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Carl Savich | Columns | serbianna.com Al-Qaeda in Bosnia: Bosnian Muslim War Crimes Trial

By Carl Savich
Bosnian Muslim War Crimes: The ICTY Trial of Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura

Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, left, taking a proud photo with al-Qaeda.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) indicted senior Bosnian Muslim military commanders General Enver Hadzihasanovic and Colonel Amir Kubura on war crimes charges on July 13, 2001 in Case No: IT-01-47-PT. Bosnian Muslim General Mehmed Alagic, who commanded the Bosanska Krajina unit of the 3rd Corps, was also charged in the initial war crimes indictment but died on March 7, 2003 awaiting the start of the trial. The complaint was amended to charge Hadzihasanovic with 7 counts and Kubura with 6 counts. Initially, the defendants were charged with 19 counts. The Hadzihasanovic and Kubura war crimes trial, known as the “Central Bosnia” case, began on December 2, 2003.

The trial is important in showing the extent of Al-Qaeda involvement in the Bosnian Civil War of 1992-1995. Hadzihasanovic and Kubura are charged with command responsibility for war crimes committed by mujahedeen troops in the Bosnian Muslim Army. These foreign Muslim Jihad or “Islamic holy warriors” were assembled in a special Bosnian Army unit called the “El Mujahed unit”. This unit committed some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity against Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat civilians and POWs.

The commander of the Bosnian Muslim unit “El Mujahed” was Abu Abdel Aziz “Barbaros”, described as a “senior Al-Qaeda recruiter” in a report before the National Commission of Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, or known as the 9/11 Commission chaired by Thomas H. Kean. Aziz, also known as Abdelrahman al-Dosari, was born in Saudi Arabia in 1942. He was a veteran of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan. His nickname was “Hown” because he established a reputation for his use of the Soviet-made “Hound” artillery rockets. He was an early member of the Al-Qaeda movement established by Ossama bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam. He was made the amir, or military commander of the Saudi Arabian and Afghani mujahedeen in Bosnia. Aziz established his headquarters at the Mehurici camp outside of Travnik in central Bosnia.

Ekkehard Witkopf, the ICTY prosecutor, noted the significance of the mujahedeen trial: “This trial… will show war crimes were committed by both sides of the conflict in central Bosnia. This trial will give the world a more complete picture of the war in Bosnia.” It is the first “command responsibility” case tried at the Hague tribunal. The defendants were charged with criminal responsibility for acts of murder, cruel treatment, wanton destruction and plunder of personal and private property of Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats, and the willful destruction of religious institutions.

Faith in Allah in action: A Muslim brigade of the Bosnian army marching in a military parade in Bosnia shouting Allahu Akhbar and wishing death to West.

Witkopf assigned criminal responsibility as follows: “They knew, or had reason to know, that the forces under their command had committed or were going to commit these acts… They did not take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent them or punish those who committed them.”

Enver Hadzihasanovic was the commander of the 3rd Corps of the Muslim Army of Bosnia and Hercegovina (ABiH). He was later made part of the joint command of the Bosnian Muslim Army and was the Chief of the Supreme Command Staff. Amir Kubura was made the commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade of the 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia. They were both charged with war crimes by the ICTY for command and control responsibility. The 7th Muslim Brigade was formed on November 19, 1992 based in Zenica. It was comprised of three battalions: The first was located in Travnik, the second in Zenica, and the third in Kakanj. It was used as an “infantry manoeuvre unit” in the Bosnian Muslim Army.

The military commander of the Bosnian Muslim Army, Rasim Delic, reviewing the mijahedeen unit, accused of committing war crimes by the Hague Tribunal.
El Mujahed Unit
“Mujahedin” or “holy warriors” arrived in Bosnia in the summer of 1992 from Saudi Arabia. Mujahedeen means literally in Arabic one who is a “struggler” or one who is willing “to do battle” In the modern context, it means to be a soldier or guerrilla waging a war in the name of Islam, a religious war. It comes from the Arabic root “JHD”, Jihad, and means someone who wages a struggle for Islam. In Islam, there is no distinction between the political and religious sector. In Islam, all aspects of a person’s life are guided by Islam. Islam is more than a religion, but a way of life. It is an ideology that is all-encompassing. Alija Izetbegovic explained this unity of Islam and the state in the Islamic Declaration (1970; republished, 1990):

