news 04 Dec 12

Bosnia Embassy Gunman Says Fresh Attacks Likely

Mevlid Jasarevic, the man behind the attack on the US embassy in Sarajevo, said in the closing words of his trial that similar attacks will take place for as long as “Americans kill Muslims”.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Awaiting his sentence, Jasarevic told the Bosnian State Court on December 3 that another attack like one he committed last year, when he shot at the US embassy, is likely, whatever the court decides.

Such attacks will keep on happening for “as long as Americans kill Muslims”, he said, and his conviction will not stop others from doing the same. He added that he was sorry for frightening ordinary people that day.

State Prosecutor Dubravko Campara sought in his final word to convict Jasarevic and Emrah Fojnica and Munib Ahmetspahic, his alleged helpers, of organizing a terrorist act.

“All the evidence shows that the indictees prepared this terroristic attack,” Campara said, adding that the crime of organizing a terrorist group carries a penalty of at least five years in prison while membership of a terrorist group carries a sentence of at least three years.

The defence, led by Senad Dupovac, said that the defendant did not intend to kill anyone on October 28, 2011 but wanted to die as a martyr. Dupovac also said that it was not proven that his defendant had carried out a terrorist attack.

Dupovac, denies charges of organised terrorism, describing the embassy attack as the work of an individual.

The defence admits that Jasarevic shot at the embassy but maintains that he never belonged to, or ran, an organized terrorist group. It also says it is not certain that he was the one who wounded a policeman during the shootings.

The defence further maintains that local civilians and the Bosnian police were not the defendant's target, but only US special police "who were killing Iraqis".

Jasarevic is charged with shooting 105 bullets for some 50 minutes from an automatic rifle during which time he caused material damage to the US embassy building and wounded a Bosnian policeman.

Jasarevic is originally from Novi Pazar, Serbia, but lived for some time in the northeastern Bosnian village of Gornja Maoca, known as a centre of the hard-line Wahhabi community.

Besides the Bosnian indictment, the US Justice Department charged Jaraevic in April with attempted murder alongside nine other counts in connection with the shootings.

Jasarevic and the two others are to hear the Bosnian State Court pronounce their sentences on December 6.

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