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Kosovo violence 'planned in advance'
Australian Broadcasting Corporation ^ | 19 March 2004

Posted on 03/19/2004 7:04:23 AM PST by Hamiltonian

An advance party of 150 British infantrymen have flown into Kosovo to bolster NATO-led peacekeepers, amid accusations that recent violence has been deliberately orchestrated by ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province.

The official death toll stands at 31 in the worst bloodshed since the United Nations took political control of Kosovo in July 1999.

A UK Defence Ministry spokesman says another 600 soldiers would arrive over the next three days in answer to NATO's appeal for reinforcements.

France says 400 of its troops are headed to the provincial capital, Pristina.

Germany says it has sent 600 extra troops from an armoured battalion.

'Premeditated' fighting

While the violence which erupted on Wednesday has abated today, tensions still run high with allegations about the causes of the bloodshed coming from various quarters.

A senior Italian general in the NATO-led contingent of 17,000 peacekeepers, KFOR, told Corriere della Sera that the fighting was premeditated.

"The wave of violence set off by the Albanians hasn't shown signs of calming down. I believe they've been ready for some time to lay waste to Kosovo," General Alberto Primicerj said.

This echoes remarks by NATO's military commander for south-eastern Europe, Admiral Gregory Johnson, who says the fighting seems to have been "orchestrated".

General Primicerj's troops evacuated Serbs from several towns to protect them from large crowds of armed Albanians bent on setting fire to their homes.

He says the soldiers also led away four elderly Serb nuns after "a crowd of at least 500 Albanians had begun throwing petrol bombs at the monastery".

A loud explosion was also heard today in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica, which has been the scene of bloody clashes between ethnic Albanians and Serbs.

But it is not immediately known whether there were casualties.

The Serb Orthodox church reports that 16 of its churches and monasteries throughout Kosovo, many of them built in medieval times, have been vandalised in the two days of clashes.

Many of them had been set alight.

'Ethnic cleansing'

The charge prompted the Serbian ambassador to France, Radomir Diklic, to tell Europe 1 radio that some of the 1.8 million ethnic Albanians in Kosovo had embarked on a wave of "ethnic cleansing" to drive out the 80,000 Serbs living there.

"The churches have been destroyed, the monuments destroyed, our historic memory is being wiped out," Mr Diklic said.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has also made similar allegations.

"The violence was planned in advance and coordinated... this was an attempted pogrom and (an act of) ethnic cleansing," he said.

However, prominent ethnic Albanian leader Bajram Rexhepi is trying pin the blame on the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

He says it has "failed to act in a timely and effective manner" to halt the bloodletting.

Mr Rexhepi concedes "that does not mean we reject all responsibility".

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: balkans; kosovo
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Albanian extremists shell hospital in Kosovska Mitrovica

BELGRADE, March 19 (Itar-Tass) - The situation continues to be extremely tense in Kosovo, where Albanian extremists fired from mortars and grenade launchers at a hospital in the northern (Serb) part of the city of Kosovka Mitrovica on Thursday night. According to Milan Ivanovic, deputy director of the hospital, it is by good luck that no one had been killed or injured by the explosions.

The U.N. provisional administration in Kosovo decided to move its office away from the southern (Albanian) part of the city. The U.N. personnel was moved to the base of the French contingent of KFOR.

Several members of the Serb parliament and Neboisa Covic, head of the government coordinating committee for Kosovo, are staying in Kosovska Mitrovica for monitoring the situation. MP Dragis Jokic said in an interview with the TANJUG news agency that “a regular ethnic purge against Serbs with elements of genocide is going on in Kosovo these days.”

NATO troops raid Albanian apartments in Mitrovica

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Friday – About 300 French troops and gendarmes of NATO's Kosovo peacekeeping force raided Albanian apartment blocks in the flashpoint city of Mitrovica on Friday after apparently coming under fire from the location.

A Reuters cameraman said about 15 French armoured personnel carriers blocked the bridge over the river that divides Serb and Albanian communities. Heavily armed troops began raiding three buildings and setting up rooftop gun positions.

There had been sporadic gunfire from the area around midnight, he said, and NATO soldiers were firing back at an unseen target. A helicopter was seen evacuated an injured man.