A Muslim generally does not exist as an individual. If he wishes to live and survive as a Muslim, he must create an environment, a community, and order…History knows of no true Islamic movement which was not at the same time a political movement as well…. The shortest definition of the Islamic order defines it as a unity of faith and law,   … spiritual community and state…

There is no religious or political tolerance in an Islamic state, as explained by Izetbegovic: “There can be no peace or coexistence between the ‘Islamic faith’ and non-Islamic societies and political institutions.”

Picture of an ID Bosnian Muslims issued to an Al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Zumair. Thousands of al-Qaeda got these IDs as well as passports.
The reason Saudi Arabia sent mujahedeen in Bosnia first and organized the effort is because Arabs see Islam as their creation or invention. Saudi Arabia is regarded as the base or center of Islam with Mecca and Medina located there. The yearly pilgrimage or haj is made to Saudi Arabia each year by Muslims. Moreover, the language of The Koran and or Islamic religious texts is in Arabic. The Wahhabi sect of Islam in Saudi Arabia is a radical fundamentalist version of Islam founded by Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792). The Wahhabi movement advocates the “oneness” of Allah and of Islam, rejecting the Shi’ite or Sufi sects of Islam. Wahhabism seeks to establish one, single version of Islam that interprets The Koran strictly. It gives Saudi Arabia dominance over global Islam. Islam is an Arabic religion and way of life. This is why Saudi Arabia was there first. It is about self-interest.

The ICTY indictment noted that mujahedeen “were prepared to conduct a ‘Jihad’ or ‘Holy War’ in Bosnia.” Ossama bin Laden’s right hand man and top lieutenant, Saudi Abu Sulaiman al-Makki, was part of the first mujahedeen force to arrive in Bosnia. These were mujahedeen recruited, financed, and organized by Ossama bin Laden. Al-Makki joined Barbaros in the first attack by about 43 Saudi Arabian mujahedeen in central Bosnia against Bosnian Serb forces. This is the engagement where the Saudi Arabian mujahedeen decapitated three Bosnian Serb troops near Teslic and held their heads as war trophies. A prominent member of this mujahedeen contingent that attacked Bosnian Serb forces, Abu Asim al-Makki, later was the major planner of the October, 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 US sailors.

Bosnian Muslim mujahedeen march through Zenica, wearing green head band with Arabic script: "Our way is the Jihad."
The objective was to create terror and panic in the Kafir or kaurin, the infidels and the unbelievers. Al-Makki was paralyzed from the waist down in combat against Bosnian Serb troops. He was shown in the famous video released in 2001 where Ossama bin Laden and al-Makki are shown sitting on a couch discussing the 9/11 attack. Bin Laden takes full responsibility for the 9/11 attack in this video. Bosnian civil war veteran Al-Makki has a blanket over his legs in the video.

We now know that senior Al-Qaeda leaders fought and were seriously injured in Bosnia. German reporter Renate Flottau of Der Spiegel reported that she personally saw and spoke to Ossama bin Laden in 1994, when he allegedly visited Alija Izetbegovic in Sarajevo. Bin Laden was issued a Bosnian passport through the Bosnian Embassy in Vienna in 1993. One of the suicide hijackers in the 9/11 attack had a Bosnian passport. Moreover, four to six Bosnian citizens, Algerian Muslim mujahedeen who were granted Bosnian citizenship by the Bosnian Muslim Government, were arrested by US forces and sent to the Guantanamo prison where they were questioned on their connections to Al-Qaeda.

The mujahedin were “incorporated and subordinated” within the structure of the 7th Muslim Brigade when it was formed on November 19, 1992. On August 13, 1993, the mujahedeen were organized in the “El Mujahed” unit. The Battalion of the Holy Warriors, or Kateebat al-Mujahideen, was “officially mobilized… on the personal orders of Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic, to whom the unit was directly responsible.”

