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news 03 Sep 14

Bosnia Arrests 16 Suspected Jihad Recruiters

Several hundred Bosnian policemen conducted a series of nationwide raids and arrested 16 people suspected of involvement in recruiting Islamist fighters for the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Officers from the Bosnian State Investigative and Protection Agency, SIPA arrested the alleged jihad recruiters during raids in Sarajevo, Kiseljak, Zenica, Magaj, Srebrenik, Zvornik, Buzim and Teslic on Wednesday in an operation codenamed Damask.

“The suspects are being held in connection with financing, organising and recruiting Bosnian and Herzegovinian citizens to go to Syria and Iraq and participate in the armed conflicts in Syria and Iraq, fighting on the side of radical terrorist groups and organisations,” SIPA said in a statement.

Some media in Bosnia reported that among those arrested was Husein Bilal Bosnic, considered to be one of the leaders of the Wahhabi community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Hamdo Fojnica, allegedly the father of Emrah Fojnica, who was recently reported killed in Iraq.

Emrah Fojnica was also arrested in connection with an attack on the US embassy in Sarajevo three years ago, but was released due to a lack of evidence that he assisted the attacker.

The Bosnian Prosecutor’s Office said on Wednesday that various forces from around Bosnia worked together on the Damask operation.

“Under the eye of the prosecutor, there are several hundred police officers in the field and activities were implemented in cooperation with SIPA, the Intelligence-Security Agency, the Republika Srpska Interior Ministry, the police of Brcko District, the Federation Police and cantonal interior ministries,” the prosecutor said in a statement.

“Also in this case significant international collaboration was achieved,” it added.

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