But local reports that a Danish member of the KFOR peacekeeping force had been killed were denied in Copenhagen.

The three 11-storey apartment towers sit just across the Ibar River, protected by concrete blocks, barbed wire and tank traps and accessible from the Albanian south bank by a pontoon bridge but not from surrounding Serb districts.

Albanian residents of the high-rises were initially given NATO protection to remain in their homes after the alliance took over Kosovo in 1999, but recently Kosovo's own Protection Force has provided security.

Mitrovica was reported quiet in the hour following the French deployment.

1 posted on 03/19/2004 7:04:23 AM PST by Hamiltonian
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To: Hamiltonian
There are still rebels in Kosovo? After all this time with multi-lateral forces in place?

Kosovo is a fiasco!



2 posted on 03/19/2004 7:10:48 AM PST by HarryCaul
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To: Hamiltonian
Likely spin will be that the Serbs are to blame since it would be the easiest way out of this hellhole is to let the Albanians drive out the Serbs then give it to them. Of course this is only a short term fix to the Albanian problem because the Albanians are driven by their fringe and their fringe is a combination of mafia and jihadis. Europe is in a bind they have a cancer and ironically they fed it along with Clinton and our corrupt congress helping.
3 posted on 03/19/2004 7:16:56 AM PST by junta
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To: Hamiltonian; Destro; joan; Travis McGee; yonif; Airborne Longhorn; Ragtime Cowgirl
The wave of violence set off by the Albanians hasn't shown signs of calming down. I believe they've been ready for some time to lay waste to Kosovo," General Alberto Primicerj said.

This echoes remarks by NATO's military commander for south-eastern Europe, Admiral Gregory Johnson, who says the fighting seems to have been "orchestrated".

General Primicerj's troops evacuated Serbs from several towns to protect them from large crowds of armed Albanians bent on setting fire to their homes.

He says the soldiers also led away four elderly Serb nuns after "a crowd of at least 500 Albanians had begun throwing petrol bombs at the monastery".

What kind of pucks throws petrol bombs at Nuns???? Oh, never mind... we know don't we... islamic ones!!

This is way beyond evil. I am shocked and I don't shock easy even after 50+ years since Korea... believe me.

4 posted on 03/19/2004 7:21:40 AM PST by Lion in Winter (I ain't no pussy cat... don't mess with me... ya hear! GRRRRRRrrr)
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To: Lion in Winter
You're on your game this morning, amigo...nice job.
5 posted on 03/19/2004 7:26:53 AM PST by Airborne Longhorn
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To: Lion in Winter; junta; HarryCaul; Destro; Askel5; Wallaby
Al Qaeda´s Balkan Links

November 1, 2001

by Marcia Christoff Kurop

The Balkans´ uncharacteristically silent exit from the world stage as the most prominent international hot spot of the last decade belies its status as a major recruiting and training center of Osama bin Laden´s al Qaeda network. By feeding off the region´s impoverished republics and taking root in the unsettled diplomatic aftermath of the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts, al Qaeda, along with Iranian Revolutionary Guard-sponsored terrorists, have burrowed their way into Europe´s backyard.

For the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade. Many recruits to the Balkan wars came originally from Chechnya, a jihad in which Al Qaeda has also played a part.

These activities have been exhaustively researched by Yossef Bodansky, the former director of the U.S. House of Representatives´ Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. The February testimony of an Islamist ringleader associated with the East Africa bombings have also helped throw light on these actions.

They have however been disguised under the cover of dozens of "humanitarian" agencies spread throughout Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. Funding has come from now-defunct banks such as the Albanian-Arab Islamic Bank and from bin Laden´s so-called Advisory and Reformation Committee. One of his largest Islamist front agencies, it was established in London in 1994.

Narco-Jihad Culture

The overnight rise of heroin trafficking through Kosovo -- now the most important Balkan route between Southeast Asia and Europe after Turkey -- helped also to fund terrorist activity directly associated with al Qaeda and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Opium poppies, which barely existed in the Balkans before 1995, have become the No. 1 drug cultivated in the Balkans after marijuana. Operatives of two al Qaeda-sponsored Islamist cells who were arrested in Bosnia on Oct. 23 were linked to the heroin trade, underscoring the narco-jihad culture of today´s post-war Balkans.

