to the flow of weapons to the Muslim forces.

As before, the implementation of the Croatian policy would be entrusted to the local Croat forces under Mate Boban and would be placed in position to block the convoy traffic while on the territory of Bosnia-Hercegovina. Indeed, in late-June, Boban's forces near Busovaca seized a 38 truck weapons convoy that was on its way to Sarajevo. Moreover, Sarajevo's agreement with Zagreb hinges on Izetbegovic's surrendering to Croatia 17 Muslim ex-Yugoslav Army senior officers now holding key positions in his Muslim forces in order to stand trial for war crimes they had committed while in the military during the fighting against Croatia. However, it is highly unlikely that Izetbegovic can afford to hand over senior Muslim officers for a show trial and certain execution at the hands of the Christian Croats. Thus, the siege of Sarajevo and the suppression of the local Muslim population will continue with no end in sight.

* * *

Tehran's warnings to Western Europe are not an idle threat. The greatest potential threat comes from the Muslim emigre communities in Western Europe. Even without outside agitation, the rise of the Islamic communities in Europe will be a potential source of Western social instability in the next decade.

In Western Europe, Muslim communities will constitute 25% of the population by the year 2000. (At present, Muslims constitute 7-9% of the population in the UK, and 8-10% in France.) Moreover, the Muslim emigre community, and especially the younger, European born, generation is rapidly becoming militant Islamist in outlook. Since the mid-1980s, Iran and the HizbAllah have successfully conducted a massive recruitment drive among these locally-born Muslim youth and many were provided with advance terrorist and clandestine activity training in Iran. Thus, there is in the making a formidable threat because, by a cautious estimate in mid- 1991, about 3%-6% of the over 8 million Muslim emigres in Western Europe were already actively involved in Islamist activities.

However, the fundamental source of the problem lies in the irreconcilable difference between Muslim society and the West European environment. The Islamists in Europe have fundamental and uncompromising differences with the society in which they live. The Islamists consider democracy as "the worst scourge the West inflicted on Muslim society in order to destroy it from the inside and annihilate its ancestral values," and are therefore determined to strike it at its core.

Specifically, the religious freedom in the West are a source of trouble. Islam is a communal way of life and the vast majority of emigrants and their European born children live together isolated from, and hostile to, the society around them. The separation of Church and State is contradictory to the tenets of Islam and hence a constant source of tension. The Muslim communities demand to be allowed to retain all aspects of Islam, including laws unacceptable in the West (such as blood vengeance and the killing of females for in revenge for the desecration of family honor, to name but a few), and argue for making Islamic law superior to the civil law of the land. For Muslims, the mere acceptance of the Western law of the land means a contradiction of Islam's tenet that the Sharia is the world's supreme law.

Thus, in early-1992, Mohand Khellil, a journalist and sociologist living in Paris, observed that despite the seeming integration into French society of the younger, second generation of Muslim emigrants, "on every side there seems to be genuine agreement that the Maghrib immigrants are unassimilable." Furthermore, the economic situation in Europe and the oppression in North Africa ensures that they will not return home. Consequently, the Muslim communities of Western Europe are drawn together against a perceived all- encompassing external threat from the society in which they live. The flow of largely Islamist emigrants from Algeria and Tunisia only helps swell a militant community already "resistant to integration." Thus, the growing tension between the Muslim communities and liberal society may very well result in an Islamist outburst and even armed rebellion.

Thus, sentiments conducive to Islamist terrorism are returning to Western Europe as a direct outcome of the tremendous escalation of the Islamist struggle against the West in Europe. A large segment of the Islamic communities all over Western Europe "openly expresses the ambitious program of radical Islamists engaged in total war against the West." For example, Salah Tamimi, a Tunisian-born activist and a university student in Paris, justifies his presence in France as a commitment to the Jihad: "I am here in France to learn from the inside out the system of the West that oppresses us, to learn its science, techniques, and tricks. I will then be better equipped to fight it ... Even by violence."

Meanwhile, the vast majority of the huge North African community in France ardently supports the fundamentalist FIS [Islamic Salvation Front] in Algeria. Indeed, there is growing evidence of clandestine organizational activities in the Muslim community in several French cities in preparation for the launching of a terrorist campaign in revenge for the support and encouragement given by the French Government to the suppression of FIS in Algeria. The local HizbAllah networks assist these clandestine preparations, and the Islamists' call to avenge the carnage against the Muslims of Bosnia-Hercegovina merely intensifies the turmoil of the already agitated and committed community.

