GEOSTRATEGY-DIRECT INTELLIGENCE BRIEF
U.S. gave green light
to terrorists in Bosnia
Yugoslavia policy helped build base in Europe for Hezbollah, others
Posted: April 24, 2002
5:00 p.m. Eastern
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The Dutch government has released a report that details the alliance between the United States and the Islamic effort to help Bosnian Muslims. The report determined that the United States provided a green light to groups on the State Department list of terrorist organizations to operate in Bosnia. This included the Lebanese-based Hezbollah. For the European Union, the U.S. effort marks a stain that calls into question Washington's war on terrorism.
For nearly a decade, the Clinton administration helped Islamic insurgents aligned with Chechnya, Iran and Saudi Arabia destabilize the former Yugoslavia. The insurgents were allowed to bring weapons and explosives to Bosnia-Herzegovina and fight Serbs and their allies. The insurgents also were allowed to move further east to Kosovo.
The United States was helped by a range of Muslim countries – from Iran and Saudi Arabia to Turkey. In short, the Clinton administration thought that the stronger the Muslims in Bosnia, the weaker the Serbian hold over Yugoslavia.
Today, there are tens of thousands of Islamic insurgents throughout such countries as Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, and many of them are moving west to Austria, Hungary, Germany and Switzerland.
The U.S. Defense Department, which helped run the Islamic weapons smuggling operation in Bosnia, now faces a huge blowback problem as many Hezbollah operatives have moved to greener pastures in Western Europe. Over the last decade, Islamic extremism has increased its strength in such countries as Britain, France, Germany and Sweden to the point where their foreign policy is hampered.
The Islamic blowback is believed to be vast. These days, Bosnia – under heavy Iranian influence – is regarded as too dangerous for senior U.S. officials to visit. Both Bosnia and Kosovo also serve as launching pads for terrorist attacks both in the West and in the Middle East.
More than a few European countries, consequently, have turned their nose up at the Bush administration's appeal to take Islamic terrorism seriously.
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