Benjamin C. Works, Director
718 937-2092; www.siri-us.com;
--Speak the Truth and Shame The Devil--
May 20, 1999
ARCHIVE: KLA Ideology, Leadership, Objectives, Fundraising
Note: This archive, intended as a research resource, includes copyrighted material included "for fair use only."
This map may be found at www.aacl.com. It demonstrates Albanian irredentist claims to large swaths of Greece, Macedonia and Montenegro, including the capital cities of the latter two.
The inclusions in this collection explore a number of important factors about mixing Islam, neo-Nazism, Maoism, Marxism, Ritual Vendetta, and their Mafia's drug money into a guerrilla movement-liberation army.
Greater Albania is a notion supported by American Albanians as well as the KLA and others. As in all revolutions, the moderates get overtaken by the radicals and the gunmen usually take power from the politicians. It must be understood that to many, the Albanian independence movement supporting the KLA is now effectively a Muslim movement bent on erecting a purified Muslim state and that all the doctrinal contradictions among the KLA's elements, and even between the KLA and Rugova's League for a Democratic Kosovo, are just means to the end of consolidating support. The real agenda is xenophobic, chauvinistic and built on clan-collectivism (a natural socialism) and Islamic jihad (articles 6 & 16). Catholic Croatia continues to assist the KLA in the joint-objective of carving Serbia down to size (article #17).
Even as the Albanian delegation in Paris was "poised" to accept the agreement on March 16, Commander "Remi" of the KLA plus Joseph DioGuardi (Albanian American Civic League) and Adem Demaci (charismatic marxist KLA ideologue) advocated continuing an all-out war of liberation (exhibits 18, 19).
The Albanian majority's misrule in Kosovo from 1974-1989 began as simple chauvinism --the tyranny of the majority. It's political agitation from 1981 began, perhaps, not unlike Iran's middle class movement which demanded a greater voice in government, though in the Kosovo case the students wanted independence. By now though, the extremists have turned the Kosovo movement into an overtly Islamic fundamentalist jihad combined with ethnic politics directed even against other Islamic minority communities. This is part of a wider Islamic radical movement with an interesting intellectual epicenter in London as two of the articles demonstrate.
Some biographical material on KLA leaders is included. Also included is important biographical background on President Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia, who was an open Nazi collaborator in World War II and who, through fraud, erected an Islamic neo-fascist Islamic state in the rump of Bosnia which Sarajevo controls under protection of NATO occupation forces.
1. The New York Times, Monday, July 12, 1982
Exodus of Serbians Stirs Province in Yugoslavia
"Serbs .... have... been harassed by Albanians and have packed up and left the region.
"The [Albanian] nationalists have a two-point platform, ...first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania. "
"Some 57,000 Serbs have left Kosovo in the last decade... The exodus of Serbs is admittedly one of the main problems... in Kosovo..."
2. The New York Times: Kosovo Rebels and Their New Friend
BYLINE: By CHRIS HEDGES ;
DATELINE: VICIDIOL, Albania, June 9 1998
The family farm of the former Albanian President, Sali Berisha, who was driven from power last year, has become a base for the Kosovo Liberation Army, an ethnic Albanian group fighting for independence for their province from Serbia.
Mr. Berisha's decision to turn over his birthplace to the rebels is part of his skillful manipulation of the crisis in Kosovo to mount a political comeback, Western diplomats say.
His return to power would not be welcomed by Washington, which blames his administration for Albania's economic melt-down and descent into lawlessness. The unrest began with the collapse of pyramid schemes, many of them encouraged by the Government, that cost thousands of Albanians their savings.
The decision to back the armed movement in Kosovo could also push Albania toward open conflict with Belgrade and spread the fighting beyond Serbia's borders.
"The increased violence in the border region is counterproductive," said Daan W. Everts, the representative in Albania for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. "Instead of reducing militancy, it has increased it inside Kosovo and Albania. The more violence, the more militancy."
The stone farmhouse here, two miles south of Tropoje, with a red tile roof and small, narrow windows, was surrounded this morning with dozens of pack horses and 30 young men who were being issued AK-47 assault rifles from an underground bunker in a field. Those interviewed said they were preparing to cross the rugged border to join the rebels and fight Serbian troops.
Mr. Berisha's elderly cousin, Besnik Berisha, who had lived with his wife and family in the house for several years, moved out a few days ago, the men said. A newly built wooden fence around the compound and piles of assault rifles and ammunition boxes gave the place the feel of a fortress.
The rebels, who move in darkness across the border into Kosovo, spoke bitterly of the request by the Prime Minister, Fatos Nano, Mr. Berisha's political rival, that NATO troops be stationed along the border on the Albanian side.
"We don't want NATO troops here," said a young, bearded leader who would not give his name. "The deployment of NATO troops on the border will only assist the Serbs and hurt our struggle. If NATO troops go into Kosovo, we will welcome them and respect any arrangement made by them, but they have no place in Albania."
Several hundred young ethnic Albanians, with tons of weapons and supplies, have entered Kosovo during the last week with Kosovar guerrillas based here. The influx drew heavy Serbian shelling and blasts from 20-millimeter antiaircraft canon, which pounded the mountain range along the border on Monday night and today. Thousands of refugees have fled Kosovo for Albania and Macedonia.
Mr. Berisha's decision to turn the border region under his control into a staging area for the guerrilla army is popular here in the north, where many Albanians have relatives in Kosovo and have accepted refugees into their homes.
Prime Minister Nano, who had condemned the armed movement in Kosovo, has begun referring to the guerrilla movement as "armed resistance" and the struggle as "legitimate self-defense."
The arms trafficking, paid for by ethnic Albanians in Germany and Switzerland, is enriching Mr. Berisha's supporters and swelling his power base. The trafficking, which underlines the fact that Mr. Nano's administration lacks control overwhole sections of the country, has also welded the growing rebel army in Kosovo to Mr. Berisha's political party.
Mr. Berisha refers to the fighting in Kosovo as a holy war and has called on ethnic Albanians to "defend their homes and their land." He has called Mr. Nano's Government an "enemy of the Albanian nation" for failing to support the rebel cause. He defines the "Albanian nation" as including not only Albania but also Kosovo and western Macedonia, which itself is dominated by ethnic Albanians. Mr. Berisha refers to the Serbian forces as "barbarians" and the rebels as "blessed."
Albania has been flooded with more than 10,000 refugees. A few hundred new arrivals come each day. Local television runs frequent pictures, shown throughout the day in homes and coffee shops, of lines of refugees and weeping mothers speaking of suffering and violence inflicted by the Serbs.
The fighting in Kosovo, which has taken at least 250 lives since March, has intensified in recent days with attempts by the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, to force residents from villages along the border and raze what remains. The campaign is seen as an effort to thwart the arms smuggling and crossborder incursions by the guerrillas.
In the anarchy that swept Albania last year, mobs stole 650,000 weapons and tons of military equipment from local armories. Many weapons were smuggled into Kosovo and old stockpiles, as well as new purchases, are swelling the rebel inventory, Western diplomats said.
At the same time, armed gangs with assault rifles in the trunks of their cars roam freely. The police and local officials are corrupt or powerless, and factories and stores, looted and gutted last year in the upheaval, stand idle and deserted. Cars are stopped on the roads during the day and stolen by brigands, and there are frequent shoot-outs in the dusty village streets to settle feuds and rivalries.
Copyright by The New York Times, June 10, 1998
3. Liberation: UÇK at the heart of radicalisation
Within a year, the Kosovo Liberation Army has became impossible to ignore
by Marc Semo -- Liberation
Thursday January 21, 1999
With its combatants dressed in flamboyant new uniforms, decorated with an eagle, the Kosovo Liberation Army (UÇK, for Ushtrija Çlirimtare e Kosoves) is from now on a reality impossible to ignore. However, just a year ago, it consisted only of a small group claiming a few assaults on police headquarters, murders of Serb policemen and executions of " collaborators ".
The first public appearance of the Kosovar guerrillas dates back to November 1997: armed and hidden behind ski-masks, they escorted the coffin of a teacher killed by the Serbs in the village of Drenica, the plateau in the centre of Kosovo and ancient bastion of the struggle for independence of this province of southern Serbia with its 90% Albanian population. There, a few months later, in February 1998, the Belgrade special forces launched a vast operation in order to eliminate Adem Jashari and his comrades, considered to be the hard core of the UÇK. The entire family clan, including the children, were killed (85 died). The war in Kosovo had begun.
The writer Ibrahim Rugova, leader of the moderate Kosovars, denounce the UÇK at the time as "a creation of the Serb security services". Then it have recognised that they himself be of "a group of citizen defend their hearth ". Tired of the scant results of the strategy of peaceful mass resistance that the " president " of Kosovo embodied and of indifference of the international community, more and more of Kosovars, especially the young, opted for the armed struggle "because it is the only language the Serbs understand ".
Today, in spite of the military setbacks it suffered last summer, the UÇK, which claims to command some 30,000 combatants, once again controls most of the countryside outside the main roads. Last spring, the writer Adem Demaçi, the "Mandela of Kosovo" who lingered for twenty-eight years in a Serb gaol, became its political representative in Pristina.
Nonetheless the organisation remains in many ways an enigma. Opaque in its structures, easily totalitarian in its methods, prohibiting in its strongholds all the Albanian parties which it denounces as "a useless luxury", its commanders with their unreconstructed wooden language at the start used to greet one another with raised fists. The UÇK remained largely true to the Maoist origins of its founders, even if all Albanian ultranationalists now feel represented by it.
The original core was made up of militants who were fascinated by the unadulterated Marxism of Enver Hoxha in nearby Albania. They took part in the studentsâ protest of Pristina of 1981 in favour of the creation of a republic of Kosovo, and were imprisoned by the local communist authorities consisting of Albanians of origin. The statute of autonomy was undone by Slobodan Milosevic in 1989, after which they departed into exile in Switzerland, Germany or Sweden.
There, as Yugoslavia fell apart, they created the military organisation that grew thanks to the financial assistance of the diaspora. Weapons as well as volunteers arrived and continue to arrive through northern Albania, where the UÇK has its rear bases in the mountains around Tropoja, stronghold of the former Albanian president, nationalist Sali Berisha.
"We want more than independence: the reunification of all the Albanians on the Balkans," affirmed Jakup Krasniqi, spokesman of the organisation, last July. Since the, they are clearly mincing their words, but their radicalism frightens the West. And it balks at the idea of military strikes, which would only help the UÇK on the ground. The movement on the other hand knows that even now that it is better armed and organised that last summer, it cannot hold its ground against the Serb military machine. Consequently, its aim is to shock public opinion as this is the only force deemed capable of sweeping aside the reticence in Western capitals. For several months, the Kosovar guerrilla has been pushing the Serbs across the fault line by multiplying its attacks against individual police officers. Thus, it tries to provoke a massive reaction by the forces of Milosevic. This strategy is classical: it doesnât necessarily mean that the UÇK is capable of any sinister set-up.
Translated from Albanian
Koha Jone (Tirana) 3 February 1999
4. Albania's Disclosure
by Enton Abilekaj
It has been implied, but not been publicly declared, that the UCK [Kosovo Liberation Army] was under Tirana's command. But yesterday it was made clear that the UCK is not a spontaneous army or an army commanded from Prishtina and directed by Demaci; it is, rather, a well thought out movement, with bases n the only Albanian state, and set on a clear long-term objective, which is the total independence of Kosova.
All this was unwillingly made clear by Foreign Minister Paskal Milo and the Albanian authorities, which, afraid of the anger of the Great Powers, forced the UCK to go to Rambouillet. Thus, Demaci has been put out of play. Even if he wanted to be the UCK's voice at the negotiating table, no one would have listened to what he had to say. The UCK has to find another political representative. It might be Krasniqi, its current spokesman. If not him, then the Kosovar army might well look for its representative in Tirana, which yesterday showed that it is the brain of the Albanian movement.
Yesterday's disclosure might be good, but it might also be a bad thing. The revelation that Tirana is the epicenter of the Albanian movement makes Albania an important factor for developments in the Balkans.
Albania can now boast of having control over the whole Albanian movement. The enthusiasm of the Great Powers has recently been dampened by insecurity as to who controls the UCK. But after Albania's assurances yesterday, the West has been quick to renew its warnings of NATO intervention. These warnings were rather lukewarm until yesterday morning.
On the other hand, Albania's control over the UCK has risks of its own. The Great Powers will immediately stop their support for the Albanian cause if they think Albania has lost control of the UCK. Besides, the existing ties between Tirana and the UCK might make Albania the target of a Serbian attack, which has been continuously talked about in recent weeks. The present time is very delicate, with everything hanging in the balance. Foreign policy is Albania's priority. But this policy has now been exposed by the disclosure of Tirana's colossal influence on all parties in Kosova. The history of Albania will change in a matter of weeks; no one knows whether it will be for the better or the worse. . . .