Indeed, the European Islamists have a good organization with state support. As early as 1991, there had already been a surge in the preparations for terrorist activities of the Sunni Islamist clandestine organizations, all of them off- shoots of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Western Europe. At present, some 47 Sunni organizations in Western Europe are organized under the umbrella of the Islamic Liberation Party ŐHizb al-Takhrir al-Islami or PLIć with headquarters near Hamburg. In mid-1991, there were some 200 PLI operatives in France alone, all of them well equipped, including having several passports with different names for each key activist.

Meanwhile, as of the summer of 1991, Iran has already begun active preparations for long-term terrorist operations in Western Europe. Most important, in this context, is the advanced terrorist training provided to Islamists from Tunisia, Algeria, France, and Belgium in camps in Sudan. In late-May 1991, the first course for "65 mujahideen who will act as a nucleus for Islamic action in Europe" was launched. In addition to extensive terrorists and clandestine training, they also receive psychological and Islamic tempering and conditioning courses so that they can sustain clandestine operations under conditions of "materialistic Western slavery" without losing their identity and Islamic zeal.

In the fall of 1991, these efforts were expanded with the establishment of "the Islamic Tide Brigade in Europe," the organization responsible for training and preparing Islamist terrorists for long-term operations in Western Europe, under the direct supervision of the newly promoted Brig. Gen. Bakri Hassan Salih, the Chief of Security Agency of the Sudanese RCC. The first target countries are France, Belglum, Holland, and the UK. In late-November 1991, a group of 16 Tunisian terrorists, a high quality assassination squad, left Khartoum for Paris and Tunis. Additional groups have begun penetrating Western Europe since February 1992.

Thus, the rejuvenation of the PLI as a terrorist organization since the fall of 1991 has come atop the establishment of a comprehensive terrorist infrastructure controlled by Syria and Iran and serving the organizations they sponsor. Between the local assets and the newly inserted detachments, the Islamist radical organizations associated with Iran and Syria have a vibrant system of activists and supporters that constitutes a ready base for operations. They also have large caches of weapons and explosives safely hidden all over Europe. There are several car-bombs, mainly "recycled" European cars so that the licence plates and serial numbers are genuine, stashed away in several cities. A solid command and control system that belongs to the sponsoring states, mainly Iran, tightly supervises these preparations. The overt control system is exercised through diplomatic channels. The covert system is exercised through student and cultural associations used by intelligence agents and operatives. These networks can be used for deniable operations without directly involving the controlling states.

***

The current crisis in former Yugoslavia may well become the catalyst that will push the Muslim communities of Western Europe into waging a terrorist campaign as an avenging Jihad. The horrors and carnage of the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina are brought home every night to the Muslims of Western Europe by the television news. Consequently, Tehran's argument that the suppression of the Bosnia-Hercegovina Muslims is the first step in a major campaign waged the Western governments aimed at destroying the Muslim communities of Europe is in agreement with, and strongly reinforces, the beliefs already held by these emigre communities. The stream of graphic images of violence in Sarajevo makes inescapable their confronting the possibility that this will be the fate of all Muslims in Europe, and therefore Iranian propaganda finds a receptive audience in an already radicalized community.

Thus, as the siege Sarajevo continues to intensify, so does the radicalization of the Islamist world. Consequently, the great threat caused by the continued carnage in Bosnia- Hercegovina comes from the foreign volunteers and the numerous local Muslims trained in the Middle East who are capable of carrying their avenging Jihad into the heart of Western Europe, as advocated and urged by Iran, their ideological source and sponsoring patron. These terrorists are highly trained and qualified for such operations. Moreover, when deploying into Europe they will encounter a vast local network of Islamist terrorists and operatives living in the midst of an emigre Muslim community already radicalized and agitated to be on the verge of an indigenous uprising against the West European governments.

Now, further exacerbated by the massive media coverage of the plight of the Muslims of Bosnia-Hercegovina, these Muslim communities are highly motivated and ready to provide help in the rapid expansion and escalation of the new wave of anti- West Jihad advocated by Tehran.

by Yossef Bodansky & Vaughn S. Forrest

(This paper may not necessarily reflect the views of all of the Members of the Republican Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.)


NEXT:

[ ISLAM'S LEGIONS FLOOD BOSNIA ]

BACK TO:

[ Sarajevo breadline massacre ]
[ Devil's Triangle: America helps Jihad in Bosnia ]


Where am I? PATH:

Book of facts

History of the Balkans

Big powers and civil wars in Yugoslavia
(How was Yugoslavia dismantled and why.)

Proxies at work
(Muslims and Croats were only proxies of the big powers)

The Aftermath


The truth belongs to us all.

Feel free to download, copy and redistribute.

First posted: March 11, 1997
Last revised: December 8, 2003