Under the ICTY legal doctrine of command responsibility, Izetbegovic should have been tried as a war criminal for the war crimes known to have been committed by the mujahedeen unit. The Bosnian Muslim military command put this unit in the 3rd Corps area of operations and subordinated it to the command of that Corps. The mujahedeen troops acted as shock troops to spearhead offensives by the 3rd Corps of the Bosnian Muslim Army.

The Jihad combatant was a shahid or martyr, willing to die for Islam. Many of the Arab mujahedeen sought “shuhada” or “martyrdom” in Bosnia, dying for the propagation of Islam. By the end of 1992, out of a total mujahedeen force of 300 in Bosnia, at least 22 Saudi Arabian mujahedeen were killed in combat, along with 12 mujahedeen from Egypt. In Travnik, 53 mujahedeen were killed. Abu el-Ma’ali justified the loss in human life: “The way of Jihad must have its pure blood which Allah picks and chooses to be a fuel for those who are left.” How many mujahedeen troops were in Bosnia? Estimates range from several thousand up to ten thousand troops.

Many of the mujahedeen left “testaments” in case they were killed in Bosnia. Abu Abd Al-Aziz Muntesib, a Saudi Arabian mujahedeen killed in the Teslic assault in 1992, left a testament that explained why he was waging a Jihad in Bosnia:

In the name of Allah, the Benevolent and Merciful!

Praise to Allah and blessings and salvation to the Servant of Allah. May Allah bless and save Him….

I entreat Allah to convey this testament to you while I rejoice with my Lord in the gardens of paradise, happy that Allah is content with me… with my brothers who died a martyr’s death that I yearned for so long and Allah, may he be glorified and exalted…Moreover to exalt his faith and fulfill my desire with the death of my enemies, may Allah curse them! Furthermore, to rejoice at the sight of an Islamic caliphate that will fill the land with its justice, after so much violence.

Oh, my parents, I beg Allah for you to receive the news of my death with joy, because I shall not die for the sake of liberty nor out of patriotism, nor any other false aim. On the contrary I shall die, if Allah wills, for the sake of Allah, and erecting the first pillar of Islam, for Islam to spread and take root in the world…

And you, my father, know that a martyr’s death for the eternal goal is the privilege only of those whom Allah has chosen. And, as Allah the Exalted says: “And, among you there will be chosen ones who will die a martyr’s death for the holy purpose.” May Allah be praised three times for bestowing and designating me to die a martyr’s death! ...

The Exalted furthermore said: “Do not say of those who died for the sake of Allah that they are dead, but that they are living” …

I entrust you to take care that my brothers are raised in the spirit of the jihad, to instill the love of a martyr’s death in them, the splendour of the faith and its words…

Al-Qaeda in Bosnia: Senior Al-Qaeda recruiter Abu Abdel Aziz "Barbaros", who commanded the El Mujahed unit, first on right, with a group of Arab-Afghan mujahedeen in Bosnia, December, 1992.
This testament of a Saudi Arabian mujahedeen gives a good picture of the mindset of the mujahedeen and their motivations. The objective of the jihad is to create a global “Islamic caliphate”. This is a fact censored and suppressed in US government and media accounts of the mujahedeen. US propaganda claims that the mujahedeen is defensive in nature. But this is not so. Al-Qaeda seeks a global Islamic community, a series of interconnected Muslim states from Spain to China. Moreover, the mujahedeen do not fight for liberty or patriotism but for the establishment of Islam. The mujahedeen have one goal and one goal only, to establish Islam. Islam is the root and basis for everything. The notion of the separation of religion and politics and the state is unknown in Islam. For Muslims, there is only Islam and nothing else. The mujahedeen perceive martyrdom, or suicide bombings and attacks, as legitimate and appropriate tactics in advancing Islam. Martyrdom is an essential tactic in the global jihad. Finally, the mujahedeen are guided by a religious fanaticism and zealotry that is unknown in the West. In Western thought, religion is seen as only one aspect or dimension in defining man. There is a secular and multi-dimensional component to human identity in Western thought. In Islam, man becomes one dimensional. As noted in the mujahedeen testament, man lives and dies for only one thing, “for the sake of Allah.”

These Muslim troops were trained, funded, and commanded by senior Al-Qaeda leaders. Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros, the commander of the mujahedeen unit, the Kateebat al-Mujahideen or the Mujahideen Battalion, the odred el-Mujahedin, was described by the 9/11 Commission as a “senior Al-Qaeda recruiter”.