5. Reuters: Profiles of Kosovo Albanians at peace talks
PRISTINA, Serbia, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Following are profiles of the members of a 16-strong Albanian delegation to peace talks with the Serbian government in France, whose make-up was confirmed on Friday.
IBRAHIM RUGOVA - A 53-year-old Sorbonne-educated professor of Albanian literature with a big following in Kosovo and strong support from the West, particularly the United States. Known as the Gandhi of Kosovo for a decade-long campaign of passive resistance to Serbian rule involving the creation of parallel education and health systems after Belgrade stripped the province of its autonomy in 1989. Criticism for not standing up to the Serbs, and the rise of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) guerrilla group, have weakened his position. Elected ``president'' in 1992 in elections branded illegal by Belgrade, he was reconfirmed in 1998 in polls boycotted by other Albanian parties. Heads the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).
FEHMI AGANI - A 66-year-old sociology professor, a member of the Kosovo academy, he was one of five founder-members of the LDK, and coordinator of a previous team for peace negotiations that had several meetings with Western mediators. During the 1960s, called repeatedly for Kosovo to become the seventh republic of the old Yugoslav federation. Close to Rugova, but respected by all political groups.
BUJAR BUKOSHI - The 51-year-old urologist is ``prime minister'' of Kosovo Albanians' government-in-exile, set up in 1991, whose main function has been to channel funds from the Albanian diaspora back into the province. He lives in Germany.
EDITA TAHIRI - LDK's foreign affairs specialist, a 43-year-old engineering graduate who speaks English.
IDRIZ AJETI - A 72-year-old academic, regarded as Kosovo's leading authority on Albanian literature and language, his presence in the delegation is seen as largely symbolic.
REXHEP QOSJA - A 62-year-old writer and academic who heads the United Democratic Movement (LBD), an umbrella organisation grouping half a dozen parties which was founded last spring, has close links with the KLA and contains many disgruntled former LDK members. Long at odds with Rugova, the two made it up earlier this week.
HYDAJET HYSENI - A 45-year-old journalist and former student leader during demonstrations over living conditions in 1981, which turned into anti-regime protests, and a former vice-president of the LDK, now a member of Qosja's LBD.
BAJRAM KOSUMI - Former political prisoner, 38, considered to have the sharpest political brain in Kosovo. He is leader of the Parliamentary Party of Kosovo formerly headed by veteran leader Adem Demaci until he became the KLA's political representative and froze his party membership.
MEHMET HAJRIZI - Secretary of the LBD, the 50-year-old teacher is a former LDK vice-president.
VETON SURROI - Joining the delegation as an independent, non-party member, the 37-year-old son of a Yugoslav diplomat posted to Latin America was educated in U.S., Bolivia and Mexico and speaks excellent English. Publisher of Kosovo's leading Albanian-language daily Koha Ditore. Long a political activist, was founder member of the Parliamentary Party, formed the first trade unions in Kosovo, active in human rights organisations.
BLERIM SHALA - Another independent, the 35-year-old editor-in-chief of the leading Albanian-language political weekly Zeri is a moderate, and along with Surroi one of the younger generation likely to provide future political leaders. U.S. Kosovo envoy Chris Hill usually sees him when in town.
HASHIM THAQI - Heads the political directorate of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), has a university degree and is known for his love of literature. Thaqi's nom de guerre is 'Snake' and he is regarded as politically shrewd and ambitious.
JAKUP KRASNIQI - Spokesman for the KLA in Kosovo, a former history professor and political prisoner who, like many KLA leaders, was once a member of the LDK but abandoned its non-violent approach.
RAME BUJA - Once a member of the presidency of the LDK, also spent time in prison. He has a degree in Albanian literature and is viewed by Western diplomats as a relatively open-minded and flexible member of the KLA political directorate.
AZEM SYLA - A mysterious figure with the war name ``Big Uncle'' about whom most ethnic Albanians know little. Some regard him as the top military commander of the KLA. The only delegate member known primarily for military rather than political expertise. XHAVIT HALITI - Also a member of the KLA political directorate, was an early member of the guerrilla group with close ties to the ethnic Albanian diaspora in Switzerland and Germany.
Slobodna Bosna (Sarajevo) 31 October 1998
6. The Albanians Will Not Be Disarmed by Anybody Any More!
Interview with Adem Demaci, political representative of the Kosovo Liberation Army,
by Edina Becirevic and Merima Sijaric in Pristina
"I am like a candle. I am melting away slowly, but I light the way for others." These are the verses written by Adem Demaci, political representative of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Adem Demaci completed the course of study of World Literature in Belgrade. Beginning with 1958 he spent three years in prison in Sremska Mitrovica for ideological reasons; the core of his ideology was the awakening of the Albanian consciousness and the attempt to remove his people from the Serbian regime and Yugoslavia. When he heard the verdict about his imprisonment, Demaci said something that he does not support that openly today: "Kosovo should become part of Albania, and other options are not possible." This is why he was called by Serbian circles "the anti-Serbian devil," and the Albanians treated him as a saint at that time.
In 1961 Demaci was released from prison, and in 1962 he married Cemala against his will, because his mother -- as he says himself -- wanted a grandchild. Because of the difficult political situation in Kosovo, Adem Demaci formed an illegal movement in 1964, which had 300 members. The movement was called the "Revolutionary Movement for the Merger of Albanians." In the same year Adem Demaci was arrested and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment, which he spent in Nis and Pozarevac.
After 10 years Demaci was pardoned and released from prison on 8 June 1974. In 1975 he was arrested for the third time because of the same ideology and his publicly expressed opinion that socialism could not be developed by tyrannizing Albanians. He spent 15 more years in the prison of Stara Gradiska. Today Adem Demaci is the political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army. He is father of two children ·
The following article was published in the 23rd issue of Nida'ul Islam magazine http://www.islam.org.au),
April - May 1998]
7. Sheikh Muhammad Stubla, President of the Albanian Islamic Society in London:
"The latest massacres warn of a new genocide targeting about 2 million Muslimsin Kosova" (sic!)
Q: Can you please introduce your organisation to us?
The Albanian Islamic Society was established six years ago, due to the presence of an Albanian Islamic Community in Britain. The Society is involved in the field of calling to Islam and educating the Muslims about their religion. It also aims at reflecting the conditions of the Muslims in the Balkans.
Q: What is the current state of affairs in Kosova? And what led to the people's uprising against the Serb crusaders?
It is important to realise that the Serbian campaign of oppression and persecution against the Muslims of Kosova has not seized [sic! ceased] since its start in 1912, following the retreat of the Ottoman Turks from the Balkans, and after the Albanian Muslims were shattered into 5 countries as a result of the London Conference in 1913. The Albanian land was also divided into: 1- Albania, 2- Kosova, 3- A part in the Montenegro, 4- A part in Macedonia, 5- And a part in Greece.
The goal behind this division was to prevent the Muslims from having any strength in the Balkans, despite the fact that they are the original inhabitants of the region.
It is evident that the ethnical cleansing of the Muslims is the goal behind the Serb policies. This is because, since 1989, the Albanian Muslim people have been subjected to continuous pressures from the Serbian army and police, who do not spare any effort to try and wipe the Islamic roots of the region.
The latest massacres warn of a new genocide targeting about 2 million Muslims in this country, who committed no crime. They had simply strove to achieve their independent identity and practice their rights in their own homeland, and to rid themselves of the Serbian occupation which has been imposed on the people for a long period of time.
The Albanian Muslim people in Kosova declared their independence from Yugoslavia in 1992, at the same time that the other states declared their independence, such as Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia.
The Albanian people have decided to gain independence, and they are heading towards it, and they will not settle for any other solution, no matter what the price will be.
Q: Can you please detail the recent massacres which were reported in the Muslim villages in the centre of the country?
Hundreds of tanks, armoured vehicles and helicopters, as well as thousands of soldiers and police forces sieged the region of Drenica and its surrounding suburbs, and began the killing of unarmed Muslims. They killed the children, the women and the elderly. They destroyed houses and forced many to flee their land. They would enter the Muslim household, drink alcohol and sketch the crucifix on the walls. They also looted all the property of the Muslims.
Q: What is the "Kosova Liberation Army"? And what are its aims?
The "Kosova Liberation Army" is an Albanian Islamic organisation which is determined to defend itself, its people, its homeland, and its religion with all its capabilities and by all means. It therefore aims at liberating the homeland from the enemy, and achieving independence.
Q: How influential is the Islamic movement in Kosova? And what measures does it take to stress on the reality of this conflict, that it is a religious one?
98% of the Albanians in Kosova are Muslims, and their organisations are spread in all parts of the country; they have their Islamic Mashiyakha (religious board) which represent them. They also have numerous schools and a college for Islamic Studies. The Islamic Mashiyakha plays an effective and important role in the current critical conditions, and it does not spare any effort to achieve the will of the Albanian Muslim people who seek independence, and this is the only solution. No matter what the enemies of Islam strive in order to eliminate Islam and Muslims, only the opposite of what they plan will occur, because Islam has the strength, and everything else is falsehood.
Q: What are the latest news of the uprising, and how far did it spread?
The uprising in Kosova is developing. The Albanian Muslim people in Kosova have passed through critical times and were subjected to pressures, sieges and tight control. This is why they were not able to prepare for resisting the enemy which possesses all sorts of modern weaponry.
Q: Do the Muslim people receive any effective help from Albania, both the government and the people?
Albania has declared that it will not abandon Kosova. A large number of demonstrations, in fact a flood of them, erupted in all parts of Albania to show their alliance with their brothers in Kosova. Macedonia too witnessed such demonstrations, and so did Turkey. In fact, these demonstrations reached all parts of the world where Albanians reside, and this is a clear message to the whole world that the Albanians will not abandon their brethren in Kosova.
Q: What role does Greece play in the Kosova conflict?
Greece's role in paving the way for the Serb genocide is apparent, since it was behind the collapse of the Albanian government last year, which was later replaced by a government which is loyal to Greece, and which is weak and is not able, therefore, to take any serious measures towards the Kosova conflict. The Greeks, therefore, encourage the Serbs to invoke in their genocide against the Muslims.
The Greeks have always been the helping hand for the Serbs, and still provide them with continuous aid, just as they did during the Bosnian war. In fact, they were the only nation which did not respect the arms embargo in the former Yugoslavia. They kept on smuggling arms and weapons to the Serbs in order to uproot the Muslims from the Balkans.
Q: How do the Muslim people of Albania confront the occupying forces?
During the last few years, the Serbian police carried out search campaigns in all homes in search for arms, and they have stripped the people of their weapons. That is why they are now being subjected to genocide and massacres. The people, however, will never surrender to the enemy, and they will resist with all their ability.
Q: Did the Muslims in Kosova learn from the Bosnian experience?
The Muslim people realise the nature of the Serbs and their brutal goals, and what occurred in Bosnia Herzegovina is not new, in fact, the Serbs committed the same crimes during World War One and World War Two, and they are just repeating them at our time.
Q: Are there any final comments you wish to make?
The Albanian Muslim People in the state of Kosova are in urgent need for materialistic and moral support. However wishes to provide them with any aid can do so by transferring them to the account of the Albanian Islamic Society in Britain, and we will then forward them to the concerned parties.
Account Name: Albanian Islamic Society
Habibsons Bank Limited
55-56 St.James's Street, London SW1A 1LA
Acc No: 100498-001 - Sort Code: 40-50-83
Albanian Islamic Society
233 Seven Sisters Road, London N4 2DH
Charity Registration No.: 105 7193
Tel +44 171 263 7318
8. Alija Izetbegobic, Ideological Biography: from a BALKAN RESEARCH CENTRE MEMBERS BRIEF
--Forwarded by Professor J Peter Maher of Northeast Illinois University, March 2, 1999
Alija Izetbegovic: his background and philosophies. This is a briefing paper produced for Members of the 1992/3 Session of Australian Parliament; Monday, 21 December 1992.
[The report downplays the Young Muslim Nazi angle but the movement was also modeled on the Hitler Jugend, and supportered by Baldur von Shirach (sp?) --comment by AV in conveying this file.]
ALIJA IZETBEGOVIC - BRIEF
ALIJA IZETBEGOVIC, leader of the SDA (Muslim Party of Democratic Action), is currently the President of the Presidency of Bosnia-Hercegovina. He was born in Bosanski Samac in 1925, went to school in Sarajevo, and eventually completed law school; he had no schooling in religion within the Islamic school system.
Izetbegovicâs Early Years.
From his early youth, Izetbegovic dedicated himself to Islamic work. At 16 he became part of the group that founded religious-political organisation "Young Muslims" in Sarajevo, in 1940. From the very outset the "YM" was modelled on fundamentalist formations in the Islamic world, such as "As-subban al-muslimun" and "Al-ikwan al-muslimun". One of the five points of the "YM" programme insisted on the unity of the Muslim world through the creation of one large Muslim state. During the Second World War, the "YM" grew and become part of a network of Islamic religious groups headed by the highly conservative theologian of the Mehmed Handzic (1906-1944). The "YM" were not officially pro-fascist in orientation, though they were pursued for this by the Communist regime after 1945. There were, however, many individual examples of active collaboration with the Ustashi government.
