For the first time the interim government of Pristina officially recognised the threat of Islamic fundamentalism. A new report on internal security condemns the intensification of wahabi infiltration, the most radical fringe of Islam, in the Serbian province. The document, previously unknown to the international press, has been published by the Ministry of Home Affairs at the end of January. That means coinciding with the presentation of the UN plan which proposes the secession of Kosovo from Serbia.
For a long time the risk of jihad (holy war against infidels) has been rejected from Pristina as a propaganda blackmail used by Belgrade to obstacle the independence of Kosovo. Serbian authorities have been trying to convince the International Community that an independent Kosovo would be the bridgehead of the Islamic fundamentalism in the Balkans.Instead now the Kosovar government proposes the creation of a special task-force in order to tackle the phenomenon finalizing the action undertaken by the KFOR intelligence services (the multinational peacekeeping force of NATO).
The most serious threat came when the proselytism made by Salafist undercovers, the “purists” of Quran who preach religious martyr.The investigation followed by the police of UNMIK (the United Nations Mission which provisionally administers Kosovo) are ongoing against this extreme form of Islamic proselytism. Some of them have already been successful. In fall 2006, officials have seized, in a terror cell in Talinovac village, liquid explosives similar to those used in the attacks on the London underground.
“Independence of Kosovo is one of the four aims, established by the World Council of mosques which took place in Mecca in 1992, for the Balkan Islamisation” says Miroljub Jetvic, Professor at the University Belgraderado and expert of Islamic issues “the first two have already been reached: the indipendence of Bosnia, the Muslim involvement to the government in Macedonia. The last aim is the autonomy of the Serbian province of Sandjak”.
The fundamentalist threat in Kosovo clashes with a lifestyle very little based on Koranic orthodoxy. Even is Muslims represent the 90 % of ethnic Albanian, mosques are half-vacant. The few young people who attend mosques don’t have long beard or turbans.
“The report of the government is unrealistic”, comments on Qemajl Morina, Kosovan Muslim Coalition’s spokesman, “Wahabiti don’t receive any approval from people”.
According to the Intelligence, contacts with the general population and the fundamentalist militancy happen under cover of several humanitarian organisations appeared after the anti-Serbian war. Some of them have European or American passport. All of them are officially financed by Saudi Arabia and other countries of Middle East. Extremist, placed in their ranks, instead, finance themselves with drug and arm trafficking with some Kosovan-Albanian mafia clan, led by former Heads of “Liberation Army of Kosovo” (UCK) as accomplices.
The majority of these humanitarian agencies goes undetected because acts under the hat of Saudi Joint Relief Committee (SJRC). An organisation of the Saudi government, located in Bill Clinton Avenue of Pristina which cooperates with the UN agencies within the reconstruction process.
Between the other Saudi NGOs coordinated by it only three are registered at Unmik: the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and the Al Waqf Al Islami (WIO).
The allocation of benefits, the dissemination of scripture and the offer of study trips among Middle Eastern Institutes of theology are their fast-track channels for recruting new jihadist raiders.
Other institutions are not even registered and so they have free rein to use funds in illegal activities on the basis of the orders of Wahhabi leadership. The main one is Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation (renamed Al Maktoum Foundation by Saudi government). It’s on the USA hit list for financing attacks in several parts of the world among which the 11th September.
The SJRC itself has been searched in 2000 from the Umik officials because suspected of being a base of Osama Bin Laden. But so far hard evidence have always been missing.
The only hint is the frequent involvement of Kosovan Muslims in abroad attacks promoted by Middle Eastern groups.
The last in the series is a former veteran of the anti-serbian war, Dodo L.
He has been arrested last december by Austrian police at the international aeroport of Wien for trying to set off a bomb on behalf of Al-Quaida at the Montenegro’s Parliament.
Box – Sandjak: the last frontier of Balkan Islam
The little Sandjak’s enclave, divided between Serbia and Montenegro, is becoming key for the Islamic radicalisation in the Balkans.
All the head offices of the Islamic NGO in the flagrance of fundamentalism (we can count 140 in the Balkans for the majority illegally active) are concentrating because they can easily escape International control.
Moreover the region is a safe hiding place for “special” Islamic extremists taken into custody from the local “Sandjak’s Patriotic League”. Its strategic location, between Bosnia and Kosovo, the strong Muslim credo taking root and the mild police checks make it a crucial point in the “Green Dorsal” project (the wahabi color).
In a first step this envisages Sandjak’s Union to Bosnia and their next integration with other Islamic territories of the former Ottoman Empire (beside Kosovo, Montenegro and also some parts of Albania, Macedonia, Grece, Bulgaria and Romania).
Its architects coordinating between themselves are the Sandjak’s Mufti (religious chief), Muhammer Zurkolic, the bosnian one, Mustafà Ceric and the one of the Kosovan city of Prizren, Muslem Mazllumi.