How Jihad Came to the West

Given that the Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik is arranging parades with his police forces and talking about independence for the Serb entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Bosnian Muslim and many Western politicians are protesting, it is high time to give a background to what is happening and what has been happening ever since the fragile peace agreement was reached in 1995.
If one wishes to understand the present-day situation, it would be best to explain what the conflict is actually about. In today’s Western medias and in the statements made by Western politicians, just like during the 1990s, it is mostly a distorted picture that is given. According to their way of looking at the conflict, it is about the Serbs who want to continue what they set out to do in the early 1990’s, that is to create an ethnically pure “Greater Serbia,” because they believe that they are superior over Bosnian Muslims because of religion. The Bosnian Muslims however, according to themselves and these Western medias and politicians, want to sustain a multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina, which its first President Alija Izetbegović is also said to have wanted when the Bosnian Civil War began in 1992.
The conflict of today does indeed involve religion, which must be stressed. It is what everything was about during the war, which led to the deaths of over 100,000 people, roughly half of which were civilian casualties. It is also a fact that it is religion that defines the nationalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, since Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and Croats all speak the same language – although the language, depending on which group you ask, is called different names.
Today’s coverage and the background that is given, however, is not objective. Now the truth will be shown; how the war began, how the war in a sense continued even after the peace, and it will be shown that the Serbs were not the bad guys back then, and therefore they are not the bad guys today. This will be done partly thanks to facts from Western sources, including the CIA and NSA, that were made widely known in the Norwegian documentary “Sarajevo Ricochet – The US Green Light” from 2011. We will see that the Bosnian Civil War in fact marked the beginning of Jihad in the West. There are even indications, which will be seen here, that the attacks on 9/11 would not have happened if it weren’t for the Bosnian Civil War.
“The Islamic Declaration” – or the Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina
The man who is the most responsible for the Bosnian Civil War, and thereby Jihad in the West, is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first democratically elected President, Alija Izetbegović. As a dissident in the former Yugoslavia, he differed from most of his Bosnian Muslim countrymen, who were known as being loyal to this multi-ethnic creation. It is safe to say that Izetbegović had an ideology, an Islamist, that was not shared by them, who unlike him were secular and not particularly faithful. In his book “The Islamic Declaration” from 1969 he presented “A programme for the Islamization of Muslims and the Muslim Peoples.”
Here is an example of the message that is found in the book: “A people that has accepted Islam is incapable of living and dying for any other ideal. It is unthinkable that a Muslim should sacrifice himself for any other ruler, no matter who he might be, or for the glory of any nation or party, because the strongest Islamic instinct recognizes in this a kind of paganism or idolatry. A Muslim can only die in the name of Allah and for the glory of Islam, or flee the battlefield.”
It is a quote that should lay waste to claims that were made, and are still made, that Alija Izetbegović was fighting for a multi-ethnic state. The Serbs of course knew who he was and what he really wanted. The book was after all republished in 1990, which prooves that he had not modified his views. It was around that time that Bosnia and Herzegovina had its first democratic election, after which Izetbegović became its President, even though he represented only a minority of roughly 40 per cent. But Izetbegović had taken this into consideration when he wrote his book: “The Islamic order can only be established in countries where Muslims represent the majority of the population. If this is not the case, the Islamic order is reduced to mere power (as the other element – the Islamic society – is missing) and may turn to violence.”
He continues his thoughts around this on a following page: “The choice of this movement is always a tangible one and depends on a series of factors. There is, though, a general rule: the Islamic movement should and can start to take over power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong to be able to overturn the existing non-Islamic government, but also to build up a new Islamic one.”
After reading these quotes, it is obvious that Alija Izetbegović was an Islamist. As such he should not even have become the leader of the Bosnian Muslims: his views and plans were shared only by a small minority of them. The truth is that Izetbegović together with other Islamists hijacked the Bosnian Muslims’ biggest party, the Party of Democratic Action. Its leader should have been Fikret Abdić, who got the most votes, and it was agreed that Izetbegović would be the leader only temporarily, but then came the crisis and things changed. Abdić, a man who was regarded as far more moderate and representing the most Bosnian Muslims, would during the war even come to declare his own republic in Western Bosnia, which allied itself with the Serbs and fought against the Bosnian Muslim government.
In contrast to Alija Izetbegović, we can take a look at the Bosnian Serb leadership and draw some conclusions. While Izetbegović was politically active and had set out to destroy Yugoslavia several decades before this country fell apart, the Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadžić was a psychiatrist and poet, who had as one of his best friends a Bosnian Muslim, and he had not been politically active. His successor to the post of Bosnian Serb President, Biljana Plavšić, was a professor in biology and she had international merits. Together with others in the Bosnian Serbs’ biggest party, the Serbian Democratic Party, which was portrayed as a party for criminals and losers, they constituted the Serbian intellectual elite in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even if few of these had been dissidents in Yugoslavia, they were accused of having started the war because they wanted to create a ethnically pure state.