Izetbegovic was arrested in 1946, for his significant participation in founding the Muslim journal MUDZAHID. He spent the next three years in jail for promoting hatred. At the same time, his friend Nedzib Sacirbegovic was given a four year prison sentence. Sacirbegovic is now Izetbegovicâs personal representative in the USA and his son Muhamed, is Bosnia-Hercegovinaâs ambassador to the UN. Izetbegovic has systematically promoted to top positions in the SDA people who were political "cadres" in the original "YM" movement.
In February 1949, the "Young Muslims" started an open revolt. This was short-lived. During subsequent trials held in Sarajevo in 1949, four members of the "YM" were sentenced to death and many were given prison sentences. After this lesson, Islamic activists stopped creating illegal groups and started working on Islamisation "from underneath". This meant penetrating the very pores of the systemâs institutions, including the formal Islamic community, because the activists considered their leaders to be traitors to the authentic Islamic cause. From the beginning Izetbegovic preferred Shiite Islamic radicalism in comparison to the Sunni.
Izetbegovicâs doctrine - "The Islamic Declaration"
Izetbegovic published many articles in Muslim journals (TAKVIM, GVIS, etc.), discussing the sad state of Islam and the necessity for its universal regeneration. In 1970, he wrote and distributed to people of confidence, his specific manifesto or programme for radical pan-Islam - the ISLAMIC DECLARATION.
In this booklet, similar to many of the same type circulating in the Islamic world, but the only one of its sort in Yugoslavia, Izetbegovic advocated:
- general Islamic moral and religious regeneration;
- a return to true Islamic values;
- (re)Islamisation of Muslims;
- creation and strengthening of different types of Islamic unity; struggle, up to and including Political and armed war for the creation of an Islamic order in countries where Muslims represent majority, or near majority of the population.
In line with his pan-Islamic and anti-secular thinking, Izetbegovic stated in the ISLAMIC DECLARATION that:
- there should be the establishment of "a united Islamic community from Morocco to Indonesia";
- with reference to the Turkish model - "Turkey as an Islamic country used to rule the world. Turkey as an imitation of Europe represents a third-rate country, the like of which there is a hundred in the world.";
- "there can be neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic social and political institutions";
-"the Islamic movement must and can, take over political power as soon as it is morally and numerically so strong that it can not only destroy the existing non-Islamic power, but also to build up a new Islamic one".
The ISLAMIC DECLARATION is imbued with a deep-set intolerance towards "the values of western civilisation", both capitalist and Marxist. It was re-published in 1990 in Sarajevo, testifying to the fact that its author, in the meantime, had in no way gone back on his positions, one of Islamic fundamentalism.
Muslims who gathered around the re-published ISLAMIC DECLARATION, were former members of the "YM" and new activists. They tie their activities to those of Muslim centres abroad - religious, political, propaganda and economic - above all with specific groups in Iran.
In his book ISLAM BETWEEN EAST AND WEST, published first in the USA (1984) and then Turkey, develops his views on the superiority of Islam over all other religions, cultures, ideologies and philosophies. This book was published in Serbo-Croatian, only in Belgrade in 1988; the Sarajevo authorities used all means to prevent it getting published at all.
Izetbegovic - leader of Bosniaâs Muslims
With a group of Muslim activists, Izetbegovic was arrested in 1983 for activities against the state. As the chief defendant, he was sentenced to fourteen years. In 1988, he was released after less than six years of prison.
After the fall of Communism in Yugoslavia, Izetbegovic became one of the leaders in the creation of the SDA party (1990), as a Muslim political party. He was elected President with the support of his old fellows from the ranks of the "YM" and the support of the young radicals. Izetbegovic gave his new, nominally national and civilian political party, a deeply-set religious connotation. As the first president of the collective Presidency of this young state, and by far the most influential Muslim politician on the soil of former Yugoslavia (having ousted his more popular rival Fikret Abdic), the strength of his position allows him to pursue his youthful (pan)Islamic dreams.
His internal and external policies changed tactfully as per the power struggle both inside and outside of Yugoslavia. But, from a strategic standpoint Izetbegovic has not budget an inch from his early conception that "every good Muslim, through his formal engagement, including the political one, at all times and all places, must above all serve Islam, by force if necessary". Because of Izetbegovicâs anti-Communism, the fundamentalist radicalism of the political programme contained in the ISLAMIC DECLARATION, went virtually unnoticed in most western countries.
As such, the rise of a native and authentic Islamic fundamentalist movement in Yugoslavia, was for the West, up until recently, an incomprehensible and inconceivable idea. For some, it remains so today.
This fanatical conviction of Izetbegovic - namely that the highest motive justifies every move, every decision, (including that of disposing of his predecessors), has definitely helped plunge Bosnia into the midst of an ethnic and religious war.
Summary. reprinted w/o permission for fair use only.
Commentary added by Balkan Research Center:
Only after one carefully considers the foregoing does it become understandable why, recently, Izetbegovic signed an agreement for the "cantonisation" of Bosnia with representatives of the European Community in Lisbon [in 1992], and cancelled it two days later. Izetbegovic will accept any kind of deal in order to get his way, he is not ashamed if it is proved that he lies, because he says "all is allowed for Islam".
Now it seems logical why Izetbegovic visited only radical Muslim countries during the first nine months of his presidency. Izetbegovic is a man who is willing to sacrifice half of the population to achieve his religious goals, to be the first president of an Islamic state in Europe, however small.
In the light of above facts one can better understand Izetbegovicâs statements of sympathy for the "Islamic Revolution" in Iran. Only Izetbegovic and Ayatollah Khomeini, out of all presidents who officially visited Turkey, did not pay respect to the grave of Ataturk, for them he was a traitor to fundamentalist Muslim principles.
9. Rearmed Kosovo Rebels Gear Up for Spring
Influx of Donations Helps Build Arsenal
By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, January 29, 1999; Page A22
POTEROV, Yugoslavia÷When Shukri Buja, a local commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army, walks around this village, he carries in his right hand a menacing, short-barreled weapon filled with squat shells packed with enough explosive to stop an armored vehicle in its tracks. His trim guards wear fresh black uniforms and carry new rifles loaded with armor-piercing bullets.
Other members of the separatist ethnic Albanian guerrilla force carry antitank missiles and submachine guns. Many wear lightweight, bulletproof jackets and vests filled with grenades and new ammunition. And most carry hand-held radios to stay in contact with their superiors.
All these weapons are among the signs that the rebel group, which has been fighting for Kosovo's independence from Serbia, is no longer a citizen army garbed in thin, ill-fitting jackets but a more disciplined and much more potent force.
On one side of the conflict are ethnic Albanians, who comprise 90 percent of the province's population, and on the other are the Serbs who govern it. Kosovo is a province of Serbia, Yugoslavia's dominant republic, and ethnic Albanians almost universally support its independence.
Since high-intensity warfare subsided into a lull here last autumn, the rebel group has been able to obtain more sophisticated arms and more of them, and it is training to use them more proficiently when the weather warms this spring, according to the insurgents and Western observers.
The guerrilla group's resupply effort has been aided by an infusion of millions of dollars in contributions from wealthy sympathizers in Europe and the United States, by the establishment of a new pipeline for arms deliveries through Hungary and by a successful campaign to buy sophisticated weaponry from profiteers in the Yugoslav army, these sources say.
"I think arms merchants all over the world are queuing up to sell to them now," said one Western diplomat, noting that a growing number of arms from developed countries are edging out the Chinese-made weapons that were smuggled into Kosovo from private stockpiles in Albania last year.
The buildup has sparked concern among diplomats that it could feed a destructive new conflict this year and embolden the guerrillas to rebuff Western attempts to bring about a peace settlement.
NATO is threatening to deploy troops in Albania to enforce a blockade of arms shipments to the Kosovo rebels if the guerrillas do not accept a U.S.-drafted peace accord, which will is to be made public in London today. But given how much new weaponry the rebels already have, a blockade seems unlikely to have much immediate impact on the group's ability to continue to fight.
Under a new strategy adopted in recent months, the group has been undertaking largely guerrilla-style hit-and-run attacks against garrisons and convoys of Serbian Interior Ministry paramilitary forces and Yugoslav army troops, instead of trying to defend vast areas against assaults by government mechanized units. More than 15 government troops have been killed in such ambushes since last October.
The risk for the Kosovo Liberation Army is that ambushing and killing government troops will provoke security forces to continue taking their revenge on unarmed civilians, as they apparently did in a Jan. 15 attack on the southern village of Racak, where 45 ethnic Albanian civilians were gunned down.
But Buja and other guerrilla leaders say they will not be deflected by such attacks. "I'm very sorry to know that this is the only road we have to take," said Buja, 33. "My army and my people will suffer, but I am afraid this is the only way. . . . We will never live under the Serbs again."
A rebel commander in northern Kosovo, known as Remi, said "we are ready to sacrifice . . . no matter what the consequences are." Remi boasted that the rebel group is armed with advanced antitank weapons made in Italy and South Africa, and he confirmed reports by several diplomats that the guerrilla force recently bought a sizable quantity of arms from a Yugoslav military officer.
"Our biggest supply of weapons now comes from Serbia," Buja said. "Money can buy everything," he added while showing off a shiny new, large-caliber, U.S.-produced, Smith & Wesson revolver at his waist. He said the rebels also had captured a tank from the Yugoslav army, as well as a Praga armored vehicle equipped with an antiaircraft gun for use this spring.
The principal source of funding for rebel arms purchases continues to be its "Motherland Calling" revenue drives, which are organized around monthly meetings of ethnic Albanians in cities around the world. Galvanized by periodic government assaults on civilians and by intense pressure from guerrilla officials, individual businessmen have donated as much as $600,000 to the effort, according to rebel sources.
The guerrillas also have had their sights set for months on buying arms with money placed in foreign bank accounts -- said to hold millions of dollars in diaspora contributions -- that are controlled by Bujar Bukoshi, a leader of the ethnic Albanian Kosovo government in exile in Switzerland. Bukoshi has withheld some of the funds in an effort to bargain for a position of influence within the Kosovo Liberation Army. Several diplomats said they expect the arms purchases to accelerate if Bukoshi releases these funds to the rebels.
The organization's growing wealth has helped fund an expansion of its ranks and a reconstruction of the regional headquarters system that was dismantled in last year's fighting. At one such headquarters in southern Kosovo, the rebel group has established its own radio station and news agency. But some electronic equipment also has been allocated to a special unit said to be capable of eavesdropping on electronic transmissions by government forces.
"We will attack Serb forces wherever they are," said Remi, who declared that he and other rebel leaders are organizing cells inside Kosovo's larger cities to prepare for attacks on Serbian police and Yugoslav troops stationed in such urban settings.
"We're going to convince them that they don't belong here . . . [by attacking] everybody who wears a uniform."
© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company
10. KLA/UCK --Federation of American Scientists
Date Received: 99-02-02 01:19:27 EST
Federation of American Scientists (FAS) --
Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA] -- Ushtria Clirimtare E Kosoves [UCK]
During the war in former Yugoslavia, over 5,000 ethnic Albanians fought together with Croat and Muslim military formations. When the policy of non-violent resistance failed to make any progress, some ethnic Albanians turned to violence. Rugova's position began to be undermined when the Kosovo Question was left off the agenda at the Dayton Peace talks in November 1995. Younger Kosovars increasingly began to ask why they should hold fast to nonviolence when the Bosnian Serbs were rewarded for their violence and brutality with their own quasi-state within Bosnia. The Kosovo Liberation Army -- KLA in English acronym or UCK in the Albanian acronym -- first appeared in Macedonia in 1992. In 1995 the beginnings of armed resistance to the Serbs appeared, when the KLA carried out isolated attacks on Serbian police. The KLA appeared for the first time in public in June 1996, assuming reponsibility for a series of acts of sabotage committed against the police stations and policemen in Kosovo and Metohija. After these bobings, Serb authorities named it a terrorist organization. Since 1997 the Kosovo Liberation Army has conducted attacks on Serbian police and other officials. They did not attack Yugoslave Army military facilities, rather, their emphasis was ambushes of police patrols and attacks on Albanians who collaborated with Serbian authorities.
The Kosovo Liberation Army is not a unified military organization subordinated to a political party or civil authority, but rather functions as a guerilla movement consisting of lightly armed fighters. However, its members carry visible insignia and execute the assignments of their command in a disciplined way. The KLA's strength has swelled from about 500 active members at the beginning of 1998 to a force of at least a few thousand men [though some estimates suggest that there are as many as 12,000 to 20,000 armed guerrillas]. The KLA is organized in small compartmentalized cells rather than a single large rebel movement. The KLA's strength is apparently divided between a maneuverable strike nucleus of a few hundred trained commandos, and the much larger number of locally organized members active throughout the region. The KLA typically performs actions in smaller groups, at times as few as three to five men.
