Brussels, 10 November: The president of the Brussels-based European Strategic Intelligence and Security Centre [ESISC], Claude Moniquet, has warned that a terrorist network was still active in Bosnia -Hercegovina and that it was used for training terrorists to carry out operations in other regions. "At present there are at least 100 Al-Qai'dah activists in Bosnia -Hercegovina", he said.
"We are confident that numerous terrorist acts in Iraq in the past 12 months were carried out by terrorists who were trained in Bosnia-Hercegovina," Moniquet said.
"Neither Sarajevo nor Brussels are aware of the danger, and Americans, who are the only ones in a position to monitor the situation [through Sfor, NATO-led force] and curb terrorists, are pulling out of Bosnia-Hercegovina," Moniquet said.
The leading expert in the group, who is attempting to draw up a map that is as precise as possible on the security situation in Europe, expressed his concern at the fact that Bosnia-Hercegovina, "much like the Balkans as a whole, is out of step with their needs and possibilities, that is, they aspire to joining Europe as quickly as possible and at the same time are realistically incapable of controlling a serious and active network of terrorists on their territory".
Although the Bosnian authorities at one point deported between 100 and 200 persons of Arab descent, who had recently acquired Bosnian citizenship, Moniquet claims that a large number of these people returned last year to the Zenica region in [central] Bosnia-Hercegovina.
"The Al-Qai'dah network is active, but the authorities in Sarajevo are lulled into a false sense of security by thinking that the aim of the terrorists is not Bosnia-Hercegovina itself. This is precisely their long-term goal," Moniquet said.
Moniquet emphasized that the number of capable agents in the region was faltering, and added that Washington was currently recalling agents and sending them to other hot spots and leaving Bosnia-Hercegovina at the mercy of Al-Qai'dah and the central government in Sarajevo, which lacks determination and efficiency, according to Vecernje novosti.
Text of report by Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA
SRNA news agency, Bijeljina November 10, 2004 /BBC
Monitoring/(c) BBC Record Number: 1064D5377B23B391
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