By Christopher Deliso
The Balkans—the gateway among East and West—are additionally Europe's smooth underbelly, a coarse local the place prepared crime and terrorism current a relentless possibility. This eye-opening e-book information how 15 years of erroneous Western interventions, political scheming, and native mafia appeasement, compounded through an important infusion of Arab funds, fundamentalist Islamic preaching and mosque-building have allowed radical Islamic teams to fill within the cracks among inner ethnic and non secular schisms and take root in key components of the Balkans.With all eyes at present fascinated about the widening clash within the center East and the terrorist probability coming from the zone, the West is at risk of overlooking a powerful new battleground within the larger warfare on terror—the Balkans. This traditionally unstable area observed a few of the worst violence of the past due twentieth century within the Yugoslav Wars of Secession. in the course of those conflicts, stunningly shortsighted and politically influenced guidelines of the U.S. and its allies without delay allowed Islamic mujahedin and terrorist-related entities to set up a foothold within the region—just as with the progenitors of the Taliban a decade previous in Afghanistan.Although the September 11 assaults brought on a partial reassessment of Western coverage, it could actually already be too past due for a sector nonetheless principally overlooked. The proliferation of international fundamentalist teams has had a cancerous impression on conventional Balkan Islamic groups, not easy their legitimacy in unparalleled and infrequently violent methods. Well-funded teams just like the Saudi-backed Wahabbis proceed to use inner schisms inside of neighborhood groups, whereas the overseas administrations in Bosnia and Kosovo have really bolstered the grip of neighborhood mafia groups—business companions of terrorists. Worst of all, the Western peacekeepers' power do not rock the boat mentality has allowed extremist teams to function unchallenged. however, local demographic and cultural developments, coinciding with an more and more adversarial angle within the better Muslim international over Western army activities and perceived symbolic provocations, point out that the lawless Balkans turns into more and more important as a strategic base for Islamic radicals over the subsequent 20 years. using the post-al-Qaeda strategies of a decentralized jihad conducted via small, autonomous cells (leaderless resistance) whereas looking to essentially and violently remold Muslim societies, such Balkan-based extremists pose a different and tangible possibility to Western protection.
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Additional resources for The Coming Balkan Caliphate: The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West
Although fundamentalist Islam is often attractive for people with limited economic and educational opportunities, as Merdan points out, the next generation of jihadis will be led by middle-class, educated Muslims—as was seen with the London bombings of July 7, 2005. The future of terrorism will be shaped by middle-class, Internet-friendly youth, such as the would-be British Embassy bomber of Sarajevo, Mirsad Bektasevic, and his peers. Bosnia’s political, religious, and military leaders are today facing great pressure to do the impossible task of pleasing outside forces such as America, the European Union, and the Islamic world.
46 Considering what the Wahhabis have proven capable of doing in the name of religion, it is understandable that the average Bosnian might find it wiser to keep quiet and avoid trouble. Yet even political leaders and mainstream Muslim clerics have been accused of showing excessive timidity. Vildana Selimbegovic, a Sarajevo news editor, decried how in Bosnia “politicians do not want to or are too afraid to talk. The majority of Muslims remain silent. ” 47 18 The Coming Balkan Caliphate However, some local experts, such as Anes Alic, think the danger of foreign Islamist influence may be overhyped.
These investigations led to the inescapable conclusion that, by mid-2005, Bosnia’s strategic value to major international terrorist groups was no longer merely as a logistical base and terrorist transfer zone. Bosnia had instead become both a staging post for terrorist attacks in Europe and a target for attacks itself. On October 19, 2005, after a complex eight-month operation involving the secret services of nine countries, Bosnian police raided an apartment occupied by young, homegrown terrorists allegedly planning to blow up the British Embassy in Sarajevo.