A video made by the mujahedeen showing the ritual beheading of a Bosnian Serb POW. Images such as these were carefully censored and deleted in the US media but openly sold in Bosnian Cultural Centers.
Ritual Beheadings

The “El Mujahed” unit was charged with the murder, ritual execution, ritual beheading, torture, and imprisonment of Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat civilians and POWs. Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat civilians and POWS were forced to dig trenches under fire for the Bosnian Muslim Army and were used as human shields during offensive operations of the Bosnian Muslim armed forces. According to the ICTY indictment, “at least 200 Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb civilians were killed.” Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb POWs were killed and tortured.

At the Orasac Camp, which was staffed and run by Saudi-Afghan mujahedeen, Bosnian Serb civilian Dragan Popovic was ritually beheaded by mujahedeen on October 20, 1993. Other POWs were then forced to kiss his severed head. During the Muslim Turkish Ottoman Empire occupation of the Balkans, Serbian Orthodox Christians, the kaurin, or unbelievers, were ritually beheaded by Muslim Turkish forces to terrorize the rayah or Christian population known as Dhimmis, a conquered population. Ritual beheadings were part of the Dhimmitude policies of Muslim occupation forces, who sought to subjugate and conquer the Christian infidels of Europe. There were Muslim “Crusaders” and there were Christian “Crusaders”. Ossama bin Laden falsely and mistakenly asserted that there were only Christian Crusaders. But Islam has been expansionist ever since the time of Mohammed, invading eastern and western Europe, Asia, and north Africa, and forcefully converting the subjugated subjects to Islam. Bosnia was under Muslim Ottoman Turkish occupation for over four centuries. Spain was under Muslim occupation for over 700 years.

ICTY prosecutor Witkopf characterized the beheading of Bosnian Serb civilian Dragan Popovic as “a beheading that can only be described as a ritual beheading.” Other POWs and civilians were forced to dig their own graves. POWs were terrorized and physically and psychologically abused and mistreated. POWs were also forced to give blood.

Mujahedeen Atrocities and War Crimes

Islam is stated to be a religion of peace and compassion. But this is not how Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat Christians perceived Islam in Bosnia. The Al-Qaeda and US-sponsored mujahedeen were supposed to provide protection to embattled Muslims in Bosnia. Most of the mujahedeen were able to gain entry to Bosnia posing as workers for so-called Islamic humanitarian and charity organizations. But the war crimes and atrocities the mujahedeen committed in Bosnia against Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat Christians showed the utter contempt Islam has for Christianity and for Christians. The mujahedeen war crimes put Srebrenica in perspective. They also showed that co-existence between Islam and Christianity was not feasible in Bosnia. The Bosnian Serbs maintained this all along, contrary to US propaganda. The mujahedeen war crimes proved this point. What US foreign policy sought to accomplish in Bosnia was the domination and subjugation and marginalization of the Serb and Croat Christian population by Muslims.

The mujahedeen war crimes demonstrated the contempt the mujahedeen had for Christianity and for so-called Western civilization and culture. Evan Kohlmann wrote about “their remarkable fanaticism and blind cruelty”. Mujahedeen troops from Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia had “routinely performed crude, disfiguring, non-medical circumcisions on Bosnian Serb soldiers”. An 18-year old Bosnian Serb soldier “was so brutally circumcised that eventually the entire organ required amputation.” No only were Bosnian Serb Orthodox Christians the victims of Islamic terror, horrific war crimes committed in the name of Allah. Bosnian Croat Roman Catholic Christians were also victims. The mujahedeen ethnically cleansed all non-Muslims from Zenica, the mujahedeen stronghold. In 1992, Dejan Jozic, a 13-year old Roman Catholic Bosnian Croat teen, was asked by mujahedeen: “Why doesn’t your family leave Zenica?” Three mujahedeen then attacked Jozic and wrestled him to the ground. The ring finger of his right hand was then amputated. The Jozic family then fled from Zenica after this shocking example of Islamic terror. The US propaganda machine censored and suppressed these horrific acts of genocide committed by Muslim forces in the name of Islam. The CIA propaganda outlet in Europe, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, similarly covered-up and censored these Muslim war crimes and atrocities committed against Orthodox and Roman Catholic civilians and POWs.

Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic with Amir Kubura's 7th Muslim Brigade of Zenica, which committed war crimes against Bosnian Serb and Croat civilians and POWs according to the ICTY. 
A Bosnian Serb POW described his treatment after the engagements in the Vozuci region on May 27, 1995:

I was captured by a group of 12 mujaheddins including a Bosnia Muslim who served as interpreter… One of the mujaheddins ordered me to kneel down, took out his butcher knife with semi-circular blade and small handle which he held hanging around his neck, on his chest. He wanted to cut my had [sic] off, but the Muslim interpreter intervened, telling him something in Arabic… They put a knife under our necks, as if they were going to cut our throats. Then they brought a cardboard box in which there were two cut off human heads with blood still dripping… One day, they brought us out in the camp area for all the mujaheddins to see us. In my assessment, there were one thousand of them. The lined us up in such a way that we were surrounded by them, and they were singing and shouting something in Arabic. One of them had a knife in his hands and was persistently trying to come close and cut our throats, but two others prevented him. He was foaming with rage.

Another Bosnian Serb POW stated:

As soon as we arrived, the mujaheddins tied us with a hose, into which they let air under pressure, to make it expand and press our legs. This cause terrible pains and Gojko Vujicic swore [to] God, so one mujaheddin took him aside and cut his head off. I did not see what he used for the cutting, but I know that he brought the head into the room and forced all of us to kiss it. Then the mujaheddin hung the head on a nail in the wall.

Bosnian Serb POWs were “held like animals and starved for days, slowly being tortured to death.” Serb POWs were given knives and forced to kill each other or be killed themselves.

[O]nce they fell from wounds, Mujahedeen would decapitate them, with cleavers or chain saws, and those who were still alive were forced to kiss severed heads that were later nailed to tree trunks. Prisoners were hung upside down by ropes, they were nailed, or the Mujahdeen [sic] tied bricks to their testes and penises and pushed them into barrels where they slowly drowned pulled down by the weight of the bricks.

Videotapes were made of these war crimes by the mujahedeen and sold to encourage recruits to join the mujahedeen and Al-Qaeda. Mujahedeen also forcefully converted Bosnian Serb POWs to Islam. The US media and government censored and suppressed these horrific war crimes and atrocities committed against Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat Christians by Muslims. Why? The Bosnian Muslims were the proxies of the US government, of NATO, and of the EU. The US media and government carefully concealed and covered up the war crimes its Muslim Al-Qaeda proxies committed in Bosnia. If that failed, the appropriate media spin was put on the story by US government-sponsored reporters.

US reporter John-Thor Dahlburg of the Los Angeles times was told by a Bosnian Muslim soldier who was a member of the mujahedeen forces that the mujahedeen “like to kill. Whenever they could kill with their knives, they would do so.” The US media and government knew of the war crimes and atrocities that were being perpetrated against Bosnian Serb and Croat Christians. Nevertheless, this information was censored and suppressed. Instead, the US media and government focused on alleged Bosnian Serb war crimes against Bosnian Muslim troops in Srebrenica. But why is it no crime or Geneva Convention violation when Bosnian Muslim troops and mujahedeen torture and execute Bosnian Serb civilians and POWs? It is a perverted and convoluted moral calculus. Why can the mujahedeen take over Bosnian Serb towns and villages and torture and execute Bosnian Serb POWs at will? Why can the Al-Qaeda mujahedeen do this without any criminal culpability? Why are the Bosnian Serb forces accused of war crimes and even genocide when they retaliate in kind?

