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Staring blind into the obvious
By Stella Jatras
What took so long for it to become obvious that Bosnia and other parts of the Balkans are the launching pad for terrorist attacks in Europe?
The Washington Post writes on 1 December, "Terrorist Cells Find Foothold in Balkans."(1) What a revelation! The fact is, Bosnia became a launching pad as far back as 1992 when the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic - the government that was supported by the Clinton administration - issued a passport to Osama bin Laden which he used to visit Bosnia and Kosovo on several occasions.
More and more newspapers are finally beginning to expose Bosnia's connection to terrorism cells. A UPI article in The Washington Times of 1 December headlined "Balkans seen as terrorist training ground" reported:
Recent arrests confirm the belief that parts of the Balkans are becoming a launching pad for terrorist attacks in Europe, authorities say. One example came in an apartment occupied by an underground group aiming to blow up the British Embassy in Sarajevo, Western intelligence officials told The Washington Post. There they found explosives, rifles, other arms and a videotape pledging vengeance for the "brothers" killed fighting Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq. Islamic radicals reportedly want to create cells of so-called 'white' al-Qaida, non-Arab members who can avoid racial profiling used to spot potential terrorists.(2)
The Houston Chronicle further stated that U.S. Admiral Leighton Smith, commander of NATO forces in Bosnia, said as he toured the area, "No one can escape the obvious, that there is terrorist training activity going on in this building and it has direct association with people in the government," referring to the Bosnian Muslim government.
But it gets even more bizarre. Discovered also was a makeup room with charts instructing how to change eye color using contact lenses, peroxide bottles to alter hair color, and a dozen beards and mustaches to use as disguises. In classrooms, instructors had laid out mock-ups of installations. Notebooks detailed the daily lives of possible targets and manuals showed how to build bombs out of children's toys. "There is no military value to these types of devices; rigging toys is an act of terror," (my emphasis) said Col Brian Hoey, a NATO spokesman. His fellow spokesman, Col. John T. Kirkwood, added: "I never saw John Wayne rip the head off a plastic doll and throw it." (my emphasis)
President Bush accuses Iran of sending armed insurgents into Iraq, but where was the outrage when a 1997 Senate Republican Policy Committee report stated, "Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base"? (3) While exposing the Iranian connection to the Balkan war, the report also states that "Perhaps most threatening to the SFOR mission - and more importantly, to the safety of the American personnel serving in Bosnia - is the unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo."
The Italian news agency AKI headlines, "Bosnia: Muslim Newspaper Points to Existence of Islamic Terror Camps," (4) writes, "Sarajevo, 30 August (AKI) - A Bosnian Muslim newspaper on Tuesday joined a chorus of mostly Serbian news reports on the existence of training camps for Islamic terrorists, accusing the international community of closing its eyes in front of this danger. The weekly Slobodna Bosna (Free Bosnia), whose editor is Senad Avdic, a moderate Muslim, in its latest issue described in detail how and where the alleged terrorist camps operate in Bosnia. The paper criticised the commander of the international forces in Bosnia (Eufor) David Leaky for his recent statement that he had no knowledge of the existence of such camps.
"In the article titled 'The Commander of Eufor in Bosnia David Leaky is Playing Dumb', the paper said that there was no point in presenting the facts to the 'uninformed general. 'Is he (Leaky) really uninformed, which is hard to believe, or is he conscientiously deceiving the local public, like most Western politicians who serve in Bosnia and advocate the thesis that the best thing for world security is that all terrorists be concentrated in one place, in Bosnia, where they can be kept under control?', the paper asked. The paper quoted former UN representative in Bosnia, Jacques Klein, as having confirmed to the Security Council that Islamic terrorists were active in Bosnia, but added that it was good they were concentrated in one place, because 'the rest of the world would be safe'."
Let me repeat that idiotic statement by one of the UN's high representatives, "The paper quoted former UN representative in Bosnia, Jacques Klein, as having confirmed to the Security Council that Islamic terrorists were active in Bosnia, but added that it was good they were concentrated in one place, because 'the rest of the world would be safe'." Personally, I always thought that Jacques Klein somewhat resembled Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Propaganda Minister, in facial appearance, with his pointy nose, etc., but then that's just my observation. Goebbels is the one who coined the phrase ""If you tell a lie enough times, it becomes accepted as truth, and, the bigger the lie, the more likely it is to be accepted."
The New York Times of 3 December in an article, "Police Raid Raises Fears of Bosnia as Haven for Terrorists," writes, "A recent police raid on an apartment near this city's airport uncovered evidence of an imminent suicide bombing, intensifying the fears of Western security services that Bosnia is becoming a haven for Islamic militants.(5)
Therefore, it is safe to say Bosnia is the birthplace of Al-Qaeda.(6) At the time, Bosnia's Islamic terrorism was focused against the Serbian people, and therefore "justified." But if al-Qaeda could succeed in Bosnia, it could succeed anywhere in the world. Today, their terrorism is aimed at the American people. If only the Clinton administration had taken serious action against known Islamic terrorists in Bosnia when he had the chance, perhaps 9/11 would not have happened.