These drug rings in turn form part of an estimated $8 billion a year Taliban annual income from global drug trafficking, predominantly in heroin. According to Mr. Bodansky, the terrorism expert, bin Laden administers much of that trade through Russian mafia groups for a commission of 10% to 15% -- or around $1 billion annually.

The settling of Afghan-trained mujahideen in the Balkans began around 1992, when recruits were brought into Bosnia by the ruling Islamic party of Bosnia, the Party of Democratic Action, from Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, as well as Italy, Germany and Turkey. They were all given journalists´ credentials to avoid explicit detection by the West. Others were married immediately to Bosnian Muslim women and incorporated into regular army ranks.

Intelligence services of the Nordic-Polish SFOR (previously IFOR) sector alerted the U.S. of their presence in 1992 while the number of mujahideen operating in Bosnia alone continued to grow from a few hundred to around 6,000 in 1995. Though the Clinton administration had been briefed extensively by the State Department in 1993 on the growing Islamist threat in former Yugoslavia, little was done to follow through.

The Bosnian Embassy in Vienna issued a passport to bin Laden in 1993, according to various reports in the Yugoslav press at the time. The reports add that bin Laden then visited a terrorist camp in Zenica, Bosnia in 1994. The Bosnian government denies all of this, but admits that some passport records have been lost. Around that time, bin Laden directed al Qaeda "senior commanders" to incorporate the Balkans into an complete southeastern approach to Europe, an area stretching from the Caucasus to Italy. Al Zawahiri, the Egyptian surgeon reputed to be the second in command of the entire al Qaeda network, headed up this southeastern frontline.

By 1994, major Balkan terrorist training camps included Zenica, and Malisevo and Mitrovica in Kosovo. Elaborate command-and-control centers were further established in Croatia, and Tetovo, Macedonia as well as around Sofia, Bulgaria, according to the U.S. Congress´s task force on terrorism. In Albania, the main training camp included even the property of former Albanian premier Sali Berisha in Tropje, Albania, who was then very close to the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Not even stalwart NATO ally Turkey escaped the network. Areas beyond government control were also visited by bin Laden in 1996 according to London-based Jane´s Intelligence Review. The government has been battling two terrorist groups: Jund al Islam, whose assassinated Syrian leader was one of bin Laden´s closets confidantes, and the Kurdish PKK, whose leader, Abdullah Ocalan, merged his group´s activities with those of Iran´s Hezbollah in 1998.

Furthermore, as revealed in the February 2001 East Africa bombing trial testimony of Jamal al Fadl -- an al Qaeda operative in charge of weapons development in Sudan -- uranium used in "dirty bombs" that release lethal radioactive material, had been tested in 1994 by members of the Sudan-based Islamic National Front in the town of Hilat Koko, in Turkish-held northern Cyprus. Cyprus, both its north and southern sides, has also become a center for offshore money laundering by Arab banks fronting al Qaeda funds into the Balkans. The CIA puts al Qaeda´s specific Balkan-directed funds -- those tied to the "humanitarian" agencies and local banks and not explicitly counting the significant drug profits added to that -- at around $500 million to $700 million between 1992 and 1998.

So where was the U.S. in all this? It was not until 1995 that the Clinton administration was forced to start pursuing the Islamist network in the Balkans. Not quite a month after the Dayton accords had been signed in November 1995, an influx of Iranian arms came into Bosnia with the apparent tacit approval of the administration, in violation of U.N. sanctions. While publicly pressing Bosnian President Alia Izebegovic to purge remaining Islamist elements, the administration was loath to confront Sarajevo and Tehran over their presence.

Instead, Islamist groups went quietly underground as the windfall of weapons landed in their hands. They later joined up with a new Islamist center in Sofia established as a kind of rear guard by the al Zawahiri. Following the Zagreb arrest and extradition of renowned Egyptian militant Faud Qassim, an al Zawahiri favorite, the Sofia-based militants planned the deployment in Bosnia of terrorists capable of planning and leading possible major terrorist strikes against U.S. and SFOR facilities, according to al Fadl´s testimony to the House Task Force on Terrorism.