Muslim Ottoman Empire Redux

The mujahedeen goal was to re-establish the Muslim Ottoman Turkish Empire in Bosnia and in Europe, the so-called Muslim empire or Khalifah or khalifate or Caliphate. Al-Qaeda still has the goal to re-create a Muslim Caliphate that would include Bosnia and Kosovo. Ironically, US foreign policy is achieving for Al-Qaeda what they could not achieve on their own. Kohlmann chronicles several mujahedeen operations and offensives in 1995 against Bosnian Serb forces. But he failed to mention that these mujahedeen offensives were launched in conjunction with massive US and NATO bombings and strategic air strikes, known as Operation Deliberate Force, against strategic Bosnian Serb positions. The air strikes began on August 30, 1995, and consisted of 60 US and NATO aircraft flying over 500 sorties against Bosnian Serb targets. The US/NATO air force was in fact the air force for the mujahedeen/Al-Qaeda. Kolhmann does not even note this fact. It was US/NATO airpower that allowed the mujahedeen to drive out and kill Bosnian Serb troops and take over Bosnian Serb villages and towns.

Indeed, one Bosnian Serb village, Bocinja Donja, was taken over by mujahedeen soldiers once the Bosnian Serb inhabitants were driven out. There is a sign on the outskirts of town that warns residents to “be afraid of Allah.” There are up to 100 mujahedeen in the formerly Serbian town. The mujahedeen ever wrote graffiti on one abandoned Serbian house: “El Mudjahidin”. The mujahedeen/Al-Qaeda military victories were a gift or present from the US/NATO. The US/NATO only empowered and encouraged Al-Qaeda to later kill 17 US sailors aboard the USS Cole and approximately 3,000 civilians in the 9/11 World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings. The story would come full circle.

Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros, the "senior Al-Qaeda" who commanded the Bosnian Muslim mujahedeen unit of the Bosnian Muslim Army.
Iraqi Connection

There were reports that Ossama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda mujahedeen veterans from the Bosnian civil war were now killing US troops and Western civilians in Iraq. In a Tanjug news report from December 29, 2004, “French Journalists’ Captors Were Bin Laden’s Veteran from Bosnia”, it was reported that French journalist Christian Chesnot, of Radio France Internationale, along with Georges Malbrunot of Le Figaro, was held by “veterans of Ossama Bin Ladin from Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Chesnot was held hostage for four months in Iraq by the “Islamic Army in Iraq”. Chesnot told Tanjug reporters:

Our captors told us they had fought in Bosnia… One of them, a youngish man, aged 30 or so, told us he had been in Bin Ladin’s camp in Afghanistan and that he had fought in Bosnia… We realized that this was one of the Arab war leaders that had fired rockets in Bosnia and chanted ‘Jihad, Jihad.’…  We realized also that some of our abductors were members of what we called Planet Bin Ladin.

Chesnot stated that one of their abductors played them a tape of Bosnian music and informed them that two Macedonian hostages and the Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni had been executed by the Islamic Organization in Iraq. One of their Arabic captors spoke about the “international jihad”, “Sheikh Osama”, and “the dream of a Muslim state from Andalusia to China, and the fight against Christians.”

The US would experience blowback from its creation of the Afghanistan mujahedeen not only in the 9/11 attack, but in the US occupation of Iraq.

9/11 Commission

Steven Emerson presented a report on July 9, 2003 to the 9/11 Commission in which he detailed the activities of the commander of the Bosnian Muslim “El Mujahed” unit, Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros:

When senior Al-Qaeda recruiter Shaykh Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros was interviewed in 1994 about his experiences organizing the Arab-Afghan jihad in Bosnia, he explained: I---alhamdulillah [Arabic, “All praise is due to Allah”] ----met several prominent Ulema [Muslim scholar]. Among them…. Sheikh Abdel Aziz Bin Baz… and others in the Gulf area. Alhamdulillah, all grace be to Allah, they all support the religious dictum that “the fighting in Bosnia is a fight to make the word of Allah supreme and protect the chastity of Muslims.”

Abu Muaz al-Kuwaiti, one of the mujahedeen commanders in Bosnia, explained why the mujahedeen were in Bosnia:

As for why we came to Bosnia-Hercegovina, we did not come here except for Jihad in the Way of Allah (Glorified and Most High), and to assist our Mujahideen brothers.

According to Evan Kohlmann, Barbaros told other senior Al-Qaeda members who were assembled at a meeting in Zagreb that the Al-Qaeda objective in Bosnia was not to bring humanitarian assistance to Bosnian Muslims as US propaganda claimed, but “was to establish a base for operations in Europe against al-Qaeda’s true enemy, the United States.” Thus, Al-Qaeda saw through the US game from the start.