The Background to Jihad in Bosnia and Herzegovina
This is a bit of the background to why the Serbs, after a referendum where a majority had voted for an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, declared the independence of Republika Srpska, which can be translated as the Republic of Srpska or the Serbian Republic. It was a referendum that was boycotted by the Serbs, and they were right in doing so; the referendum was after all illegal, since the Serbs were a “constitutive people” and hence could not be ignored, according to the country’s constitution. The majority didn’t even want an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croats voted for independence only so that they could join Croatia more easily.
After the referendum everyone knew for sure that war would come. It was around that time that Radovan Karadžić held his infamous speech in Bosnian and Herzegovina’s Parliament, which during the war was shown in news all around the world, and it is shown still today in connection with his trial at the Hague Tribunal. But what people get to see are only a couple of seconds from a speech that was several minutes long. Here Karadžić is shown while he is angry and says that Muslims could face extermination if they continued to go on their road to independence. Then Alija Izetbegović sits in the same chair, calm and tolerant, making it look like he is the good guy.
The message from Karadžić, if one looks at the whole speech, is that a war had to be avoided at any price. It would be a peace that was not perfect to any of the parties, not even to the Serbs. If war came, according to him in his speech, it was inevitable that fighting would break out in the entire country, since the three groups lived so mixed together; it would be a bloodbath. However, unlike in the case of the Second World War, the Serbs were now prepared. This was Karadžić’s real message.
What Karadžić knew, together with everyone else in that Parliament, was that all three groups had prepared for war and everyone knew that war would most likely occur. Karadžić was just doing his best and was desperate in that speech, in order to avoid a hell as he called it, even if it meant threatening the Bosnian Muslims and he ended up looking like the bad guy.
That preparations for war had been undertaken, for instance by hiding weapons and ammunition, could be called an widely known secret: the politicians and journalists didn’t talk openly about it, but even ordinary people knew about it. All the three groups were involved in these preparations, but it was only that the Serbs had learned their lesson from the previous war and were now the most prepared.
A genocide on the Serbs would not happen this time. In the Second World War the Serbs had suffered millions of deaths. Many Serbian children, women and men had been sent to death camps just like the Jews, or were even thrown into pits together with grenades. Before the genocide, which was committed by Croats as well as Bosnian Muslims, the Serbs had been the largest group in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The message from Karadžić could not have been made clearer: the Serbs had learned their historic lesson and this time they would win. When war came the Serbs could thus easily take control over towns and villages in most of the country. This meant that the Serbs after a few months controlled around two thirds of Bosnia and Herzegovina, even if they made up only one third of the population, something that can be compared to the Israeli success during the Six-Day War. Much was thanks to paramilitary groups from Serbia, such as Arkan’s Tigers. This group had been formed a couple of months before the outbreak of war in Croatia, with the promise not to let history repeat itself.
It was in April of 1992 that war was a fact. According to a propaganda film that was made in 2000 by Azzam Publication, which was based in London until the attacks on 9/11, war veterans from Afghanistan started arriving after a month. The propaganda film is called “The Martyrs of Bosnia” and in the beginning of the film one can read the following: “The first video ever made about the Mujahideen, by the Mujahideen, in the English language.” In this propaganda film the Islamists even publish names of fallen terrorists, and say things such as this: “What occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina was not merely a war between the Muslims and the Serbs, but it was a war between Islam and Christianity.”
It was indeed all about religion. In fact, the Bosnian Civil War could be called the Serbian Civil War. One could digress here a little bit and mention that Bosnian Muslims’ ancestors are in fact Christian Serbs – both Bogomils and Orthodox – who converted to Islam during the Turkish occupation. In the case of the Bogomils, who were part of a faith that differed from Orthodoxy but none the less called themselves Serbs, the reason that they converted was mostly that they were viewed as part of a sect and not accepted by other Christians. But there were also motives that resembled that of the Orthodox Serbs, many of whom converted to Islam throughout the occupation that lasted for almost 500 years, only for the reason of better conditions under the Muslim Turks. This also explains why the Serbs took over so large parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and why they besieged Sarajevo, since their ancestors were farmers and hence owned a lot of land, while the Muslims’ ancestors had had privileged jobs in the towns.
So, really, Serbs were killing Serbs. The fact that Serb Muslims created a new nation has among other things led to the illogical word “Bosniak,” which is today being more frequently used in Western medias, not to mention the language called “Bosnian,” which is the same as Serbian in every regard. Since Bosnia is a geographic region that consists of three different groups, both words are illogical. Still the Muslims in Herzegovina and even in Serbia call themselves Bosniaks and say that they speak Bosnian.
