Saturday, April 07, 2007

[Islamic virus] Wahhabism: from Vienna to Bosnia

[Islamic virus] Wahhabism: from Vienna to Bosnia

Image: ISN
Local media reports trace the financial and ideological center of Bosnia's radical Wahhabi movement to Vienna, while the moderate Islamic community prepares for an intensifying battle of influence.

By Anes Alic in Sarajevo for ISN Security Watch (06/04/07)

Only the funeral of former Bosnian Muslim leader and wartime Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic went down with a bigger crowd and more security than that last weekend of Jusuf Barcic, the informal leader of Bosnia’s radical Muslims of the Wahhabi movement.

More than 3,000 Wahhabis arrived in the northern city of Tuzla to attend the funeral, and according to local media, almost half of them came from Slovenia, Kosovo, Macedonia and the Serbian region of Sandzak. A number also came from Western European countries, mostly from Austria, whose capital, Vienna, is said to be the Western financial and ideological center for the Bosnian Wahhabi movement.

More than 50 uniformed and undercover policemen monitored the funeral of Barcic, who died in a car accident in Tuzla on 30 March after hitting a light pole while speeding, according to the preliminary police report.

Barcic, a self-proclaimed sheikh, become known to the Bosnian public two months ago after he and his followers attempted to enter the central Czar's mosque in Sarajevo to preach for a return to traditional Islam. Their attempt was prevented by Bosnian Islamic community officials, local worshipers and police. Shortly before that, however, Barcic and his followers had already occupied several mosques in the Tuzla region, clashing with local Muslims.

Barcic began preaching radical Islam after he returned from schooling in Saudi Arabia in 1999. In 2001, a local court sentenced him to seven months in jail for harassing his wife and her family, who left him after they returned from Saudi Arabia.

Vying for influence
Another incident earlier this year in the Serbian province of Sandzak, populated predominately by Muslims, at first seemed unrelated to the recent incidents in Tuzla and Sarajevo, led by Barcic. However, a police source close to the investigation last month suggested there could be a connection. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Bosnian radical Muslims, as well as those from Serbia, were being financed and led by Bosnian Muslims living in Vienna and other Austrian cities, as well as by Saudi Arabia.

The source said that he believed, based on cooperation with the Serbian police, that the recent incidents were not related to terror activities but represented an attempt to increase the influence of the Wahhabi movement in Bosnia and Sandzak, or even to create a parallel Islamic institution in the two Balkan nations.

It appears that both Wahhabi movements, in Bosnia and Serbia, were financed and led by Bosnian and Serbian Wahhabi clerics living in Vienna.

Bosnian Islamic community officials and police accuse former Bosnian Muslim cleric Muhamed Porca, who runs the Vienna-based Islamic community administrative unit, of serving as the financial and ideological supporter of Barcic and his movement.

Porca, who was Barcic’s colleague at university in Saudi Arabia calls for the creation of a parallel Islamic community in Bosnia, which would lean toward radical Islam. Some Bosnian Islamic community officials also accused Porca of organizing and financing visits to Bosnia for radical Muslims from Germany and Austria.

Bosnian media and Islamic community officials also named another Vienna-based Bosnian cleric, Adnan Buzar, as a main supporter of Barcic's movement. Buzar is the son-in-law of Palestinian Sabri al-Banna, also known as Abu Nidal, the founder of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, and the most wanted international terrorist in late 1980s. Al-Banna was killed in Iraq in 2002.

In the late 1980s, Swiss authorities blocked Abu Nidal’s Société de Banque Suisse and Credit Suisse account and its US$18 million balance. In January 1998, the accounts were unfrozen and Buzar’s wife and Abu Nidal’s daughter, Badija Khal'il, withdrew US$8 million. Badija Khal'il was granted Bosnian citizenship in 1995 through the Bosnian embassy in Vienna.

Radical vs. moderate
At the same time as Barcic and his followers were attempting to enter the Sarajevo mosque, clashing with local Muslims, Serbian police were raiding a Wahhabi training camp on a mountain near the town of Novi Pazar in Sandzak.