Islamist infiltration of the Kosovo Liberation Army advanced, meanwhile. Bin Laden is said to have visited Albania in 1996 and 1997, according to the murder-trial testimony of an Algerian-born French national, Claude Kader, himself an Afghanistan-trained mujahideen fronting at the Albanian-Arab Islamic Bank. He recruited some Albanians to fight with the KLA in Kosovo, according to the Paris-based Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues.

Controversial Relationship

By early 1998 the U.S. had already entered into its controversial relationship with the KLA to help fight off Serbian oppression of that province. While in February the U.S. gave into KLA demands to remove it from the State Department´s terrorism list, the gesture amounted to little. That summer the CIA and CIA-modernized Albanian intelligence (SHIK) were engaged in one of the largest seizures of Islamic Jihad cells operating in Kosovo.

Fearing terrorist reprisal from al Qaeda, the U.S. temporarily closed its embassy in Tirana and a trip to Albania by then Defense Secretary William Cohen was canceled out of fear of an assassination attempt. Meanwhile, Albanian separatism in Kosovo and Metohija was formally characterized as a "jihad" in October 1998 at an annual international Islamic conference in Pakistan.

Nonetheless, the 25,000 strong KLA continued to receive official NATO/U.S. arms and training support and, at the talks in Rambouillet, France, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright shook hands with "freedom fighter" Hashim Thaci, a KLA leader. As this was taking place, Europol (the European Police Organization based in The Hague) was preparing a scathing report on the connection between the KLA and international drug gangs. Even Robert Gelbard, America´s special envoy to Bosnia, officially described the KLA as Islamic terrorists.

With the future status of Kosovo still in question, the only real development that may be said to be taking place there is the rise of Wahhabi Islam -- the puritanical Saudi variety favored by bin Laden -- and the fastest growing variety of Islam in the Balkans. Today, in general, the Balkans are left without the money, political resources, or institutional strength to fight a war on terrorism. And that, for the Balkan Islamists, is a Godsend.

6 posted on 03/19/2004 7:37:55 AM PST by Hamiltonian
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To: Airborne Longhorn
This whole thing in Kosovo is connected to the whole islamic movement. I just know it.

Dam- that clinton and his crooked pals.

They left us in a postion to have the stuffin knocked out of us on 9/11 and looks like they set these poor Christian folks over in Kosovo in the same OR WORSE position.

And, the UN...stands for USELESS NINNYS!!

I am really hoppin'mad I tell you. This Kosovo thing stinks to high heaven.

Whoever the leader of Serbia is he ought to SEND THE SERBIAN ARMY IN TO KICK SOME SERIOUS BU++!

7 posted on 03/19/2004 7:40:31 AM PST by Lion in Winter (I ain't no pussy cat... don't mess with me... ya hear! GRRRRRRrrr)
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To: Hamiltonian
While the Serbs forces wait, ethnic cleansing is being accomplished. They are bringing in more NATO troops likely as a preventative to any Serb forces coming over the border and not to protect Serbs. NATO is allowing much of this to happen and has plenty of soldiers already there to deal with the Albanians. They are doing a feigned cosmetic "defense" of helping Serbs, all the while the Albanians accomplish their preplanned goal, which NATO was involved in, I strongly believe. If Serbs acted at the very beginning they could have done something. NATO wouldn't have been as ready to counter them. Also, with the mood against Muslims, and more people realizing the Kosovo fraud, plush the war in Iraq. It would be much harder to go on a bombing spree against the Serbs.
8 posted on 03/19/2004 7:42:28 AM PST by joan
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To: Hamiltonian
"Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade. Many recruits to the Balkan wars came originally from Chechnya, a jihad in which Al Qaeda has also played a part."

Hey, isn't that the jerk that our troops and the Pakistanis are looking for right now in Afganistan/Pakistan border?

Thanks for all the informative posts, hamiltonian. You sure have given me lots of info. None of it good news I am sorry to say.

9 posted on 03/19/2004 7:45:51 AM PST by Lion in Winter (I ain't no pussy cat... don't mess with me... ya hear! GRRRRRRrrr)
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To: Lion in Winter
I think that we should have UN HQ become mobile.
Get them out of NYC and make them set up shop wherever the UN is "in political control".
If the UN ninnys have to wear body armor to work things would improve very quickly.
Last I knew a resolution wouldn't stop a bullet and sanctions didn't disarm bombs.
10 posted on 03/19/2004 7:48:42 AM PST by Semper Vigilantis (1 democrat + 1 democrat = 5 opinions, 6 tax increases, 2 more welfare programs & 0 solutions.)
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To: MadelineZapeezda; Makedonski; NYC Republican; Ronly Bonly Jones; Hoplite; Andy from Beaverton; ...
More info comes in about the Albanian attacks in Kosovo.