Many members of KLA units are professionally trained, and include former Yugoslav army soldiers. The group functions very professionally underground, due in part to fact that some of its leaders are former members of UDBA [Internal State Security Service], the army and the police.
The Kosovo Liberation Army is alleged by Serbia to include about 1,000 foreign mercenaries from Albania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Muslims) and Croatia. Among the mercenaries it is alleged that there also British and German instructors. Most of these mercenaries are said to be Albanian nationals, especially former Albanian army officers, policemen and members of the state security forces. According to Serbian accounts, the primary KLA training camps in Albania are Ljabinot near Tirana, Tropoja near the Yugoslav-Albanian border, Kuks and Bajram Curi near the Yugoslav-Albanian border. Serbia claims that these locations are also the headquarters for the command and units of the Albanian army and police for the northeastern part of Albania and the centers for recruiting followers of the overthrown Albanian president Sali Berisha.
The KLA initially conducted hit-and-run attacks against the Serbian special forces police operating in the province. Typically, KLA units fire on Serbian patrols, trying to draw them into the woods where they will be ambushed. Initially, the buildings and personnel of the Serbian Special Police were not targeted, nor were high police officials and police vehicles. After the March 1998 Drenica massacre the KLO engaged in a wider scope of actions. In April and May 1998 there were a number of attacks on police units and facilities and attacks on the Military Police working with the Serbian police. In May and June 1998 larger-scale actions consisted actions to defend villages on important crossroads in order to form in the west of Kosovo [between Pec and Djakovica] a line of liberated territories and to disrupt communications between local police and Army units and the main forces in eastern Kosovo. The Yugoslav Army responded to these actions with heavy weaponry. Other KLA actions in this period included attackson roads to isolate dispersed police stations and control points needing daily supplies.
Until March 1998 the KLA used only light arms, but more recently KLA forces have been armed with assault rifles, along with Ambrust and Soviet-designed RPG shoulder-fired anti-tank rocket launchers, mortars, recoilless rifles, anti-aircraft machineguns, and mortars. The KLA equipment includes some weapons from the Second World War, such as PPS-41 automatic rifles and the MP-40, "Mosine-Nagant", though the inventory of modern arms, ammunition, telecommunication equipment, and other supplies is much larger. The KLA has obtained weapons used by the former Yugoslav People's Army, as well as other weapons produced in China and Singapore.
The KLA is said to have two command centers -- one is abroad, and the other center is in Pristina, where the KLA has a well-developed logistics base. Direct contact with Kosovo and Metohija is maintained via Gnjilane, Vitina, Glogovac and Pristina. It is evident that the KLA has a well-organized surveillance apparatus, and that an organized word of mouth messenger service is operating to supplement established radio communications links.
Both Rugova and the KLA have insisted upon independence for Kosovo. The KLA's professed long-term goal is to unite the Albanian populations of Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania into a greater Albania. Until recently, the Kosovars viewed granting Kosovo the status of a third republic within Yugoslavia as a transitional stage in achieving Kosovo's independence. This option was attractive to the international community as it did not result in changing the international border. But Serbia rejected this concept, taking the position that Kosovo remained Serbia's internal matter. And by mid-1998 the Kosovar view of this concept was equally negative, with an international protectorate and demilitarization seen as interim steps towards independence. It is not apparent that either Serbia or the international community can prevent Kosovo Albanians from achieving independence and seceding from Serbia.
Aside from causing casualties and deaths, the armed resistance has provided Milosevic the pretext for his brutal crack-down. Since July 1998 Milosevic has steadily increased the level of violence against the Albanian majority. Estimates put the number of deaths at several hundred, and the number of refugees is probably around 250,000. The local economy has collapsed due to the Serbian embargo which began in early 1998. There are some stores in the major cities that are functioning, and some markets that are functioning. But there is in effect an embargo on commercial availability of some of the most important life-sustaining requirements.
11. Subj: A Serbian View
From: Dusan T. Batakovic
Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Belgrade
11. KOSOVO-METOHIJA: THE SERBO-ALBANIAN CONFLICT
The history of Kosovo-Metohija, Serbia's southern province, was marked by the centuries-old ethnic rivalry between the Serbs and the Albanians...
...From the end of Second World War until Tito's death in 1980, the number of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo tripled (undoubtedly also thanks to a large number of immigrants, a number that has still not be definitely determined). The systematic Albanization of the province of Kosovo in the administration, the judiciary and the police (Serbian officials were often replaced by incompetent but ethnic Albanian cadres) was followed by introducing the ethnic principle and ethnic quotas everywhere, including University where the number of places set for Serbs was to correspond to their percentage in the province's population. Money from Serbian and federal state funds (one million dollars a day in the early 1980's) was used by local Albanian nomenklatura not for encouraging economic development but for constructing prestigious state institutions. The uncontrolled growth of the population gave additional social stimuli to the intolerant nationalism of the numerous young and educated ethnic Albanians bound to Kosovo by th language barrier. Growing social discontent was transferred into national frustration. They were educated on school manuals imported from Albania, imbued with nationalist mythology and hate towards Yugoslavia. The theory of the Albanians as descents of Illyrians, the oldest people in the Balkans and therefore natives in Kosovo, became a simplified political program of national discrimination: all the non-Albanian population were considered as intruders on indigenous Albanian soil.
The unanimous requests of the Albanian minority for the creation of a republic of Kosovo (with the right to self-determination, including secession), set out in 1981, only a year after Tito's death, disrupted the sensitive political balance in the federal leadership. The attempt to hush up the Albanian question in Kosovo with a classical communist purge and with spectacular but inadequate measures (actions by the federal military and police forces, chiefly from Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina), ordered by Stane Dolanc (a Slovene, head of State Security Service), failed. Together with visible attempts to minimize the problem of the forced emigration of the Kosovo Serbs, these measures resulted in the deep frustration of the whole Serbian nation in the years that followed.
The Serbs gradually started to realize that the Titoist order was based on the national inequality of the Serbs in Yugoslavia. The attempts by Serbian communists to resolve the question of Serbia's competencies over the provinces in agreement with the other republican leaderships from 1977 upto the early 1980's (the so-called Blue book), in order to protect the Serbs in Kosovo more efficiently, were openly rejected. The intransigence of the national-communist nomenclatures in the federal leadership created dangerous tensions that were hard to control: the Kosovo Serbs started self-organizing on a wide front.
The Serbs' growing national frustration was skilfully used, after a party coup in 1987, by Slobodan Milosevic, the new leader of the Serbian communists: instead of party forums he used populist methods, taking over from the Serbian Orthodox Church and the liberal intelligentsia the role of the protector of national interests. Thus, the protection of the endangered Serbs in Kosovo became a means of political manipulation. Milosevic's intention to renew the weary communist party on the basis of new national ideals (as did the national-communist in other republics more than a decade earlier), was opposite to the movement in Eastern Europe where an irreversible process of communism's demise by means of nationalism was launched. At that moment, for most of the Serbs, preoccupied by the Kosovo question, the interests of the nation were more important than the democratic changes in Eastern Europe, especially since Milosevic had created the semblance of the freedom of the media where former historical and ideologicaltaboos were freely discussed. Democracy in Serbia was blocked by the unresolved national question: practice has once again confirmed the theoretical axiom that these two ideologies, nationalism and democracy exclude each other.
The ethnic Albanians held to their radical stands: they responded with a relentless series of strikes and demonstrations aware of the fact that the abolition of the autonomy based on the 1974 Constitution, meant, in fact, the abolition of all elements of Kosovo statehood. Their actions only strengthened Milosevic positions as the Serb national leader. The polarization within the republican leaderships in regard to the Kosovo issue became public. The support of Slovenia and later on Croatia to the Albanian requests definitely cemented Milosevic's charisma. The results were the limitation of autonomy, unrest and brutal police repression in Kosovo: thus, an old dispute over whether Kosovo is or is not part of Serbia, became seemingly ideological: Serbia, thanks to Milosevic, acquired the dangerous image of "the last bastion of communism in Europe", while the Albanians, because of their resistance, which mostly had a passive form, gained the hero's wreath of an "oppressed nation" exposed to &qot;apartheid" in its search for democracy and human rights.
The secessionist movement of the Albanians in Kosovo, derived from the logic of the Titoist order and based on ethnic intolerance, led to the homogenization of the Serbs in Yugoslavia, directly producing Milosevic. This, in accordance with the domino effect, resulted in the homogenization of the other Yugoslav nations. In a country with such mixture of various nations, due to the inability of the communist and post-communist leaderships to place democratic principles above narrow national interests, ethnic mobilisation directly led to the civil war. In that sense, the disintegration of Yugoslavia is the revenge of Tito's "zombis", the revenge of the negative selection of cadres and of a wrongly conducted national policy.
THE BALANCE OF INTOLERANCE
After the civil war and the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the Serbo-Albanian conflict lost its Titoist dimension: once again, it became Serbia's internal question, despite the demands of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo to be recognized as independent through the gradual internationalization of the Kosovo question, within a global solution for the war and the ethnic conflicts in former Yugoslavia. During the early 1990's, Milosevic, the hard-line communist leader of Serbia, and Ibragim Rugova the undisputed leader of the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, leader of Democratic League of Kosovo were helping each other with their extreme nationalist positions. If the ethnic Albanians were to give up their refusal to recognize Serbian sovereignty, with their votes the democratic opposition in Serbia would easily take over power. On the other hand, while Milosevic is in power, and police repression continue, Rugova can still hope for the internationalization of the Kosovo question. Without Milosevic's regime, even he last doubt that Kosovo will remain exclusively Serbia's internal affair, would be eliminated.
The geopolitical realities shows that every attempt at achieving the Kosovo ethnic Albanians' goals (an independent state or unification of Kosovo with Albania) would inevitably cause a broader Balkan war with unforeseeable consequences. An independent Republic of Kosovo would mean changing the stable inter-state Balkan borders established way back in the 1912-1913 wars. The right to self-determination, which the ethnic Albanians refer to when rejecting even the very thought of remaining under sovereignty of Serbia, is not envisaged by international law for national minorities, no matter how large their percentage may be compared to the country's overall population.
Today, the ethnic Albanians account for 18 percent of the overall population of Serbia and 16 percent of the whole of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia . That is the same percentage of the Serbs and other non-Albanians in Kosovo. Secession of Kosovo would represent yet another dangerous fragmentation accompanied by a war in which there would be no winner. On the other hand, after the experiences with the self-determination of the nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which turned into a bloody inter-ethnic war with hundreds of thousands of killed and displaced persons, it is unlikely that the international community would tolerate yet another such attempt. The restoration of Kosovo's autonomy in accordance with the 1974 Constitution is also unacceptable for Serbia: that autonomy based on anachronous communist formulae practically excluded Kosovo-Metohija from Serbian sovereignity and was used primarly for the silent "ethnic cleansing" of the Kosovo Serbs.
After mistakes on both sides - the attempts of the ethnic Albanians to resolve the Kosovo question without the participation of the Serbs, and the efforts of the Serbs to resolve the same problem without consulting the will of the ethnic Albanians, the only possible solution appears to be the opening of a dialogue. After mutual concessions - first of all the Albanians' recognition of Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo and afterwards, adequate concessions by the Serbian side concerning the form of Kosovo's autonomy (education, culture, science, the media, the economy), following the gradual establishment of a mutual trust, democratic dialogue should be conducted there where other minorities, like the ethnic Hungarians, are also represented - in the parliament of Serbia.
12. Albania Calls for All-Albanian Collective Defense
TIRANA (Feb. 10) XINHUA - Albanian Prime Minister Pandeli Majko suggested that all Albanians in the Balkan region are entitled to organize themselves for collective defense.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Majko said the peace talks being held in Rambouillet, near Paris, is only the first step in solving the Kosovo problem, not a final formula.
He said withdrawal of Serbian troops from Kosovo province should top any recipe for the issue.
If the talks fail to bring about peace, or there continue to be killings in Kosovo, all Albanians living in Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and Herzegovina, as well as other Balkan regions, can get organized to conduct collective defense, the prime minister suggested.
Urging the United States to be involved in Kosovo not only diplomatically, but also militarily, he pledged that Albania will provide all necessary assistance if NATO or parties at the Rambouillet talks decide to send troops to the Balkans.
Serbian and ethnic Albanian representatives began talks for Kosovo peace at Rambouillet Saturday sponsored by the six-nation Contact Group.
13. Analysis-West Has Little Leverage Over Kosovo Guerrillas --The CNN Factor
PRISTINA, Serbia, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Separatist guerrillas in Kosovo lie beyond the easy reach of NATO, making it hard for the West to threaten military consequences if the insurgents reject an autonomy deal on offer in peace talks.
That's the assessment of western diplomats posted in Kosovo, who worry about the imbalance between threats to bomb Yugoslavia if the Serbian side scuttles the peace deal and the lack of an equivalent stick to punish ethnic Albanian intransigence.
"There's an asymmetry in the talks because so much more direct military pressure can be brought to bear on Belgrade to force them to make the deal the West wants," a Western diplomat, who asked not to be named, told Reuters in Kosovo on Sunday.