On 19 March, police arrested four people at the camp, while one managed to escape. They discovered a cache of weapons, ammunition and plastic explosives with detonators.

Some Serbian media reported that those arrested in Sandzak were preparing attacks on Islamic community officials and some moderate Serbian Muslim politicians. Those reports have never been independently confirmed.

But there are signs that the struggle between radical and moderate Muslims is indeed brewing. Several clashes have been reported lately in the Sandzak between Wahhabis and moderate Muslims. In one such clash last November, three people were wounded in a shootout in Novi Pazar.

According to Serbian media reports, the alleged financier of the Sandzak Wahhabis is a Vienna born Serbian Muslim named Effendia Nedzad Balkan, also known as Ebu Muhammed, the leader of the Sahaba Mosque in Vienna. Balkan, along with six other Wahhabis, three of them Austrian citizens, was involved in the beating of Bosnian Serb Mihajlo Kisic in Bosnian city of Brcko in 2006. After a short trial, the seven were given symbolic sentences on parole and some of them returned to Vienna.

The road from Vienna
Several Islamic aid agencies were based in Vienna during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, and the Bosnian government opened a bank account in the Austrian capital, while nearly 100 Islamic fighters were granted Bosnian citizenship through the embassy in Vienna.

Barcic himself traveled to the Austrian capital several times during the war as the representative of the Vienna-based International Islamic Relief Organization (IGASA) for the Bosnian city of Zenica.

Austria became the major logistical and financial center for the Bosnian government during the 1990s - an arrangement that allowed the Islamists to create a system for arming the Bosnian Army, transferring foreign fighters and weapons via the Slovenian city of Maribor and the Croatian port city of Split.

The biggest financier of Bosnian Muslim defense was the Vienna-based Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), through whose account in the Austrian Die Erste Osterreich Bank flowed some US$350 million in donations from Islamic countries between 1992 and 1995. About half of that money was used for financing Bosnian government.

The TWRA was established in 1987 by a Sudanese native, Al-Fatih Ali Hassanein, considered a close friend of former Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic.

In July 1992, a couple of months after the war started, Hassanein was authorized by the Bosnian leadership to serve as the financial representative of the Bosnian state, while TWRA allowed to collect donations for refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 1996, some two years after Hassanein fled Austria and settled in Turkey, Austrian police raided TWRA’s offices and bank accounts. Investigations showed that the majority of the cash originated in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia as the largest contributor, followed by Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Brunei and Malaysia.

Also, after the September 2001 attack in New York City, Washington ordered an investigation into all Islamic humanitarian relief agencies in Bosnia, including the TWRA.

After news of the Austrian investigation was leaked to the Bosnian media, public learned more about how that money was spent.

Some dozen high-ranking Bosnian officials had access to the money, including former Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic, Bosnian Army chief logistics and member of TWRA’s supervisory board, Hasan Cengic, and Husein Zivalj, former Bosnian ambassador in Austria and former member of TWRA’s Executive Board.

In one document confiscated by Austrian police, Izetbegovic authorized Hassanein to give Hasan Cengic 300,000 German Marks for the needs of the Bosnian Army. The letter was handwritten on a Hilton Hotel in Vienna notepad.

According to ISN Security Watch's source from the commission for citizenship revision, some of those involved in TWRA’s work in Vienna during and after the war are also under suspicion of granting Bosnian citizenships to foreigners from Islamic countries under questionable circumstances.

In addition, the source said the Bosnian Foreign Ministry had noted the disappearance of some 300 blank Bosnian passports from Vienna embassy during that time. The passports were stolen in 1993 from the embassy safe, but there was no sign that the safe had been broken into. The police source said a report was filed naming former embassy secretary Nadzisa Tabakovic as responsible.

