Bosnian leaders ignore testimonies on mujahidin crimes - ex-Al-Qa'idah officer
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - September 18, 2006, Monday

Text of report by Dobrila Majstorovic headlined: "Eyes wide closed" by Bosnian Serb newspaper Glas Srpske on 11 September; boxes as published:

Al-Qa'idah still has its cells in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and it will never leave this country. This is a statement that Bahraini Ali Ahmed Ali Hamad [name as received], a former Al-Qa'idah officer, has been repeating for years. Ali Hamad has been serving his sentence in the Zenica Correctional Centre since 1997.

Ali Hamad was sentenced to 12 years for organizing a car-bomb attack in Splitska Street in Mostar in 1997, even thought, after nine years spent behind bars, he still claims that he did not do what he had been sentenced for.

In his confession to Glas Srpske several years ago, Ali Hamad spoke about his path of war, from Afghanistan to Bosnia-Hercegovina, where, as he said, he completed a course of training at an Al-Qa'idah military academy. As its officer, he became a commander in the notorious El-Mujahidin detachment. He talked openly about the traces of blood that the foreign mujahidins left behind all over Bosnia-Hercegovina. However, Ali Hamad noted that the relevant investigative and judicial bodies, which should have been concerned about his statements, did not find them interesting enough!

Ali Hamad joined Al-Qa'idah at the age of 18, when it rescued him and gave him a sanctuary after he spent four months loitering in the streets of Bahrain. Due to family problems, Ali Hamad left his home and was for four months left on his own, so, as he said, he was easy prey for Al-Qa'idah people.

From Bahrain, he went to Afghanistan and Al-Qa'idah's training camps, but he also participated in fighting against the Russians. As he was one of the best young fighters, he became a member of Al-Qa'idah, and he took an oath in Jalalabad in front of the terrorist organization leader Usamah Bin-Ladin.

Ali Hamad's fighting experience in Afghanistan in a way recommended him for a job in Bosnia-Hercegovina. He came to the Balkans in 1992, through Zagreb, where he was greeted by the people who said they worked for a humanitarian organization allegedly called an Agency for Help to the Third World. He left Zagreb and, via Split, arrived in Travnik, where, as he said, there was a strong mujahidin administration. The camp was founded by one of Bin Ladin's closest associates Sejh Mahmud Abu Abdul Aziz al-Muntesiba, known also as Barbaros or Red Beard. As Ali Hamad recalled, the mujahidin administration was led by Abu al-Haris Al-Libij from Libya, three Egyptians: Vajhudin al-Misrij, Abu Mina el-Misrij, and Al-Mutaz al-Misrij, and two Algerians: Abu es-Sidik and Abu al-Ma'ali. The seventh officer was Imad al-Misrij.

Upon his arrival in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Ali Hamad was tasked to command a unit that belonged to the El-Mujahidin detachment. His unit numbered 107 men, of which the majority were Arabs, but it also included 12 B-H citizens and 25 Turks. He recalled that the unit's headquarters was in the village of Bijelo Buce near Travnik, but they fought all over Bosnia-Hercegovina. He participated in the attack on Ilijas [near Sarajevo] at the end of 1992, when he was wounded. He witnessed several horrible war crimes that the mujihidins committed against the Serb and Croat civilians, which he also described more thoroughly in his book. He also wrote about it to the relevant bodies, but, he said, nobody took it seriously. True, the agents of the Bosniak secret service, that is, the Agency for Information and Documentation (AID), spoke to him on several occasions. He said that they were particularly interested in the war activities of the El Mujahidin detachment. He later read in a Federation newspaper that the AID agents participated in hiding the crimes committed by the mujahidins in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Meanwhile, the investigators of the Hague tribunal [International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia - ICTY] became interested in Ali Hamad's story, and they spoke to the former Al-Qa'idah officer several times.

Whether this will yield any results, nobody knows....

[Box] Book published by Glas Srpske

"I will never understand Bosnia and the people that lead this country. I openly tell them that I am a terrorist and that I committed many crimes, but they are convincing me that I have not and that I am innocent," Ali Ahmed Ali Hamad explains in disbelief.

He wrote about all this in his book, which will soon be published by Glas Srpske and will be available to the readers. In his book, the former Al-Qa'idah officer described in detail his journey from his family home in Bahrain, through the fights against the Russians and the communists in Afghanistan, and to the battles against the Serb and Croat forces in the mountains of Central Bosnia.

[Box] Withdrawal

Ali Ahmed Ali Hamad tried to withdraw from Al-Qa'idah during the B-H war, but unsuccessfully. However, the arrest and the trial for something that, as he claimed, he had not done, gave him the strength to persevere in his intention. He became even more determined after the bloody terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001, after which he definitely decided to join an anti-terrorist coalition and assist in dismantling Al-Qa'idah in any possible way, because he believes that Al-Qa'idah harms Islam most!

Source: Glas Srpske, Banja Luka, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 11 Sep 06

Copyright 2006 British Broadcasting Corporation
Posted for Fair Use only.