"The Serbian side has joined-up forces and a military infrastructure that NATO can bomb with devastating effect."
"The KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) is everywhere and nowhere, like any guerrilla force. To attack them you have to attack the civilian population of which they are a part. The Serbs did that and killed a lot of civilians. NATO won't make that mistake."
The Kosovo peace talks in Rambouillet, southwest of Paris, entered their second week on Sunday without agreement.
NATO sabres are being rattled to get Belgrade's attention, as has happened before with the former Yugoslavia this decade.
But what good would NATO's military might be if the ethnic Albanians, rather than the Serbs, say "no" at Rambouillet?
What could the West threaten if the KLA refuses to disarm and settle for autonomy, rather than independence, as the peace deal requires of them?
A U.S. official said on Saturday in France that if ethnic Albanians dragged their feet they would be told the international community is no longer interested in their problem. That was code for warning them not to expect the West to intervene to save them from Serbian security forces again.
Asked how Western leaders could sustain such a position in the face of television pictures of slaughtered civilians, one senior American official said last month:
"We'll just ignore them (the pictures). The 'CNN factor' is over-rated. It's only when we respond to the pictures that there's a consequence to them. We create the CNN factor, not CNN or the public or the warring parties."
The official spoke on January 12. Three days later 45 ethnic Albanians were shot dead in the village of Racak in what was immediately described by the ranking international diplomat in Kosovo -- an American -- as a massacre by Serbian forces.
Television pictures of that alleged massacre produced such an uproar in the United States and Europe that days later Western officials ordered Serbians and ethnic Albanians to Rambouillet at the point of a NATO gun.
The KLA does have pressure points, but they have proved elusive in the past.
Using NATO troops to seal the border between Kosovo and neighbouring Albania, over which the guerrillas receive shipments of men, arms and ammunition, has been much discussed.
But NATO operations in the rugged, lawless mountains of northern Albania would be expensive, difficult and treacherous, involving interdiction of not just KLA cadres but of the spectacularly violent criminal gangs who supply them.
What is more, analysts and observers on the ground report that the KLA is getting more and more of its weaponry from black market sources inside Serbia, making cross-border shipments less important than they were even six months ago.
Since ethnic Albanians make up 90 per cent of Kosovo's two million people there is no shortage of manpower. The challenge has been training and equipping fighters, not importing them.
Western officials also discuss freezing and even seizing the bank accounts through which the ethnic Albanian diaspora funnel money to the KLA. That would be but a temporary inconvenience since most donations are collected in hard currencies in cash.
Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.
14. Date: Sat, 20 Feb 99 10:07:25 EST
AFP: Albanian-Americans help fund the KLA
NEW YORK, Feb 20 (AFP) - Two hundred Albanian men file into a Brooklyn restaurant, throwing money as they enter at tables manned by men in traditional white dome Balkan caps. They take a seat in the ballroom-turned auditorium. They aren't here to eat. They are here to meet Dina, a soldier with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
The KLA has grown from villagers toting hunting rifles to a sizable armed force, with the help of volunteer donations, in large part raised by New York's Albanian community.
"What do they expect?," Izet, Tafilaj asks. After losing his aunt, uncle and nephew in the fighting, the 40-year-old sold his real estate business in New Jersey and is leaving for Kosovo to help refugees. "If they won't help us, at least let us help ourselves," he said.
The lights go down, and the men bow their heads. A minute of silence is followed by a video presentation. The butchered mother and child lying between a pair of leveled homes bring home the reality of Kosovo, the Yugoslav province quickly eclipsing Bosnia as the Balkan's most violent human catastrophe.
Speakers are interrupted every few minutes by the young men breaking out in chant and punching their arms in unison. "Ooh Che Ke. Ooh Che Ke" (UCK is the Albanian acronym for KLA)
Dina takes the stand. "The time is now," he yells. "Ooh Che Ke. Ooh Che Ke," "Let's finish the war, then talk politics."
After three hours of chanting, the room is cleared for a party being held later that day. Five men remain at one of the tables, each counting a pile of bills. The total is just over 30,000 dollars.
Manager Agron Qosja thinks it's a small sum, compared to other meetings, which he holds often.
"We all have an obligation to do all we can," he says evoking a favorite Albanian saying. "Luga Luga e ben lumin." (Spoon by spoon you build a lake.)
The KLA's guerrilla movement has flourished among these blue-collar workers, who make up nearly two-thirds of the country's 400,000 Albanian-Americans. Many are recent immigrants, with the strongest family ties to Kosovo.
For years they supported elected president of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova. But after a well-publicized massacre last March left over 80 people dead in the town of Drenecia, Rugova's credibility among many Albanian-Americans took a dive, and the group Homeland is Calling was officially formed to coordinate fundraising for the army.
Chapters of Homeland in Europe and throughout the world seek to furnish the KLA with the means to gain independence for Kosovo. "We raise money here," Florin Krasniqi, 34, says. "They fight over there. That's how we get rid of the Serbs."
The comptroller of KLA's New York donations, Florin started in October 1997 to raise money for the KLA after the murder of his cousin Adrian, the ninth member of this family killed by Serb forces.
He has made over 20 trips to Kosovo in the past year, providing KLA soldiers with a steady stream of money, radios, night vision equipment and bullet-proof vests: all, he says, ordered from a catalogue on the open market.
While Homeland's estimate of 10 million dollars raised over the past year seems exaggerated to increase the KLA's perception of power (military experts believe it is closer to half that), the fund and equipment coming from the United States are taken seriously by military analysts.
According to Paul Beaver of Jane's Defence Weekly, a leading publication on the military industry, the funds pouring in from around the world are making a difference. "They have upgraded the war," says Beaver. "It makes a tremendous difference against the Serbian army."
Florin expresses mild amusement that the US government is watching his comings and goings. But he finds the system laughably lax enough to continue unnerved. "They think we are just a bunch of crazy Albanians," he acknowledges. "But I told (US envoy Richard) Holbrooke, if you want to go 10 years, we will. Too much blood has been spilled. We are never going to live side by side with Serbs. Period."
15. Betreff: From Adem Demaçi's office
Datum: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 12:58:20 +0100
Von: "Adem Demaçi" <Demaci@albanian.com>
S T A T E M E N T
We feel morally and historically obliged to point out again that this imposed Agreement of Rambouillet will not bring freedom to the Albanian people of Kosova and will not liberate Kosova from Serbian slavery. We feel morally and historically obliged to show that unscrupulous propaganda of these days aims the deceit of the people by damaging the issue of the independence of Kosova.
Independence and freedom are something completely different from this Agreement. This is not even close to what we have fought and we are fighting for. The efforts and the liberation war of the Albanian population in Kosova will not stop and cannot be stopped notwithstanding the fact whether this Agreement is signed or not or other similar agreements. No signings can extinguish the will of people and its readiness for sacrifice, for freedom and the independence of the Republic of Kosova. This agreement will not bring any peace or freedom in Kosova, in the contrary it will bring the continuation of bloodshed. All those that believe in this agreement, believe in the mercy and magic improvement of Mr. Milosevic.
Those that sign this agreement make concessions to the Serbian regime and Milosevic, encourage him and bear responsibility for the consequences due to their weakness and illusions. It is true that diplomacy and politics are art of the possible, but the greatest possible victory of Serbian hegemony is to make Albanians define their freedom and independence as something impossible. Independence is not a dream, hope or illusion; it is a vision, a process which can not be stopped and a realizable political program. But those that agree with this agreement abandon the political vision and reduce it to a daily policy, which itself contains bad compromisea that leaves the issue of our liberation and freedom in the middle of the way. Those that want to sign and accept this agreement, on behalf of the Albanian people, forgive their blood which can not be forgiven, they are forgiving to Serbian regimes all terrors, massacres and repressions perpetrated on the Albanian people since 1878. Also the signing of this agreemet represents the first act of the international character in the history of the Albanians in Kosova, where the sovereignty and integrity of Serbia and "FRY" is internationally recognized in as much at concerns the Albanian lands in Kosova, which until this eventual agreement Serbia and "FRY" did not and do not have.
The office of the Political Leader of the Kosova Liberation Army, Mr. Adem Demaçi, accomplished its work, activity and duties with honor, preciseness and high consciousness. It was based on and led its concepts, principles and convictions which are the materialization of political will of people of Kosova declared in Referendum in September of the year 1991. Our office and the KLA had the same principles, ideals and concepts. But things changed with the appearance of some individuals from KLA who are getting prepared to accept and approve this agreement. These individuals have abandoned the basic principles of KLA and the obligation toward the political will of people of Kosova declared in Referendum of the year 1991.
As we do not want our office to serve for contradictions within the KLA, we decided to change the character of the work of our office. We persistently protected and represented the liberation war of the Albanian people, led by the KLA, but due to the fact that this way of eventual signing of the agreement does not guarantee the independence of Kosova, we decided to withdraw.
We cannot accept this agreement as it is in opposition to our convictions and to our idea of life in freedom in our ancient land.
The office of Mr. Adem Demaçi
SOME CRUCIAL REMARKS REGARDING THE DRAFT- PROJECT INTRODUCED IN
In the Draft-Project, Serbia and the Serbian regime are not identified as aggressor and occupier. With this Draft-Project, the International Community legalized the Serbian state aggression, when in 1989 it abolished the autonomy of Kosova. In this way, it is encouraging the appearance of terrorist and fascist regimes all over the world, since it is not sanctioning them. If this Agreement is signed, the Albanian population of Kosova will forgive all to Serbia, all that it has done for 121 years, since 1878. Here are some essential points, which come out of this pro-Serbian Draft-Project:
1. Kosova will have only the public security, not the state one. This means that our future police can chase the pickpockets and those working in black market, i.e., if during the transitory period of 3 years, an Albanian comes out in the street and hails: "Kosova Republic - an Independent state", the Serbian and Yugoslav Security (Drzavna Bezbednost - DB, former UDB) will intervene, arrest that person and sent him to Serbia in order to spend his life term in Serbian prisons. The well-known scenario will be repeated time and again: "our officials" will convince his mother that her son had made a mistake and force his brother to give up on him.
2. After the signing of this Agreement, we, the Albanians in Kosova, will not be treated as we are, as Albanian people, but as members of the Albanian national community in multi-ethnic Kosova, where the Serbian national community and others will live. Serbian national community will be in a position to block things, as the arbitration is arranged by proportion. According to this logic, why then Albanians in Presheva, Bujanovc and Medvegja, who are more than Serbs in Kosova, cannot comprise a National Community in Serbia? With the concept of National Community definitely, there will be no possibility for referendum because this will be in opposition to the international conventions and resolutions, as well as a national community can always consider that referendum threats its national interests.
With this eventual agreement Albanians for the first time with their own signature would accept the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia and "FRY". Although Kosova was occupied and annexed violently from Serbs and Montenegrins, the confirmation or acceptation for this matter during the history was never given from the Albanians. While, now with eventual signing of this agreement, such shame will be done.
3. The fact that the KLA is not mentioned in the Agreement is intolerable and unacceptable. According to this Agreement, the KLA is treated on the level of the Serbian paramilitary units and others (no one knows what "the others" means) and not on the level of the "Yugoslav" Army or Serbian police, and that it must be disarmed within 120 days. It also must throw away its uniforms and the KLA emblem within 30 days. Serbian soldiers will remain in Kosova. Kosova was not declared a no-flight zone and the Serbian planes can continue to fly over Kosova.
According to the Agreement, the border zone will be 5 km. The idea of Serbia is to bring Serbian colonists along the border zone and so surround the Albanians, as Romania did with Hungarians in the past. Near 2 million Hungarians live in Romania with territorial continuation but they are surrounded by Rumanians. Without the KLA, we Albanians would be totally insecure. From the past, moreover, we have a very bad experience regarding the indifference and inability of the international troops to protect the population from the massacres, as it happened in Srebrenica and Zhepa. Whereas Lebanon and Somalia taught us that if endangered, the international troops can abandon the region and the population.
4. According to the Agreement, Kosova will be represented in the Parliament of Serbia and in the House of Citizens of the "FRY". Those that accept this Agreement, accept that the KLA soldier be disarmed, throw away his uniform, be a deputy in the Parliament of the Serbian occupier and sit side by side with the criminals, who ordered the massacre and mass executions of the Albanians. Kosova will not be represented in the House of Republics of the "Yugoslav" Federation, as it is not a constitutive element of the federation. According to the 1974 Constitution, Kosova was a constitutive element of the Federation, together with Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which are independent states now. In that time, an Albanian could be president of Yugoslavia in row-accordance. Its evident that this Agreement offers less than the 1974 Constitution. Montenegro with 400.000 Montenegrins, 150.000 Muslims and 50.000 Albanians enjoys more rights than Kosova with 2.000.000 Albanians (5 tmes more than Montenegrins).