He also said that in August 2002, the Federation Intelligence-Security Service (FOSS) notified the prosecutor's office and the Interior Ministry of suspicions that Hasan Cengic, Fatih el-Hasanein, Nadzisa Tabakovic, Husein Zivalj and several other Bosnian officials were involved in international organized crime, but the case was never prosecuted.

In the FOSS report, one case from 1994 is mentioned, in which Austrian financial police discovered suspicious money transfers on Bosnian embassy accounts. According to FOSS, police issued a “friendly” warning to embassy officials that if the money was not withdrawn in the next 24 hours, the account would be blocked. FOSS accused the above mentioned officials of immediately transferring the money to their private accounts. The money was never tracked after that.

Questionable citizenships
In the applications for Bosnian citizenship, obtained by ISN Security Watch, some wrote that they would go to help Bosnian Muslims during the war, while also contained a note saying “recommended by TWRA.”

However, the police source close to the commission's work said most of those who received Bosnian citizenship in embassies throughout the world, and especially in Vienna, never set foot in Bosnia, but used the passports for easier travel, as at the time a Bosnian passport made travel easier in Europe than some Middle Eastern passports.

However, issuing Bosnian citizenships to the Islamists has seriously damaged Bosnia's wartime reputation, especially when it comes to those foreign fighters who arrived here ostensibly to help Bosnian forces during the war, but more likely were here to gain more influence.

According to Bosnian media, the Bosnian embassy in Vienna even issued passport in 1993 to Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida. Though no evidence has ever proven this, the damage to Bosnia's reputation was done.

Still, dozens of others who proved to be members of various militant groups did in fact receive Bosnian citizenship - and the public first heard about them when they were arrested in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq or Chechnya.

In 1999, Turkish authorities arrested Mehrez Aodouni while en route to Chechnya with a Bosnian passport. Aodouni was believed to be a close associate of bin-Laden. After his arrest, the Bosnian government said his citizenship had been granted due to his membership in the Bosnian Army, even though local media investigating the case found no evidence that he had fought in Bosnia.

Also, in 1997, Italian authorities arrested 14 people suspected of plotting to assassinate Pope John Paul II on his trip to Bologna. All of those arrested carried Bosnian passports and were reportedly members of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA). Just like in Aodouni’s case, there was no evidence for half of them that they had ever set foot in Bosnia.

Such indiscriminate granting of Bosnian citizenship is now the subject of the work of the Bosnian Commission for citizenship revision, which has so far revoked some 400 citizenships of naturalized Bosnians, and plans to deport most of them.

In the meantime, the Bosnian Islamic Community has stepped up its defense against Wahhabism, threatening it with total isolation and even expulsion. The community’s head, Reis-ul-Ulema Mustafa Effendi Ceric, even visited Vienna and Serbia earlier this month to promote moderate Bosnian Islam. It was Effendi Ceric who said some two months ago that all the problems with radical Muslims in Bosnia were being imported from other countries, with the center being Vienna.

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Israel should have [a long time ago] press the UN for:
1) Condemming Arab Muslim 'Palestinian' parents, teachers, leaders, Mullahs, for using Arab kids as human shields and as human bombs, clarifying the real culprits in Arabs' deaths.
2) Violations by ILLEGAL PA Arabs "settlers" on Israel's "agreed" borders by the UN.
3) "Palestinian" Violation of virtually ALL agreemants pacts with Israel (Oslo, Camp David, etc.).
4) The PA official media & education = hate (crimes) campaign on "the joos", (not just on Israel...).
5) Exposing the constant intimdation on nations by the GOLIATH ARAB MUSLIM (oil) block, to tarnish innocent Israel in the UN.



1) Are you denying that the Arab racist attacks on Jews in Israel/"palestine" has started since 1838 (Safed) [so were the attacks in 1883, 1920, 1921, 1929 - Hebron, etc.]?

2) Had Israel be a (mostly) Arab-Muslim State, would the intolerant Arab-Muslim Goliath world not accept them?

3) Why is there a complete silence on the historical fact of Arab immigration late 1800s early 1900s into Israel/"palestine"?

