Skip to comments.Al-Qaida Plot Revealed in Sarajevo "in Sarajevo something will happen to Americans similar to 9/11"
Posted on 03/23/2002 1:28:30 PM PST by Spar
Al-Qaida Plot Revealed in Sarajevo
Sat Mar 23,10:48 AM ET
By ALEXANDAR S. DRAGICEVIC, Associated Press Writer
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) - Al-Qaida terrorists planned a devastating attack on Americans in Sarajevo after meeting in Bulgaria to identify European targets, a high-ranking Bosnian official said Saturday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that intelligence reports on the meeting in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, prompted a special government session Thursday night to discuss threats against the U.S. Embassy and embassies of European countries. He did not name the countries.
At the Sofia meeting, members of al-Qaida decided that "in Sarajevo something will happen to Americans similar to New York last September," said the official. He did not say when the al-Qaida meeting was held or who attended.
The U.S. Embassy in Bosnia shut down to the public on Wednesday after receiving word of a possible terrorist threat. The embassy closed entirely on Friday.
U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Karen Williams declined to comment on the situation Saturday. Bosnian special police forces were seen around the compound along with normal U.S. security units.
In Sofia, Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry said it had received no information on such a meeting, either "from Bosnian authorities or from any other official sources." It promised an investigation if "this information proves to be serious."
On Tuesday, just a day before the U.S. Embassy received the threats, Bosnian police raided an Islamic charity, Bosnian Ideal Future, also known as Benevolentia International Foundation, seizing weapons, plans for making bombs, booby-traps and bogus passports.
On Friday, police announced they had arrested Munib Zahiragic, a Bosnian citizen and the head of the Bosnian chapter of the charity. Zahiragic is also a former member of the Bosnian Muslim secret police, AID.
Zahiragic was arrested on charges of espionage, which carries a maximum 10 years in prison. No details on whom he was supposed to be spying for were released.
As a part of the war on terrorism, Bosnia's government in January ordered an investigation into the work of foreign humanitarian agencies. Two weeks ago, investigators reported funds were missing from three Islamic charities, among them Benevolentia.
The United States recently froze the assets of Benevolentia, with head offices in Illinois and New Jersey.
The U.S. and British embassies were closed for several days in October because of terrorist threats. They reopened after local police arrested six naturalized Bosnians, all of them Algerian natives, suspected of plotting post-Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. interests in Bosnia and elsewhere.
The suspects were handed over to U.S. authorities in January, and now are being held at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Five of the six were employed as humanitarian aid workers; one was suspected of being Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s top lieutenant for Europe.
More than 1 million Muslims live in Bosnia, most of them native to the country but also including dozens of former Islamic fighters, or mujahedeen, who came mostly from the Middle East to fight on the Muslim side in the 1992-1995 war against the country's Serbs and Croats.
Wow. So the Serbs were not invading their own nation like Clinton said, but the other way around? Golly Gee, wow.
Thu Mar 21, 5:13 PM ET
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - President Bush (news - web sites) will meet April 23 with Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha of Bulgaria.
The meeting in Washington will cover "Euro-Atlantic and regional issues of common concern," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer (news - web sites) said.
"Bulgaria is a good partner and friend of the United States, which has actively supported the war on terrorism and made significant contributions to our common effort of maintaining peace and stability in southeast Europe," Fleischer said.
Just want to be sure everybody sees this from the Benevolentia International Foundation brochure:
A hungry Al Qaida waits. And Waits...
For decent weapons, a chance to make bombs, booby traps, even a single bogus Passport.
Won't you please help?
"Zahiragic is also a former member of the Bosnian Muslim secret police, AID."
This is important because it suggests something more than Bosnia is simply a haven for terrorists. It offers a concrete and undeniable connection between a very important instrument of Izetbegovic 's regime and islamic terrorism. Such connections must be publicly exposed to demolish the prevalent western image of Izetbegovic's muslims as the "victims" of the "aggressor" Bosnian Serbs.
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