It's time to bring in the Serb army and put an end to the killing as the "forces of narco-terror" will scurry back to their holes in the dirt.
11 posted on 03/19/2004 7:49:09 AM PST by FormerLib ("Homosexual marriage" is just another route to anarchy.)
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To: Semper Vigilantis
You have a great idea there. I think they already mobilized out of harm's way in Kosovo... figures.
12 posted on 03/19/2004 7:59:27 AM PST by Lion in Winter (I ain't no pussy cat... don't mess with me... ya hear! GRRRRRRrrr)
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To: Lion in Winter
Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base
13 posted on 03/19/2004 8:01:40 AM PST by Hamiltonian
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To: FormerLib
True colors. We are seeing albanians true color and it ain't pretty. Somebody on this forum wrote that the kla or whoever it is that they use as terrorists, would attack NATO/UN someday. Looks as if it is a done deal to me.
14 posted on 03/19/2004 8:03:24 AM PST by Lion in Winter (I ain't no pussy cat... don't mess with me... ya hear! GRRRRRRrrr)
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To: Hamiltonian
That's a Long read there... get back to a little later... got a DR.'s apppointment. See ya later. Thanks again for the info.
15 posted on 03/19/2004 8:06:00 AM PST by Lion in Winter (I ain't no pussy cat... don't mess with me... ya hear! GRRRRRRrrr)
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To: Hamiltonian
And Clinton and NATO helped them!
16 posted on 03/19/2004 9:06:15 AM PST by expatpat
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To: expatpat; FormerLib; joan; Lion in Winter; junta; HarryCaul
Tuesday, September 15, 1998

Kosovo seen as new Islamic bastion

Central European Diary by STEVE RODAN

BATROVCI, Yugoslavia (September 14) - The line of cars at this Serbian border town forms early in the morning as travelers head west from the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade toward Croatia and Bosnia. The Yugoslav security officers are thorough, checking each passenger and rummaging through the trunk of every vehicle.

Many of the travelers are Moslems, and the adults wait quietly at the terminal as their children play tag between lines. A few years ago, these people would have been virtually indistinguishable from the thousands of others who crisscross the region.

But today Islamic pride has arrived. Many Moslems have grown beards. Drivers have placed large decals with the Islamic crescent on the back window.

And with money coming from such countries as Iran and Saudi Arabia, being a Moslem means having options.

Diplomats in the region say Bosnia was the first bastion of Islamic power. The autonomous Yugoslav region of Kosovo promises to be the second. During the current rebellion against the Yugoslav army, the ethnic Albanians in the province, most of whom are Moslem, have been provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries.

They are being bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters, or Mujahadeen, who infiltrate from nearby Albania and call themselves the Kosovo Liberation Army.

US defense officials say the support includes that of Osama Bin Laden, the Saudi terrorist accused of masterminding the bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

A Defense Department statement on August 20 said Bin Laden's Al Qa'ida organization supports Moslem fighters in both Bosnia and Kosovo.

The growing Islamic fundamentalist presence is an issue rarely voiced in public. The Arab and Islamic world form a huge part of the current and potential market for many of the countries in Central Europe, and highlighting their involvement in the violence in Kosovo is simply bad business.

But the growing support of Iran in Central Europe and the Balkans is regarded as the biggest threat to the region, with the possibility that it can spill over into Western Europe.

"If we isolate the Moslems in Bosnia, then they themselves can be a threat neither to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia nor to the wider region," Yugoslav Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic said in an interview. "They could be a threat if they gain support from other Moslem national movements or Moslem states."

Yugoslav officials and, privately, many foreign diplomats link the Iranian-backed Bosnian regime to the current rebellion in Kosovo. They say the Iranian success in maintaining a presence and influence in Sarajevo led Teheran to quickly adopt the KLA.