The mujahedeen were formed, armed, trained, and financed by the US Government beginning in 1979 when US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski initiated their use as proxies. He manipulated Islam to get them to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan. The goal was to make the Soviets bleed according to Brzezinski. The mujahedeen were just pawns in his bigger chess game.  Brzezinski was a Roman Catholic Pole who still spoke with a Slavic/Polish accent. His ultimate goal was to get the Soviet forces out of Poland so that Poland could join the US NATO alliance.

A rare photo of the 10,000 strong mujahedeen unit in the Bosnian Muslim Army on parade in downtown Zenica in 1995. They are wearing green head bands that read in Arabic: "Our way is the Jihad." 

US President Ronald Reagan declared the mujahedeen were “freedom fighters… defending … freedom…” in the early 1980s and the US Government established “Afghanistan Day” in the US. Absurdly, the “war on terrorism” is rationalized as a global struggle to safeguard “freedom” from “freedom fighters…defending….freedom…” Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski did much to transform a US policy of realpolitik based on divide and conquer, divide et impera, into a moralist Manichean foreign policy based on “good” and “evil”, invoking God to sanction US foreign policy in a cynical manipulation of religion. This US manipulation of religion to advance US geo-political strategic interests during the Cold War unleashed the mujahedeen Jihad and Al-Qaeda.

US support empowered the mujahedeen and encouraged bin Laden to expand the mujahedeen Jihad across the globe beyond the borders of Afghanistan. Ed Bradley of CBS’ 60 Minutes even argued that Muslims should be grateful to the US Government because it allowed them to kill Serbian Christians and to take their lands. Didn’t we kill the Serbian Christians for you Muslims? Didn’t we take their lands and give them to you Muslims? Didn’t we demonize the Serbian Christians for you Muslims with our propaganda so you could kill them? Where is the gratitude? This was Ed Bradley’s reasoning.

But Muslims saw through the ruse and sham. The mujahedeen and Al-Qaeda share the view of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that the United States is the “Great Satan” and is the actual enemy of Islam. Abu el-Ma’ali even issued a communiqué from Zenica on September 22, 1995, where he stated that: “We know that we will have a day in which to fight the Jews, and the Almighty will grant us victory…” They knew that Bosnia was just a rehearsal and a game. The real target for Al-Qaeda and for the mujahedeen is ultimately the United States and Israel. US foreign policy in the Middle East and Zionism are the ultimate targets. Bosnia was just a diversion, a sideshow. Slobodan Milosevic and the Bosnian Serbs were merely straw men and a smokescreen to cover up the real targets of Islam.

The mujahedeen were just cannon fodder and worthless pawns in advancing the goals of US foreign policy. Brzezinski told the mujahedeen that “God is on your side”, exploiting Islam as a religion and using it to get Muslims to kill Soviet troops. But the mujahedeen saw through this shameless ploy. The denouement of this policy came on September 11, 2001, when veterans of the Afghan war organized the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York. What went around, came around.

Al-Qaeda, or The Base, was created in 1988 by bin Laden with veterans of the war in Afghanistan because he wanted the mujahedeen war to be extended as a global or world-wide jihad. In 1992, the Soviet-backed regime was overthrown and a civil war emerged between various mujahedeen factions. In 1996, the Taliban (from Pashtun “students of the book”, the Koran, from Arabic talib, “student”) mujahedeen seized power in Afghanistan with help from Pakistani troops and the Pakistani and US governments. US foreign policy favored the Pakistani-sponsored Taliban over the Russian-backed Northern Alliance which allowed for the emergence of the Taliban Government. In 2001, the US would reverse its allegiance away from its Taliban ally to the Russian-sponsored Northern Alliance. The Taliban was the fruit of US policy in Afghanistan. US policy had allowed the Taliban to emerge.

