Bosnia still protects Al-Qa'idah members, ex-officer tells daily
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - June 30, 2007 Saturday

Text of report by Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA

Belgrade, 30 June: Former Al-Qa'idah officer Ali Hamad [as transcribed] has said that the Bosnia-Hercegovina state still protects members of Al-Qa'idah, adding that members of this terrorist organization are also to be found in Kosmet [Kosovo-Metohija] where they are supported by ethnic Albanians.

In an interview with [Belgrade-based] Glas javnosti, Hamad said that some of his former colleagues from Al-Qa'idah occasionally visit Bosnia-Hercegovina, adding that the state still protected them.

"I also have a dispute with this state, because I claim that they exist, but they try to deny it. Al-Qa'idah has its presence here, but I do not know exactly how many people it has. It is even present across Europe," Hamad said.

He said that Al-Qa'idah had established control over Europe via Bosnia-Hercegovina, assessing that Spain and Italy would soon suffer a terrorist attack similar to what had happened in the United States.

"These days, Al-Qa'idah believes it is attacked by the whole world. They may even do something here in Bosnia as an act of vengeance. Had Al-Qa'idah's people not sheltered and enjoyed protection here, they would have surely not had such a large number of people in Europe," Hamad said.

He said that, according to his knowledge, Al-Qa'idah, after Bosnia, had the largest number of its people in Kosmet where Albanians supported them.

"They especially hate the Serbs. In some FBI reports, it has been demonstrated that Al-Qa'idah has its people in Kosovo, and that domestic people from Kosovo are among them. I believe that [training] camps also exist, because where Al-Qa'idah plants its people, there must be camps, too," Hamad said.

Speaking about the murder of Serbs and other non-Muslims in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Hamad said that the mujahidin had used to kill using bullets, knives, strangling wires, chainsaws, axes, small knives, etc.

He cited an example of the murder of a Croat boy in Guca village near Travnik whose head had been cut off in front of his father. The father had to watch all this, and then he was himself killed along with 20 other civilians from the village.

"This man cried, sought help, begged, and when he saw them cutting his son's neck he turned his head away, but he was forced to watch. They held him, opened his eyes and held him," Hamad said.

Hamad said that he would rather hang himself than stay to live in Zenica, adding that he must forget Bosnia. He also said that he was currently trying to find a place somewhere in the West via US authorities and the Hague tribunal.

Source: SRNA news agency, Bijeljina, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 0816 gmt 30 Jun 07

Copyright 2007 British Broadcasting Corporation
Posted for Fair Use only.