The KLA strength was not the southern Kosovo region, which over the centuries turned from a majority of Serbs to ethnic Albanians. The KLA, however, was strong in neighboring Albania, which today has virtually no central government.

The crisis in Albania led Iran to quickly move in to fill the vacuum. Iranian Revolutionary Guards began to train KLA members. Iranian and Saudi representatives opened foundations to provide patronage. An Islamic bank was launched in the Albanian capital of Tirana. In Skadar, Iranian agents opened the Society of Ayatollah Khomeini.

In the Kosovo town of Prizren, Islamic fundamentalists formed a society funded by the Iranian Culture Center in Belgrade. Selected groups of Albanians were sent to Iran to study that country's version of militant Islam.

So far, Yugoslav officials and Western diplomats agree that millions of dollars have been funnelled through Bosnia and Albania to buy arms for the KLA. The money is raised from both Islamic governments and from Islamic communities in Western Europe, particularly Germany.

Since April, Yugoslav officials say, the KLA has smuggled arms and ammunition in from Albania. They say attempts to smuggle several cannon - meant to launch large-scale strikes against Yugoslav forces - were unsuccessful.

The ramifications of the Iranian campaign has been felt throughout the Middle East. Both Israel and Turkey, for example, have been alarmed by its success in gaining influence in both Bosnia and Albania and have been busy trading intelligence on developments in the region.

"Iran has been active in helping out the Kosovo rebels," Ephraim Kam, deputy director of Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, said. "Iran sees Kosovo and Albania as containing Moslem communities that require help and Teheran is willing to do it."

But much of the training of the KLA remains based in Bosnia. Intelligence sources say mercenaries and volunteers for the separatist movement have been recruited and paid handsome salaries of DM 3,000-DM 5,000 (NIS 6,800-NIS 11,400) a month.

The trainers and fighters in the KLA include many of the Iranians who fought in Bosnia in the early 1990s. Intelligence sources place their number at 7,000, many of whom have married Bosnian women. There are also Afghans, Algerians, Chechens, and Egyptians.

A US congressional analyst said much of the Iranian training and arms smuggling in Bosnia takes place near the contingent of US peacekeeping troops. He said the Clinton administration is fully aware of Iranian activities in Bosnia and Kosovo, but has looked the other way to maintain the 1995 Dayton Accords.

"The administration wants to keep the lid on the pot at all costs," the analyst said. "And if that means that Iran benefits and operates freely in the region, so be it. Needless to say, the Europeans have been quite upset by this."

Still, intelligence sources said, the Iranians have acted cautiously. They say they first arrived in Kosovo early this year and formed a commando unit in May in the town of Donji Perkez. The unit consisted of 120 men divided into seven groups. They included Albanian, Bosnian, Macedonian, and Saudi nationals. The commander was an Egyptian called Abu Ismail, who served in an Iranian Mujahadeen unit in Zenica, Bosnia.

The Iranian fighters were first kept separate from others in the KLA. In late July, the fighters from Macedonia and Saudi Arabia were ordered to withdraw into Albania. The reason was that the sponsors concluded that they were not being used properly. At the Yugoslav and Macedonian border, some of the fighters were captured and interrogated by authorities.

Yugoslav officials and regional diplomats expect to see the Bosnians continue to embrace the Iranians. They see Bosnia, as well as some officials in Croatia, as intending to change the terms of the US-sponsored Dayton Accords that establish the new borders of the former Yugoslavia and maintain an international presence in the region.

The changes being demanded by some key figures in Bosnia include transforming the federation from a multiethnic into an all-Islamic country.

"It was clear to everybody that the implementation of the Dayton and Paris accords would not go smoothly," Bulatovic, the Yugoslav defense minister, said. "Our position is that the Dayton Accords must be implemented as written. If there are renegotiations, it would jeopardize peace and stability in Bosnia."

Yugoslav officials said their crackdown in Kosovo has been successful in stabilizing the province. They said the KLA has drastically reduced its activities and most of its members have fled to Albania.

UN officials said 14,000 residents of Kosovo have crossed into northern Albania, while another 20,000 people driven out of their homes remain in the Serbian province.

The result, the officials said, is that some leaders of the ethnic Albanian community have signalled that they are ready to negotiate an end to the fighting. Kosovo leader Ibrahim Rugova, who last year pledged to reject any solution short of independence, has begun to talk to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. At the same time, KLA political representative Adem Demaqi has warned that a guerrilla war would soon be launched.