4) What anti-Israel bigotry is stronger, the "Arab racism"; factor? or the 'Islamic-Jihad' factor?

5) 'Moral equivalence' Do you have Arab activists on behalf of Israeli victims, just like you have Jewish, Israeli, Zionists activists for the (so called) 'Palestinian cause' (whatever that is...)?

6) If humane Israel would really go after "unarmed poor palestinians" as the 'Pallwood' propagandists tell us, How many Arabs would have survived Israel's might?

7) Who's more at fault, the Arab Muslim "Palestinians" parents pushing for Shahid-isim, or the indoctrinating Mullahs, Imams in the holy Mosques for using "Palestinian" kids and women as human bombs and as human shields (so they can blame the Zionists when Arab kids die)?

8) What would have happened if Arab Muslim "Palestinians" would have invested as much energy in rebuilding their lives as they do in destroying both nations' lives in fascistic Jihad, total hatred and campaign for GENOCIDE [to "drink the blood of the Jews" or to "push them all to the sea", or to "wipe them off of map"]?

9) Why does "bad" IDF Israeli army announce an area residents' civilians to evacuate before an operation against terrorists?

10) Why did Humane Israel's IDF invented specially low range missiles designed to hit ONLY the [terror] target and minimize collateral damage?

11) When was the last time the "Palestinian" well oil-ed propaganda machine has retracted [or even apologized] for it's usual PALLYWOOD fake images industry?

12) What's the difference between a Christian in Indonesia, Buddhist in Thailand, Christian in Nigeria, in Philippines, Australians in Bali (2002), non Muslims in London (0707/2005), in Madrid (bombing), "not the-right-kind-of-Muslims" in Shiite-Sunni hateful massacres in Iraq, oppression & massacres in the "Islamic Republic of Iran", and Israeli victims of the same "evil ideology"?

13) What's a harder oppression, your "average" Arab Muslim regime's on it's own people, Hamas-tan Islamic Apartheid [which most "Palestinians" supported!] on non Muslims, or the pro-Jihad parents' on their kids?

14) What would have happened if at least ONE Arab Muslim nation [regular or oil-ed one] would really care about the Arab [brothers, that since the 1960's started to call themselves as] "Palestinians" and let them get off the terror slum into normality and even prosperity?

15) What part of 'BLIND FASCISM' do Arab-Muslims deny, the usual obsessed anti Israel demonization [no matter what Israel does] or the reluctance to see Israel's super kind gestures for those that are trying to kill them [releases from prison, giving away own land vital to it's security, humanitarian aid, etc.] not as goodness but as "weakness"?

16) Why is it that when Islamists terrorists [Hamas or Hezbullah, Islamic Jihad, etc.] succeed in making sure Arab kids die [with their known tactics of cowardly firing among or behind children, etc.] the Arabs, Muslims rejoice and the Israelis, Jews are saddened ?

16) How can land be an issue [or the blatant lies the Arab lobby's financed: Jimmy Carter has said, though he admitted that Israel is a great equal democracy for all, Arabs and Jews alike!'] if "moderate" Palestinian official government still has venomous hatred and pro 'death cult' in it's regular curriculum and on it's official TV, or that such "moderate" Arab media outlets [like Al Jazeera] still glorify mass murder as "martyrdom"?

17) Who's more powerful, the Arab Muslim Goliath Oil mafia "lobby" on the world or a Chinese, Italian, Israeli, Irish, pharmaceutical, cigarettes lobbyists in Washington?

18) Had the International Arab Muslim lobby of nations in the UN [or the EU] not threatened other nations to bash Israel 24/7 [motivated by intolerance only!], What would be then the outcome?


Let's make it clear, even if there will be a "Palestine" state, it will never change the factual history, that a group of foreign Arab immigrants came into the (historic) land of the Jews (and started to call themselves as "Palestinians" in the 1960's) and hijacked the world comunity via terrorism and Arab oil power to give them yet a second 'Palestine' state (after Jordan).



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