Written by: Andy Wilcoxson

Defense Witness, French Col. Patrick Barriot presented an Interpol document to the Hague Tribunal on Wednesday. According to the document, Mohammed Atta was present in central Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1994, 1995, and 1999. Atta was one of the suicide hijackers who crashed a civilian jetliner into the World Trade Center in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.


Both Milosevic and Col. Barriot, who serves on the anti-terrorism task force of the French government, said that this document offers proof of “deep-rooted Islamic terrorism in Bosnia.”


The tribunal did its level best to block the evidence regarding terrorism. The judges questioned its “relevance.” Judge Robinson asked what it would change, as regards the indictment, if it were to be established that a strong terrorist network existed in Bosnia. Mr. Nice expressed concern that information regarding Balkan terrorism would be picked-up by the press, as Mr. Nice put it, it made “attractive fodder” for reporters. Carla Del Ponte said that the presence of an Islamic terrorist network “would not change one iota” regarding the charges against Milosevic.


I think Mr. Nice was closest to the mark regarding the tribunal’s reason for wanting to block this evidence. The tribunal does not want this information to come out in the press. The tribunal does not want the Western public, especially the American public, to learn that these poor pathetic “victims of the Serbs” were in bed with Al-Qaeda, and with the self-same terrorists who massacred 3,000 Americans on September 11th.


The question of relevance is nonsense. Only a complete moron could fail to see the relevance. The indictment hinges on the allegation that Milosevic led a massive conspiracy, or “joint criminal enterprise,” to create an ethnically pure greater Serbian state. This goes directly to the motivation of the Serbian forces and the Serbian leadership. The indictment alleges that the Serbian leadership was pursuing the alleged conspiracy, and that the main war objective of the Serbian forces was the pursuit of the conspiracy.


Milosevic claims that the conspiracy, alleged in the indictment, never existed. It is his contention that the Serbian side was forced to defend itself from a radical Islamist regime in Sarajevo, and the KLA that was in bed with Islamic terrorists such as Mohammed Atta, Khaleed Sheikh Mohammed, Ayman Al-Zwahiri and Osama bin Laden.


Proof of the existence of Islamic terrorism in the Balkans goes to show that there was a threat to the Serbian population. The fact that a threat existed lends credibility to the Milosevic’s contention that the Serbs were acting in self-defense, and not in the pursuit of some big conspiracy as the prosecution alleges.


Col. Barriot’s evidence regarding Muslim refugees from the Bihac pocket who found refuge in the RS Krajina lends further credibility to Milosevic’s claim that no conspiracy existed among the Serbs to establish ethnic purity.


Barriot, who is a medical doctor, served as a humanitarian aid worker in Krajina. He worked with scores of Muslim refugees who fled from the 5th Corps of the B-H Army. These refugees were moderate Muslims who followed Fikret Abdic. They were assaulted by Izetbegovic’s Islamist regime because of their friendly relations with the Serbs. This evidence directly contradicts the indictment. If the Serbs wanted ethnic purity why would they give safe haven to over 40,000 Muslim refugees?


During his work with the UN and French intelligence, Col. Barriot had the opportunity to speak with Gen. Mladic in August of 1995, a month after the fall of Srebrenica.


Milosevic asked Col. Barriot what Mladic had told him about Srebrenica. Mladic told Barriot that there were a hand-full of summary executions (less than 100) carried out by local Serbs who recognized certain Muslims who had participated in attacks on the surrounding Serb villages. Mladic emphasized that he did not order any executions, and that his objective in Srebrenica was to neutralize the 28th Infantry Division of the B-H army – not to harm the civilian population, or alter the ethnic make-up of the enclave.


Mladic told the witness that the VRS took 750 prisoners in the Srebrenica operation, released 500 of them, and held the remaining 250.


Mladic told the witness that there were 15,000 armed Muslims in the woods around Srebrenica  (presumably trying to breakthrough the VRS lines towards Tuzla). The Serbs took approxamately 500 casulties in the fighting, and Muslim losses were estimated to be between 1,500 and 1,800 men.


The Judges would not let Col. Barriot finish his explanation of what Mladic had told him, and this clearly irritated the witness who, unlike the tribunal, believes that it is important to know what Mladic said about Srebrenica in August of 1995.


As regards Mladic, Judge Robinson suggested that Milosevic should call Gen. Mladic as a witness. "Mr Milosevic, it is also perfectly open to you to call Mr. Mladic as a witness in your defense."


After a short silence, Milosevic replied: "Well, if you plan to arrest him, I will certainly not do so."


As far as the evidence of the witness is concerned, Barriot accused former UNMIK chief Bernard Kouchner of having been on the side of Albanian terrorists in Kosovo and to have acted outside mandate given to him by UN.


The witness also pointed the finger at certain American diplomats, “Terrorists in Kosovo were receiving support from several sides. Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke were giving them diplomatic support,” Bario claimed relying on information he got from his contacts with Western intelligence services.


The witness was in Kosovo in the summer of 1998 to offer his services as a doctor. He observed that Albanians were not mistreated or sacked from their jobs as alleged by the indictment. He said that Albanian flags and newspapers were all over the place, and that it was difficult to find Serbian newspapers in Kosovo at that time.


As a doctor in Kosovo, Barriot treated people who had been attacked by the KLA. He said that the KLA’s victims were non-Albanians, and also moderate Albanians who had any friendly relations with the non-Albanian population.


During Cross-examination by Carla del Ponte, Barriot reiterated his claims that U.S. armed forces participated in Operation Storm. Ms. Del Ponte claimed that it was not the US that bombed Knin, but that it was NATO who may have been using the U.S. Air Force who attacked. I don’t know how that is supposed to impeach the witness or advance the prosecution case, but it’s an interesting thing for Ms. Del Ponte to have admitted.


Barriot disagreed with Del Ponte’s characterization of Serbs as aggressors and told the court, “Serbs in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia were not aggressors but found themselves in a position to defend themselves. Serbs only responded to aggression and that is what happened in Croatia in 1991 and in Srebrenica in 1995.”


The witness also claimed in his testimony that 2/3 of the French Blue Helmets who died in Bosnia were killed by Muslim snipers.


Del Ponte selectively quoted from Lewis MacKenzie’s book where he speaks of the Markale Massacre and uses the phrase “who knows” referring to the perpetrators. Del Ponte’s use of the book gave Milosevic the opportunity to fully quote Gen. MacKenzie in re-examination. According to MacKenzie, Markale was stage-managed. MacKenzie’s book says that the Muslims cordoned off the street and brought reporters to the market right before the attack. This jibed with the witness’ knowledge of the incident. The witness, who worked with ballistics in the French army, said that it would have been impossible for the Serbs to hit that bread queue from their positions around Sarajevo. He said that all of the French experts believed that the Muslims attacked the Markale Market. 


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