Furthermore, according to this Agreement, Kosova is not identified with its borders, but it is mentioned as a multi-ethnic region, which contains a certain number of municipalities. So, Kosova is considered as a totally integrated part of Serbia.
5. The municipalities have still lots of competencies. In a small turmoil, the municipality of Leposaviq might ask to be separated, whereas the international factors may come for an arbitrage, which can result with strange compromises, such as: autonomy within the autonomy! The competencies of municipalities and the concept of the national community in Kosova lead to the separation of Kosova and its territorial swallowing piece by piece from Serbian side.
6. This Agreement wants Albanians to recognize an in-existent state, "FRY", which is accepted neither by European Union nor the USA nor by any international organization. With the recognition of the so-called Yugoslavia, Albanians accept the status of minority in Yugoslavia and not anymore in the so-called Yugoslavia. In this way to 'Yugoslavia' will be open the ways to go back again in all existing international organizations and institutions.
7. In the economic aspect, the fact that Serbia will collect taxes is unacceptable. Kosova is not considered as an equal unit in succession of the wealth of the former SFRY, which was guaranteed to Kosova by the Item Nr.9 of the 4 August 1992 of the Badinter Commission. With the recognition of 'Yugoslavia', 'Yugoslavia' immediately will have the right in the succession of the wealth and to Kosova definitely this right will be eliminated. In every agreement to Kosova must be recognized the genuine right for the compensation for 150.000 workers who were dismissed violently from their jobs and left in the edge of survival. To these workers must be returned the right for personal probation, insurance for disabled and compensation for other damages caused to the wealth of Kosova, including the war atrocities.
8. The sentence: "on the basis of the will of the people", does not mean that it refers to the people of Kosova and consequently Serbia can make speculations and cheat as it always does. Serbia can freely say that it refers to the will of the people of Serbia or "Yugoslavia", as Serbia and "Yugoslavia" are recognized as a state where the Kosovar Albanians live and realize their rights and obligations. We can have as many referendums as we want. We had one in September 1991. The point is that there is missing lack the International Community's obligation for its recognition. Due to this fact the word referendum was not mentioned thereof, because this expression includes that International Community should organize, control and guarantee its results. It is not coincidental that in the same sentence where is mentioned the expression the will of the people, is followed by the call upon the Helsinki Final Act, which the right to referendum, conditions with the fact that we would not b recognized as nation and with inalienability of the borders and territorial integrity of the state.
9. What kind of value and logic has the Assembly of Kosova, which does not have right to any essential constitutional change? The term "Assembly" is unjustifiable when everything is predetermined and the representatives of the people cannot alter anything that is substantial for state elements. Which country in the world has a Constitution where 5% of the population defines the will of the majority?! How can such a norm be called democratic?!
10. Why the term "witness" is used instead of "guarantor" of the Agreement. Why the level of "those that witness" is so low: the level of the Ambassadors Hill, Petritsch and Mayorski?! Or is the prove an international collective security, where the above-mentioned Ambassadors appear instead of the state?! Every International agreement must be registered in the administration of the organs for international collective security with the evidence number and adequate date. All these international norms according to this agreement are not valid for the heroic Kosova and in this way Kosova is contemned and humiliated in illegal way.
--The office of Mr. Adem Demaçi
16. HUMAN EVENTS
The National Conservative Weekly
March 5, 1999
Jane's Says Muslim Guerrillas Wage War of Terror Against Serbs
NO GO ON KOSOVO
If, like most Americans, you know absolutely nothing about the Balkan backwater of Kosovo, you will learn all of you need to know in the next few paragraphs to understand that President Clinton's policy there is violently at odds with all good sense and U.S. national interests.
Last July along the Serbian-Albanian frontier, the Yugoslavian Army encountered a group of Muslim guerrillas trying to sneak across the mountains into the Serbian province of Kosovo.
The Yugoslavians killed a guerrilla named Alija Rabie. He was a citizen of Albania, but also a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army that is fighting to wrest control of Kosovo from Serbia. Documents found on Rabie's body showed he was escorting into Serbia a 50-man contingent of foreign fighters intent on waging jihad against Kosovo's minority population of Orthodox Christians, usually referred to in the press as "Serbs."
"The group included one Yemeni and 16 Saudis, six of whom bore passports with Macedonian Albanian names," reported Jane's International Defense Review.
Jane's is no partisan pro-Serbian publisher. It is the highly reputable, pro-NATO, century-old, British-based firm that over the years has developed a remarkable reputation for scooping the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency on important news about rogue regimes and insurgencies around the world.
Ethnic Cleansing of Christians
The clash last July between Yugoslavian Army troops guarding the Serbian-Albanian border and Muslim insurgents trying to sneak weapons and foreign mujahideen into the Serbian province of Kosovo was not a unique incident. It was routine.
Indeed, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA, but known in their native tongue as the Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosoves, or UCK) is suffering a large portion of its casualties in exactly these sort of clashes. "This total of UCK loses incurred during frontier crossings (136 dead since January 1998)," reports Jane's, "is quite significant when compared to the 180 UCK soldiers who were killed during the fighting in mid-1998. (During this period 112 Serb police and 51 Serb army personnel were killed with 395 police officers wounded."
"The UCK's tactical mistake," says Jane's, "has been to concentrate its horse-borne arms trains on two frontier crossing areas... instead of dispersing its arms caravans the length of the frontier."
"The UCK has compounded this tactical errors," adds Jane's, "by trying to push ever larger guerrilla groups along these same infiltration routes in the mistaken belief that they can smash their way through Belgrade's border defense."
"The UCK favors these extremely dangerous routes," explains Jane's, "because topographically they are the easiest and shortest conduits for the pack horse arms caravans to guerrilla- controlled areas of Kosovo. Furthermore, the UCK is in a hurry to get arms to its host of ready recruits and proceed with its third winter objective, expansion of guerrilla control in Kosovo."
"UCK expansion on the ground in Kosovo is gradual, insidious process containing three elements," says Jane's.
What are those three elements?
1) Assassination of Muslims who don't cooperate. "First is the elimination of opposition to their authority among the Kosovo Albanians," says Jane's. "This usually means targeting those few Albanians with connections to the Serb police."
2) Assassination of Serbian police. "Secondly," says Jane's, "there are occasional attacks on the Serb police patrols and the few remaining Serb police checkpoints. In one case a single RPG was fired at a Serb police car by a group that escaped in a car via the network of country lanes which the UCK has prepared as a parallel transport system in case Serb police return to their tactics of saturating main roads with checkpoints to prevent UCK vehicle movement."
3) A reign of terror against Orthodox Christians of Kosovo. "The third and most important element this winter has so far been the harassment and assassination of Serb officials and civilians from Kosovo's Serb minority," reports Jane's. "This has included sniper attacks, Serbs dragged from their vehicles and beaten, together with pressure on them to leave their homes.... This UCK tactic has the double benefit of forcing Serbs to quit the province and provoking police into retaliation and subsequent censure by OSCE [NATO-backed Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe] observers."
When Serbian Christian forces do this to Albanian Muslims, the Western press usually, and rightly,, refers to it as "ethnic cleansing."
So, what is President Clinton's policy toward this war of national secession being waged by acts of terror by Arab- backed Muslim guerrillas within the historical boundaries of a European nation? It is, first, to threaten Serbia with bombing raids if the Serbs don't agree to remove their troops from their own national territory and, second, to grant "autonomy" to a region that would then be run by the KLA, with U.S. troops standing guard on the ground, protecting the KLA guerrillas from Serbian Christian forces.
This policy hit a snag last week when the KLA itself refused to sign off on the deal when it was offered them by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. KLA forces believe they can win their independence outright from the Serbs without the aid of bombing raids delivered courtesy of Uncle Sam. They fear that American troops will needlessly yoke them to the historically Christian nation they believe they can defeat on their way to establishing an Islamic republic in what Winston Churchill once called the soft underbelly of Europe.
The Serbs for their part say they will never let go of Kosovo because it is the cradle of their indigenous Orthodox religious tradition. It is for them what Mecca is to the Muslims.
As has been much reported in the liberal press, the Serbs, too, have committed outrageous acts of terror to keep Kosovo in Christian hands.
But the United States has no business intervening in this religious civil war - on either side. It is high time the Republicans in Congress raised their voice to tell President Clinton clearly and unequivocally, No Go on Kosovo.
[Plese send all editorial correspondence to
1 Massachusetts Avenue, WW
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel.: (202) 216-0600.]
17. British Moslem radicals urge Islamic fightback
By Daniel Simpson
LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - Wiping sweat from his brow with a cloth clasped between the metal claws that have replaced hands lost fighting the Russians in Afghanistan, Abu Hamza Al-Masri took the stage.
``Islam needs the sword,'' he declared, prompting a feverish chorus of ``Allah Akbar'' (God is great) from more than 400 British Moslems packed into a hall in central London.
To the more hardline of Britain's 1.75 million Moslems, this month's 75th anniversary of the destruction of the Islamic State (Khilafah) by modern Turkey's secularist founder Mustafa Kemal is a stark reminder of the West's enduring hostility to Islam.
With global trouble spots flaring, particularly in the Middle East and the Balkans, and several Arab states clamping down on dissent, London has become a major base for dissident Moslems.
Many of these exiles talk of fighting world-wide hostility and oppression with words and weapons -- prompting several spates of arrests under new British anti-terrorist legislation.
A radical faction of Britain's Moslem community is also becoming increasingly vocal and influential as it challenges past assumptions about the need to conform to Western ideals and focuses on fighting for a more Islamic way of life in Britain.
The 400 or so Moslems attending Britain's second Conference of Islamic Revival Movements in late February were addressed by community leaders viewed by Britain's Moslem mainstream and the national media as highly outspoken.
MOSLEMS FIGHT BACK
There is a global conspiracy against Moslems, who are seen by almost every religion or culture as an enemy, Abu Hamza, head of the London-based Supporters of Shariah (SoS) told the conference dedicated to the establishment of Islamic law.
``Whoever has the sword -- he will have the earth,'' Hamza proclaimed to a diverse crowd of men and women, several of whom waved the black Ar-Raya flag used by Moslem armies as a standard during jihad (Islamic holy war).
Hamza's acknowledged links with fundamentalist Middle East activists, following the arrest of his son and stepson in connection with hostage taking and bomb plots in Yemen -- prompting Yemen's demands for his extradition -- have thrust hitherto obscure British mosques and groups into the media spotlight.
From his base at the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park, the 41-year-old Egyptian-born former bodyguard runs SoS by mobile phone and a website which has a direct link to Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden's 17-page fatwa, or death threat, against the United States and other ``enemies of Islam.''
At weekly meetings and a military training camp last year, Hamza's Mujahideen background seeks to counter what he terms ``the terrorism of the West.''
A recent pamphlet on Islamophobia from the radical British political group Al-Muhajiroun declared: ``The animosity of the kuffar (infidel) against the Moslems is so apparent that the Ummah (Moslem community) is being butchered on a global scale with the consent of the world.''
``How is it that the U.N. and the U.S. can mobilise an army overnight to bomb Moslems in Iraq yet take years to mobilise an army in Bosnia and Kosovo against the Serbs?'' it asked. To Hamza and Omar Bakri Mohammad, leader of Al-Muhajiroun, the answer is simple -- Moslems must fight back themselves.
``And the battlefront isn't just in the Balkans or in the Middle East,'' added SoS political adviser Muhammad Yusuf.
BRITAIN'S ISLAMIC REVIVAL MOVEMENT
``The disease of secularism is against Islam,'' Al-Muhajiroun's Mohammad told Reuters and Moslems should devote time, money and effort to fighting it. ``Man-made laws cause destruction everywhere.''
He urges young Moslems to ``obey no law but the law of Allah, wherever we are'' and to abandon Westernised practices, even in abbreviating names like Mohammed to ``Mo.''
``We believe in creating a powerful fifth column,'' Mohammad said. ``We don't believe in armed struggle to end man-made law. We're talking about fund raising to help the fight against occupying forces in the Middle East and elsewhere.''
Al-Muhajiroun's call for action has mobilised a previously apathetic or complacent Moslem youth in Britain, said Yaqub Zaki, deputy director of pressure group The Moslem Institute.
``It is part of my obligation as a Moslem to support the Ummah in wealth, words and action,'' said one 25-year-old at February's conference, organised by SoS and Al-Muhajiroun.
Britain's Sakina Security Services is providing one outlet for that action by training Moslems in self-defence and outdoor survival strategies and offering community-based personal security services.
``Islam is not an aggressive belief but we have the right and the obligation to defend ourselves,'' Sakina founder Muhammad Jameel told Reuters. ``We are not going to escalate violence because we're restricted in what we do by Islamic law,'' he said.
British Moslems should neither integrate nor isolate themselves to deal with Islamophobia, said Omar Brooks of the Society of Converts to Islam. They should instead have the courage to be outspoken and force others to accept them.
The more mainstream Muslim Council of Britain, which works closely with Home Secretary (Interior Minister) Jack Straw to address Moslem grievances, dismisses such talk as ``extremism.''
