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
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.
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.
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
. 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.
Bosnian Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic visited Tehran in early-August
 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
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
Needless to say, it would
not take long for the implementation of Janati's recommendations to commence.
Indeed, since the early-summer , 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
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
* * *
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
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
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
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.