Former US President Bill Clinton at memorial to killed mujahedeen soldiers at Srebrenica. The memorial is in Arabic, not Slavic "Bosnian" language. [Click to enlarge photo]
Pact with the Devil

The US Government knew Al-Qaeda forces were being deployed to Bosnia but allowed them to come through channels established in Croatia. Unmarked Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft were bringing arms and weapons to the Bosnian Muslim troops at the airport in Tuzla. Bosnian Serb forces even recorded communications from the aircraft and determined that it was piloted and manned by US forces on a clandestine mission. Transport aircraft routinely landed in the Zagreb airport where arms, weapons, and supplies from Iran were unloaded for trans-shipment to Bosnia in plain sight. It was common knowledge that the US was in cahoots with Teheran and mujahedeen forces to bring arms and troops from Iran to Bosnia illegally, in contravention of the UN arms embargo. The US turned a blind eye to the shipment of arms to the Bosnian Muslim forces by Iran, a Muslim fundamentalist state. The US was instrumental in allowing the Afghan-Arab mujahedeen and Al-Qaeda to infiltrate Bosnia.

US Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith and Bosnian Muslim president Alija Izetbegovic should also be charged with war crimes. Indeed, US President Bill Clinton can be charged for war crimes based on command responsibility. The US Government used diplomatic code to conceal the fact that it was working with Al-Qaeda and Iranian forces in Bosnia. The US Government told US diplomats in the Balkans that it had “no instructions” on Al-Qaeda and Iranian terrorist troops entering Bosnia. This was a green light to Al-Qaeda and Iranian forces. US President Bill Clinton bears criminal responsibility for bringing Al-Qaeda to Bosnia where these terrorist forces committed atrocities and war crimes against Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb civilians and POWs. Why isn’t Bill Clinton in the dock at the ICTY?

Richard Holbrooke claimed that the Bosnian Muslim regime could not otherwise survive without Al-Qaeda mujahedeen support and the aid provided by Muslim fundamentalist Iran. Izetbegovic was even allowed to visit Teheran by the US Government during the civil war, although the US media ignored the event and suppressed it. As Holbrooke himself conceded, it was a “pact with the devil”. This “pact with the devil” did not begin or end in Bosnia.  It was a pact with the devil that saw its apotheosis or denouement with the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Why weren’t US President Bill Clinton or Alija Izetbegovic indicted for war crimes at The Hague? Instead, we see the ICTY charging two patsies and small fry, Hadzihasanovic and Kubura. Why not go after the big fish and the big fry?

The ICTY announced that it was investigating Alija Izetbegovic for war crimes on October 22, 2003, the day of his funeral. The ICTY waited until his death and funeral to announce the war crimes investigation because the ICTY did not want to undermine the political mission of the ICTY which the US/NATO/EU set for it, which was to hold the Serbian leaders and people totally responsible for the civil wars in Bosnia and the former Yugoslavia. Florence Hartmann, an ICTY spokeswoman, released a statement, which was quoted in the BBC news story for October 22, 2003, “Bosnia Leader was War Crimes Suspect: “Izetbegovic was one of the suspects who was under investigation…The fact he died means all investigations are stopped.”

Izetbegovic, like Bill Clinton, bears command responsibility for the atrocities and war crimes of the Al-Qaeda mujahedeen in the “El Mujahed” unit of the Bosnian Muslim Army. They knew or had reason to know that Al-Qaeda mujahedeen were committing atrocities against Bosnian Serb civilians and POWs and did nothing to prevent them. Izetbegovic was photographed with the commanders of the 7th Muslim Brigade of Zenica and Bill Clinton was at a memorial for dead mujahedeen troops in Bosnia.

The ICTY has brought war crimes charges against the following Bosnian Muslim military leaders: Enver Hadzihasanovic, Amir Kubura, Mehmed Alagic, Sefer Halilovic, the chief of the supreme command of the Bosnian Muslim Army, Naser Oric, the Bosnian Muslim military commander of Srebrenica. Bosnian Muslim camp guards Hazim Delic and Esad Landzo were convicted for war crimes against Bosnian Serbs at the Celebici camp. Bosnian Muslim Zejnil Delalic was acquitted.


Before the attack on 9/11, Al-Qaeda regrouped in Bosnia during the civil war there where it found a new mission and was able to consolidate its bases and to finalize its strategy of global terrorism. What we are not told is that this was all “Made in the USA”. It was a “pact with the devil” that resulted in blowback and the result was the World Trade Center and Pentagon attack on 9/11.

Carl Savich
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