Jameel disagrees. ``The Moslem cannot blend with society,'' he said. ``He changes society to blend with him.''
18 .Vecernji List (Zagreb) 9 March 1999
Some 300 Former HV Members Fighting in Kosovo
by Sonja Hodak
Several dozen Croats have been fighting shoulder to shoulder with the members of the Kosovo Liberation Army [UCK] in Kosovo in the fiercest combats against the Serbs! Of course, all of them arrived there through private channels and without the knowledge of the Croatian Government, and all of them, according to the claims of our collocutors from the UCK, are well-trained soldiers who have been fighting there since last year and who are taking part in the hardest clashes along the border now!
Albanians close to the peace agreement negotiators have also confirmed the participation of combatants from Croatia, that is, of Croats and Albanians with Croatian citizenship, and they have also informed us about the reasons why our people went to Kosovo.
"The Croats who went to fight shoulder to shoulder with the soldiers of the Kosovo Liberation Army did so for two reasons: either they are risking their lives because of their friendship and solidarity with the Albanians who defended Croatia for years in the Liberation War, or they went there for money. Among the Croats in the UCK there are also high-ranking officers who have left the HV [Croatian Army], like, for instance, a colonel from the Split area," our collocutors tell us.
Two Factions With the Same Idea
The most sought after are commandos, who train the new arrivals at centers in Albania, and the second most-wanted are experts in minesweeping. They earn some 15,000 German marks [DM] a month, while unspecialized, but experienced soldiers earn about DM10,000. The Albanians from Croatia, on the other hand, are not in Kosovo as mercenaries, but arey defending their relatives from Serb attacks in bloody clashes in Kosovo.
According to our source, who is well informed about the very beginnings of the Kosovo conflict, before the UCK there were two factions with the same idea that Kosovo should be helped with both money and soldiers. Dr. Bujar Bukoshi, prime minister of the Kosovo government in exile, headed the first faction. In Croatia, he organized a group of Albanian officers who had previously been officers of the JNA [Yugoslav People's Army] and then of the HV. Bukoshi provided for their salaries and appointed Ahmed Krasniqi to the office of the minister of defense of Kosovo. Ahmed Krasniqi was killed in Tirana last fall under still-unclear circumstances.
The other faction was the Kosovo National Movement, which was very active in the West. Through the Albanian community in Croatia, they established a fund called "Homeland Calls." Even though, at the start, those two factions were politically opposed to each other, they united within the UCK several months ago. It is presumed, our source says, that the other faction [as published] provoked the war in Kosovo, and the majority of soldiers from Croatia arrived in Kosovo precisely thanks to them.
From Split and Ljubljana to Albania
They generally travelled from Split or Ljubljana to Albania. There, they were trained at centers, and then they left for Kosovo. The soldiers who already had combat experience (our source claims that many Albanians fought in the Liberation War in order to acquire experience for the inevitable conflict in Kosovo) immediately went to the battlefield across the Prokletije mountain range. However, it is not so well known that the warriors go to the battlefields directly through Macedonia, Montenegro, and Sandzak.
"Almost all the soldiers who left for Kosovo are still there, because the scale of the war is growing. Two months ago, some of them were still visiting their families in Croatia, but now that is almost impossible to do," our collocutors claim.
Our source claims that the so-called returnees [preceding word published in italics] are either deserters or soldiers who were not accepted by the UCK, so that they were returned from Albania without smelling the smoke of war in Kosovo. Some of the fighters from Croatia are, unfortunately, no longer among the living. For instance, Pekim Berisha-Zica, the bugbear of the Chetniks, was killed in action. A legendary fighter from Croatia, Fehmi Ladrovci, was also killed. According to some estimates, there are approximately 300 fighters from Croatia in Kosovo -- of course, more Albanians and fewer Croats -- but one cannot give a precise number. One of them is Kadri Kastrati, a citizen of Pula, who has been in Kosovo for almost a year.
"They Cannot Close the Roads"
"Last night, the Serbs showered us heavily with shells, but there were no victims on our side -- there were victims on their side," Kadri Kastrati told us by cellular phone during a lull in the fighting early in the morning last weekend from the surroundings of Podujevo.
Kadri is an experienced soldier, he participated in the Liberation War and has the memorial certificate for the year of 1991 and 1992. For two and a half years he was a member of the Pula "Vangas" and defended Croatia along its Adriatic coast, from Zadar to Dubrovnik. From Pula, where he lived with his family, he arrived in Kosovo in April last year. Four months ago, he saw his closest relatives for the last time, when he had a short vacation from the increasingly fierce clashes with the Serb military and police.
"Like most of the people, I arrived in Kosovo through Albania, but when I returned from my vacation in Pula, I entered Kosovo through Macedonia," Kadri Kastrati tells us, derisively commenting on the amassing of Yugoslav forces along the border with Macedonia. "The roads can never be closed, because they were opened by the will to help one's own people." Before his participation in the Liberation War, this 39-year-old soldier had spent 11 years in the JNA, and, today, he is the deputy commander of the region in which he fights.
We Have Repelled Eight Serbian Offensives!
"I went to fight in Croatia, because we had a common enemy, and that was also an opportunity for me to prepare for the war in Kosovo. It became clear a long time ago that this conflict was inevitable. Everything I learned in the Liberation War is more than helpful to me now, and has been so particularly in the last two and a half months. The attacks never cease, we have repelled eight Serbian offensives so far, and they attacked us with more than 100 tanks and armored vehicles. They will have to give up soon, because they are losing equipment, and their soldiers are deserting every day," Kadri proudly says about their successes so far.
According to his knowledge, about 100 soldiers from Croatia are in Kosovo, and, when asked whether they are still coming in, Kadri answers: "Not so many of them are arriving now, because, at the moment, we need only well-trained people. After all, the time to come is already past: those who wanted to come to Kosovo have already come. Those who stroll all over Croatia and Europe and brag that they were in the UCK have been watching too much television! All the UCK combatants are here!"
New Fighters Are Arriving Constantly
According to what Kadri knows, the UCK has 20,000 people in Kosovo, and they turn away new people every day because there is no need for them. "Sometimes we turn away as many as 150 people. We recently received a petition with 3,000 signatures from Pristina students who want to join us, but there is no need for them to come. There are also many women who want to join us," Kadri says, and explains that the UCK fighters are no longer trained in Albania, but on the liberated territory in Kosovo. For his unselfish sacrifice, Kadri receives no reward, because he, as he says, does not need it.
"The families of the fighters receive their salaries, according to the needs and standards of the countries they live in. Thus my family receives about DM1,000 a month," concludes Kadri Kastrati, who was interrupted in our interview by new troubles in the Podujevo region.
We Have Collected More Than DM4 Million So Far
"Our model was the Croatian Diaspora during the Liberation War. In a very similar way, the Albanians from Croatia help their people in Kosovo. We have organized committees in all counties, and their task is to collect financial and any other assistance for those displaced from Kosovo and the UCK," says Ton Marku, president of the Union of Albanian Community in Croatia.
He continues to say that, apart from significant quantities of aid, many soldiers left for Kosovo from Croatia.
"More than 1,000 Albanians volunteered in the Liberation War. Most of them are already in Kosovo, and those who have not left yet will go soon!
Apart from the Albanians from Croatia, fighters from Bosnia-Herzegovina also joined the UCK. More than 5,000 Albanians fought against the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Also, the Albanians who are still officers in the Croatian Army will leave their active duty and go to Kosovo. It is their duty to teach their people in Kosovo all they know about military matters," Mr. Marku says. There is a fund called "Homeland Calls" in the Union, and it is based in Zadar. Ton Marku points out that, so far, more than DM4 million has been collected in money, food, clothes, and medicines. Pliva [pharmaceutical industry] and Varteks [textile industry] are among the many Croatian companies that have helped.
Black Hand Has Also Infiltrated Into Kosovo
"Not long ago, the terrorists of the secret Serbian "Black Hand" organization got involved in this war, which is reaching its culmination with heavier and heavier clashes. Approximately 150 of their members got into towns, trying to provoke clashes in the urban centers. Everybody knows that many Albanians will fall victims if they succeed in implementing their plans, but we have our urban guerillas, who will soon put a stop to their actions," Kadri Kastrati announces.
19. Subj: Letter of the President of the Albanian American Civic League
Date:?99-03-16 21:52:15 EST
Letter of the President of the Albanian American Civic League, addressed to all members of the Albanian Delegation in France
New York, March 13,1999
Two hundred and twenty-three years ago, an American colony declared its independence from an English tyrant, King George III. A rag-tag army of freedom fighters led by George Washington took on the world's greatest power at a time when more then half of the American colonists were confused and being bought and manipulated by fear, money, and promises of power by the king and his lackeys. But, with the truth on their side, sound leadership, and unshakable determination, "David slew Goliath" once again and the United States of America was born.
One can only imagine the wretched conditions of Washington's army at Valley Forge --freezing, hungry, and dispirited. Yet with help of God and their courage, his weary troops summoned up the will to do the impossible, and the battle at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777 marked the beginning of the end of British tyranny in the thirteen colonies.
Thomas Paine, whom many credit as the author of the best ideas in the Declaration of Independence, gave one of history's greatest speeches of encouragement to the soldiers at Valley Forge. He said: "These are the times that try men souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from service of their nation, but he [and she] that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."
Another great statesman of the revolution, Patrick Henry, said it another way: "Give me liberty or give me death."
There are many parallels between the American colonies and the Kosovars. Like the American colonists during the Revolutionary War, Kosovar Albanians are experiencing enormous suffering and sacrifice at this decisive moment in the history of the Albanian nation. Like the early Americans, the Kosovar Albanians have suffered from a ruthless dictatorship, which has bound them as slaves in every way, inflicting on the
Albanian people of Kosova today the worst kind of tyranny that human history has shown us. Slobodan Milosevic, the "butcher of the Balkans," has followed the genocidal path of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in attempting to preserve his shaky political power on the backs and bodies of another innocent and inoffensive people.
King George was interested only in taxes - in money! Milosevic, a de facto war criminal, is forever thirsting for Albanian blood. And, if the American colonists had the right to declare their freedom from oppression under a Declaration of Independence, which stated that, "whenever any form of government becomes destructive of their inalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, it is the right of the people to abolish it and institute a new government to effect their safety and happiness," then the Kosovars have a much greater right, and even an obligation to themselves and their children, to declare their independence from Serbia under international law.
As an Albanian American whose father came to America from a small Albanian village in Southern Italy, and whose Albanian relatives have kept their besa with their Albanian blood brothers and sisters in the Balkans for more than five hundred years, I have no small personal interests in seeing Kosova free and independent of Serbia's ultranationalist and murderous regime. But I also feel that I must continue to keep faith with those Albanian Americans who accidentally discovered my father speaking Albanian and pushed me to bring the issue of Kosova's independence to the U.S Congress in 1986. For me, this means speaking out, before it is too late, about the consequences of signing the Ranbouillet agreement.
As the founding president of the Albanian American Civic League, which has fought for Kosova's independence and the national cause of the Albanian since 1989, I cannot sit idly by while some Albanians, who claim to be leaders, are willing to sign a document that recognizes Serbia's sovereignty over Albanian land and people, that seeks to disarm the freedom fighters who with their courage and blood have put Kosova on the front pages of newspapers all over the world, and that seeks to deny the Albanian of Kosova a real referendum on their freedom under international law.
As hard as it may be (and the price of freedom is steep) to oppose the peace settlement, I firmly believe that the process begun at Rambouillet continues to be a smoke screen for yet another Serbian move to divide the Albanian people and seize Albanian land with the help of Russia and in the absence of resolve by the West. The agreement is a death sentence for the people of Kosova, who, as part of Serbia, will be subject to enslavement, ethnic cleansing, and genocide for another hundred years, when the assimilation of all Albanians into the Slavic world will be complete. This will be the dream come true of Vaso Cubrilovic, who presented his plan for this, "The Expulsion of the Albanians," in Belgrade in 1937.
Finally, I think we need to think long and hard about our traditional respect and responsibility for besa. When Adem Jashari and his family gave their lives, when the innocent civilians from Drenice to Recak gave their lives, when Adem Demaci, who spent more then twenty-six years in Serbian prisons so that Kosovars could be ruled by Albanians, not by Serbs, turned his back on the Rambouillet, they kept their besa with the Albanian people -- past, present, and future. Each generation of Albanians is a golden link in an unbroken chain forged by blood, sweat, and tears, that binds us to a glorious pas t and a promising future. Will this generation of Albanian stand the test of besa by not signing away Albanian land to Serbs, and the right to defend themselves, for the first time in Albanian history? Or will this be the first generation in the thousands of years from Illyria to Kosova to break the chain? And if the chain is broken next week in France, will not those Albanians who signed the papers in Paris be remmbered as having turned their backs on besa and our national cause for hundred of years to come?