The Jihad in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Much about the Mujahideen in Bosnia and Herzegovina was made publicly known thanks to the journalists John Burger and Misad Ralić (who no one can claim isn’t objective since he is a Bosnian Muslim war veteran). They were followed by a team of Norwegians for a documentary called “Sarajevo Ricochet – The US Green Light,” where among other things connections are shown between the Bosnian Muslim government and Islamist terrorists who were active in the United States in the early 1990s. This is because of facts that were uncovered about a “humanitarian organization” called the Third World Relief Agency. Through this organization, which was situated in Vienna and had connections to Saudi Arabia, the Bosnian Muslim government got between 300 million and one billion dollars. It was shown thanks to these journalists’ investigations that money from this organization also funded terrorist activities in the United States. Those who help make this and many other things public knowledge include Michael Scheuer, a former CIA intelligence officer, and John Schindler, a former NSA analyst.
Serbs’ claims about the Mujahideen and their connections to Alija Izetbegović, however, were ignored as mere propaganda during and after the war. Serbs had after fighting the Mujahideen even obtained evidence of their crimes. This included video footage that was filmed by the Mujahideen for propaganda purposes. One example is what happened in the so-called “Slaughter House at Kamenica,” where around 60 Serbian soldiers were raped, tortured and decapitated. If one looks at the video footage from that place, one can see the fear in the Serbian soldiers’ faces. It is impossible to imagine to what degree they must have felt fear, and what kind of thoughts went on in their heads. Pictures of the Mujahideen walking around with the heads of Serbian soldiers reached the Serbs and spread fear already in the beginning of the war. In an instance that can be found on the Internet, Bosnian Muslim soldiers film a Serbian soldier who has detonated a grenade against his heart, maybe because the Mujahideen oftentimes yelled “Allahu Akbar!” when they advanced.
The Mujahideen crimes were well-documented and evidence was handed over by the Serbs to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The fact that no Mujahideen or high-ranking Bosnian Muslim has been indicted and convicted, says a lot about this tribunal. Alija Izetbegović could have been charged long ago, just like many members of the Bosnian Serb government and Serbian generals were charged right after the war. Instead the indictment against Izetbegović was made public only after his death in 2003.
Probably this was done so that the Serbs couldn’t say that the tribunal hunted only Serbs. The truth is that in the case of non-Serbs it was mostly low-ranking people that were convicted by the tribunal. In few instances it was for command responsibility, which Alija Izetbegović together with other Bosnian Muslim politicians and generals (many of whom are still alive) had in the case of the Mujahideen. The Mujahideen were after all a formal part of the Bosnian Muslim army. This was the same army which according to Western medias and politicians was fighting for a multi-ethnic state.
How the War Continued in the West
By 1994 the Serbs were on the retreat and faced being pushed out of virtually all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Much of this was thanks to bombing from the air by the United States under the leadership of Bill Clinton. It was only after politicians in Serbia and in Montenegro said that they would have to intervene with the Yugoslav army, after hundreds of thousands of Serbs had been expelled from Croatia in less than a week and large parts of Western Bosnia had been lost, that pressure was put by the Americans on Alija Izetbegović to end the war and the Dayton Peace Agreement could be reached. One demand from the West was that all foreign fighters needed to leave the country. However, in many cases of the Mujahideen, who were several thousands, this did not happen. Instead they were given citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is how the war came to the West.
One of the Mujahideen that was given a passport, as is shown in the Norwegian documentary, was a brother to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida after Usama bin Laden. Other things that are shown is Abu Mali, one of Usama bin Laden’s main allies in Europe, sitting next to Alija Izetbegović in a video. Two of the hijackers during the 9/11 attacks had also been Mujahideen in the Bosnian Civil War. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, regarded as the brain behind the 9/11 attacks, lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995. The two journalists that took part in the documentary, John Berger and Misad Ralić, also revealed that fourteen major Islamist terrorist attacks around the world, including in Europe, had connections to the Jihad in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
So there are today many things that are happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina, resembling the tensions that went on before the outbreak of the Bosnian Civil War. But unlike the liberals in America, who held power at that time and chose the Bosnian Muslims as their friends, the conservatives actually care about history and tradition. One of these conservatives is Donald Trump’s newly appointed National Security Advisor, John Bolton, who among other things has held a pro-Serbian stance on Kosovo’s independence. Hopefully Trump will keep his promise and not be an ordinary Washington politician. The ordinary Washington politicians, as has been seen now, choose their friends based on what their goals are, rather than choosing their goals based on who their friends are. Now the time is here for the West to get a second chance and choose the right side.
Alexekin Rockowia
Editor-in-chief of For-Serbia The Website