The officials expect that US pressure will lead to an agreement to hold elections in Kosovo, establish an autonomous government, and approve a plan to reconsider the issue of independence in another 3-5 years.

They expect the agreement to be accompanied by a lifting of all sanctions against Yugoslavia, which from 1992 has been unable to take a seat in the UN or receive credits from international institutions, such as the World Bank.

At the same time, NATO will play a large role in the area. Members of the alliance are drafting plans to rebuild Albania's 5,000-member military and maintain a large presence in the country.

But the country is regarded as so divided and corrupt that few officials expect any significant amount of money to be given Tirana. A key step is expected to be the parliamentary referendum scheduled in November to approve the country's first post-communist constitution.

Few in the region, however, expect the prospective diplomatic settlement to do better than the Dayton agreement in imposing long-term stability in the region.

Even while some of these diplomats and officials blast Belgrade's crackdown on the Kosovo separatists, they insist that any settlement not include changes in Yugoslavia's current borders or a mere short-term presence of international troops.

"In my view, international support will be long term because the economic, regional, and religious [problems] are so high," Slovenian military chief of staff Brig.-Gen. Iztok Podbregar said. "This is not only the case in Bosnia, but also in Kosovo and Macedonia."

17 posted on 03/19/2004 10:08:55 AM PST by Hamiltonian
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To: joan
You are absolutely correct the lefty Hum-Warriors already have some 50,000 internationals in itty bitty Kosovo.

Flying more troops in is simply a smoke screen to obscure UNMIK's failure

The official death toll stands at 31 in the worst bloodshed since the United Nations took political control of Kosovo in July 1999.

During the height of the counter-insurgency campaign in 1998, never more than 31 people died in a month, much less a couple of days.

18 posted on 03/19/2004 1:46:39 PM PST by ehoxha
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To: expatpat; FormerLib; joan; Lion in Winter; junta; HarryCaul; ehoxha
'Sinister purpose' to Kosovo clashes?

Nato peacekeepers in Kosovo are investigating whether the past three days of violence in the province were organised by militants from the ethnic Albanian community.

The commander of Nato forces in southern Europe, Admiral Gregory Johnson, has said he believes that the trouble has been orchestrated.

During the height of the protests in the Kosovan capital Pristina, thousands of demonstrators marched down the main street chanting the name of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

The KLA was disbanded almost five years ago, but while most of its members joined mainstream politics, some clung to their dream of creating an independent Kosovo by force.


Until recently their ideas had little support, but this week tens of thousands of Albanians took part in attacks on Serbian villages and enclaves.

These began as spontaneous outbursts of anger from a population which has become disillusioned by their low standard of living and frustrated by the uncertainty about the province's future status.

However, the veteran Kosovan political analyst, Veton Surroi, told the BBC he detected a sinister purpose behind them.

"I think that now we have come to the second phase, when this kind of violence is clearly conducted and organised," he said.

"It's organised with the intention, on the one hand, of frightening the Serb population - to expel it from parts of central Kosovo by destroying Serb religious buildings.

"And on the other hand [it has the effect] of directing the accumulated anger of the population against Unmik [United Nations Misson in Kosovo] and K-For [the Nato-led Kosovo Protection Force], things that until now were not considered possible."

Dangerous consequences

Nato and the UN also suspect there is a wider purpose to the violence.

The attacks have been concentrated on Serb enclaves in central Kosovo.

By forcing the Serbian population to move north, the attackers are making it easier to partition Kosovo in the future, something which - until now - has been opposed by all mainstream politicians.

While that might seem an easy solution in the short term, it would have profound and potentially dangerous consequences for all of Kosovo's neighbours.

It would also represent the undoing of everything the international community has tried to do in the past five years.

19 posted on 03/19/2004 5:06:53 PM PST by Hamiltonian
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To: Hamiltonian
ditto, but realize that Veton Surroi is simply a xenophic maniac who happens to be anti-KLA.........he parrots the Hum Warrior hand wringing in part because he wants to keep his rent controled Columbia University Apartment
20 posted on 03/19/2004 5:10:47 PM PST by ehoxha
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