Like Thomas Paine, Albanians know well the price of freedom. They have paid it many times in Serbian torture chambers and in their homes in Drenice, Decan, and Recak, thereby making a substantial down payment on their independence from Serbia, now and forever. Albanians also know that there is a price to pay for willingly breaking besa with the past and future of their people and nation. Albanians always remember their national heroes with great respect and scorn forever those who betray their nation.
Like our Jewish brothers and sisters, we are a small but important nation of fifteen million people, bound by history, blood, and language. Like the Jews, Albanians must stand together to achieve their independence and preserve their national cause.
I urge you not to sign an agreement that surrenders not only your freedom but our national honor. I give you my besa that I and the other members of the Albanian American Civic League will work even harder to rally the 400.000 Albanians in America and the 7 million Albanian outside the Balkans in Turkey, Europe, Australia, and around the world to support your fight for independence in Kosova.
20. Subj: Kosova Sot: the article by Adem Demaci
Date:?99-03-16 21:44:34 EST
This is the article of Mr.Adem Demaçi published yesterday in daily newspaper "Kosova Sot".
KOSOVA, RAISE YOUR HEAD!
Those that do not have the strength, those that do not enjoy listening to the bitter words, apart from sweet ones, coming from other people, let them not deal with public work and let them pass to anonymity
I do not want to think nor say that all these men and women all over the world wish harm to us; I do not want to say nor think that all these Albanian political, artistic and scientific personalities wish harm to us, the enslaved Kosovar Albanians, when they suggest, advise and ask us to sign the Document offered by the Contact Group, in the Medieval French Castle Rambouillet. All these men and women undoubtedly wish good to us, but from their own interest, their point of view and their position. All these people are good and wish good to us from the angle seen from France, Germany, Italy and Russia. There are different point of views among the Albanians themselves dependently on their positions and interests different people have.
The Albanian that lost everything for the freedom of Kosova has a different point of view and interest regarding the Rambouillet Document. The Albanians that have got political "capital" or business one have got a different point of view and interest. The Albanians that live on the relief of the "Mother Theresa" Humanitarian & Charitable Society have got a different point of view and interest. The writer that wrote magnificent novels on freedom, who fed up with freedom and problems of Albania took shelter in the shining city of the world and from there looks at us as we are "crazy" that we want to pay every price for our freedom, has got a different point of view and interest. When we persistently want our right to freedom, we seem to him as "we want to boost ourselves". We cannot look like in a different way from the point of view of the man who had lived crouched, had taken what has been given to him without disturbing his commodity and who became a hero post-festm. The great artist of our people calls from the top of Europe to remove us as soon as possible from the political scene fearing that we might prevent the signing of the Rambouillet Document; we might prevent our people became a slave. No, dear sir, do not preoccupy yourself with such a simple thing. We that refuse to be slaves do not want to impose ourselves onto the political scene or become "leaders" or "fathers" of the nation. It was enough for us that Mr. Jakup Krasniqi said that wewere not invited and we left.
No, beloved brother from Paris, to remove us from the political scene is not simply as that, but I do not know how you can cease the wish for freedom from the hearts of the oppressed people? Lately, there have been efforts for the prevention of the campaign "against Demaçi". This campaign is conducted by outer and inner factors. Those that make efforts to prevent this campaign are probably led by highest democratic goals. I am deeply grateful to them for this, but I would ask them not to bother themselves, while I am alive and fit. I ask you not to shut the mouth of my people by "the symbol of resistance". I ask you not to scare my people with "my brilliant biography"! I am still alive, strong and my biography still goes on. We need to do something else. We need to teach our people to use its head to decide for themselves. We can never accomplish this duty, the duty above all duties, if we shut the mouth of our people by fearing, bribing or deceiving it. Let the people spek up. Let those utter words be insults or fabrications. If someone feels good to insult Adem Demaçi, let him enjoy it. If someone feels good to fabricate about Adem Demaçi, let him enjoy it. I ask you not to shut people's mouths. The word is the easiest, the cheapest and the fastest way for the man to get involved with other people. The word speaks for itself, therefore let people bring up their white, black, colourful deeds. If we wish good to our people, we have to listen to what they say. Tose that do not have the strength, those that do not enjoy listening to the bitter words, apart from the sweet ones, coming from other people, let them not deal with public work and let them pass to anonymity.
People learn from their own mistakes, therefore let us make it possible for them to make mistakes, if we want them to learn and make less mistakes. I am not a narcissistic and a conceited type. I will tell you what happened to me several days ago. I went out, bought the papers and on my way back, I met a group of pupils. Those that recognized me hailed me, whispering "Adem Demaçi". But, when I walked some meters away, I heard a clear voice: "Adem-the traitor"! There was silence for a moment. I continued my way feeling happy that that word uttered did not make me mad. They knew that I heard the insult, but I did not respond hereby. Some day, he will receive the right response, it will be a million times worse than my own response. On my way to the destination, I thought that it was good that the boy expressed his opinion, the opinion of his circles. It would be very bad if the boy did not dare to express his opinion fearing for himself or his circles. It would be very bad if the boy ried "Long live Adem Demaçi" only because he felt frightened.
I do not want to be a leader of the people, who can be bribed, deceived or frightened. Therefore, I have been and I am ready to die for freedom, because in the climate of freedom you can bring up people that cannot be bribed, deceived or frightened. The bad things that the mankind is suffering were caused by incompetent people. I will not speak on the incompetence in the wide international or national plan. I will limit thereof myself within the period from 30 January, when in the "Aleksandar Pallas" Hotel in Shkup Mr. Cook, British Minister of Foreign Affairs, handed us the Document-invitation for the participation in the meeting in Rambouillet due to be held on 6 February 1999. Mr. Cook kindly received us and accomplished his duty with the highest competence. He wanted us to immediately confirm our participation. This was justified by the fact that if the Albanian delegation did this, he would have an advantage over the Serbian delegation. Before us, someone had shown a high "competence"confirming the participation in the meeting of Rambouillet without giving a glance at the Document at all.
On returning to Prishtina, that night and the next day, the team of our office digested the Document and notwithstanding the bad weather, we left for the mountains. There, we expressed our position to some of the gentlemen of the General Headquarters.
1. The preparation of the meeting is very quick and therefore unacceptable for us.
2. The Document as such is a synthesis of the so-called Mr. Hill's Drafts, which were refused by the Albanians. In a few words, the Document was a platform for a "substantial" autonomy, which will appear as a cultural one when the make-up is removed from it. Therefore, it is unacceptable for us.
3. The referendum under the organization, surveillance and guarantee of the United States of America is not mentioned thereof.
4. The KLA is not mentioned anywhere, therefore elimination of it as the main force of the victory for freedom and preservation of the freedom is made known.
5. The Albanian delegation cannot be formed by the Albanians themselves, but by the organizers of the meeting.
6. If we go to Rambouillet, then we accept this platform as a basis for the negotiations with the Serbian side.
7. It is unacceptable to have talks with the representatives of the Serbian regime, which has not applied any of the resolutions of the Security Council on Kosova and the Agreement Holbrooke-Milosevic (October 1998).
It is an unpardonable mistake to have negotiations with the representatives of the Serbian regime, which exerts violence, terror and massacres on the Albanians. This would be legalization of the right of the Serbian regime to impose a political solution to us by killing and terrorizing the Albanians, a solution which would be on its favor. These talks would be under the threat of knife. On 2 February, I had a press conference and said all what I wanted to say. You know what happened afterwards. Incompetent people brought us here where we stand.
Therefore, raise Your head Kosova and remove incompetent people from the political scene, if you want to gain the real freedom. You will not gain freedom with people that make mistakes and fail time and again. We do not have people to lose, therefore all people that proved to be incompetent to deal with politics, let them go and commit themselves with other things, which are competent for. Let us not allow them to cause endless sacrifices and bloodshed in the unrestrainable process, on our way to freedom.
Zyra e Adem Demaçit për anliza, propozime e këshilla politike
Adem Demaçi's office for political analyses, proposals and advises
Tel&Fax : ++ 381 38 534 035
Tel&Fax : ++ 381 38 30 202
E-mail : Demaci@albanian.com
The London Telegraph, May 5, 1999
Money Laundering: MI6 "Investigates" Crime Links to KLA
THE secret support network across Europe and America providing help to the Kosovo Liberation Army is being investigated by MI6 and other intelligence agencies after allegations that organised crime plays a central role.
Most of the investigation work has been focused on Switzerland where the KLA is known to have set up a complex network of accounts to channel funds raised from the Albanian and Kosovar diaspora. Some accounts have been found to breach Swiss banking standards and have been closed down.
Support comes from shadowy groups known mainly by their acronyms. The KLA is supported by the LPK and LNCK but challenged by the LDK and tolerated by the LBD, formed out of the LDS. Each group has a clear interest in the future of Kosovo and there is intense rivalry as they try to build large fighting funds to help to pay for the political battle that will follow the war.
It is not known whether links with organised crime were proven and some accounts were found to be legal. The investigations have forced the KLA to be even more cunning in concealing its financial trail.
The investigations were launched after repeated accusations, mainly from Belgrade, that the KLA was funded largely by organised crime including drugs trafficking and the smuggling of non-Europeans into the EU. Belgrade repeatedly said the KLA was a terrorist organisation with similarities to the IRA, which has criminal backers.
The West's attitude is equivocal. State Department spokesmen are holding back from giving absolute backing to the KLA. Current investigations will go a long way to establishing whether the KLA is a genuine, popular freedom fighting group or a front for criminals.
Since Albania's Cold War isolation ended in 1991, the country's large and rapidly growing diaspora has begun to challenge the Sicilian Mafia for control of large-scale crime in the West. While it is true that Albanian criminals are proliferating in some parts of the West, the connection between them and the KLA is not so clear, notwithstanding Belgrade's propaganda.
What the Western agencies, including the Secret Intelligence Service, have found is a sophisticated network of accounts and companies set up to process funds that the KLA says were raised legally as voluntary contributions from supporters in the ethnic Albanian diaspora. Western investigators first had to distinguish between funds raised for the KLA and funds raised for rival Kosovo support groups.
The KLA's precursor was a secretive party known as the Popular Movement for Kosovo (LPK) set up in Germany after the 1982 assassination of three Kosovar Albanians in Bonn. The LPK was known to have Marxist-Leninist pretences in the early days but those are believed to have been diluted since the armed struggle began on a large scale last year with the KLA appearing in uniform in Kosovo.
The KLA's main rival was the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), the party of Ibrahim Rugova, which stood on a ticket of peaceful, Gandhi-style, non co-operation in Kosovo. The LDK is more politically sophisticated and in 1992 it organised what it called free and fair elections in Kosovo, still subject to strict Serb control, and elected a government which was forced to operate in exile in western Europe. Kosovars were encouraged to provide funds for the LDK through voluntary donations.
The KLA soon learnt the same trick and letters went round to the Kosovar diaspora asking for funds. Some of the methods of persuasion were believed to be erring on the strong side.
THE TIMES (UK) May 18 1999
Berisha scorns 'incompetent' KLA guerrillas
FROM TOM WALKER IN TIRANA
SALI BERISHA, the former Albanian president, has depicted the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) as an incompetent collection of rival gangs, poorly equipped and trained, and riven by feuding. He claimed that the socialist-led Government of Albania was profiting from arms racketeering in northern Albania at the KLA's expense and he urged that the guerrillas be reorganised with the help of Nato and the Albanian Army.
Mr Berisha, whose power has been greatly diminished during the past two years, refused to recognise the KLA's new government for Kosovo, and instead urged Albanians to back the pacifist Ibrahim Rugova, whose influence is also waning rapidly.
KLA officials in Tirana were angered by his comments and said that he was bent on dividing the guerrilla group with the help of his old ally, the Swiss-based physician and Kosovan dissident Bujar Bukoshi. The KLA said that like Mr Rugova, both Mr Berisha and Mr Bukoshi were so far removed from those fighting the war that they had lost the respect of most Kosovo Albanians.
Western diplomats in Tirana typified Mr Berisha as a troublemaker, and one senior source questioned the West's continued backing of Mr Rugova, whose credibility has been severely dented by his meetings with President Milosevic of Yugoslavia.
Nato sources said they believed that Mr Rugova may make his first visit to refugee camps this week, possibly in conjunction with Tony Blair's trip to northern Albania, scheduled for today. The diplomats said it could be Mr Rugova's last chance for a political revival. Mr Berisha admitted ruefully that he was unlikely to meet Mr Blair.
"The KLA should fight for national dignity," he said. "They will not free Kosovo - Nato will do that - but dignity is vital. But what is our Government doing? Thousands of young soldiers are coming from all over the West and are having two weeks' training with really unskilled people. The Albanian Government, which is more interested in trafficking, is the root of all their problems."
Mr Berisha, a former cardiologist, said Nato should plan a full-scale invasion of Yugoslavia. "I am for entering from all sides, and freeing the country from the Milosevic regime," he said.
Most controversially, he alleged that the KLA had killed Mr Rugova's deputy in the Democratic League for Kosovo, Fehmi Agani. The KLA and Western diplomats said the claim was preposterous.
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