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news 15 Jul 15

Pro-ISIS Video Calls for Balkan Caliphate

New video published briefly by unknown authors on YouTube calls for the conquest of Serbia, the creation of an Islamic caliphate in the Western Balkans and the destruction of democracy.

Igor Jovanovic BIRN Belgrade
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A new video published on July 10 on YouTube, named “Put hilafa”,  which in Bosniak means “Way of caliphate”, calls for the establishment of a caliphate in the Balkans - Serbia above all.

The video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with the video has been terminated.

The same account earlier published the series of videos glorifying Isis and calling for holy war and radical Islam.

The new video, which began with quotations from the Koran, continued in the form of a poem. “People from the Balkans be happy, better days are approaching, Muslims are coming, we are the Islamic caliphate,” the first stanza said.

The unknown author then calls for the conquest of Serbia while other countries are shown through sniper sight, covered with the black Isis flag.

Then the author called for terrorist activities in Bosnia, Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia, promising that the democracy in these countries would be destroyed and sharia law established in its place.

At the end, death threats are addressed to US President Barack Obama with the words: “Be happy you too Obama, victory belongs to us, we are the sons of Islam, we are the Islamic caliphate."  

Police in Serbia have not yet commented on the video's authors and authenticity and what danger it may represent.

However, a professor of the Faculty of Security in Belgrade, Zoran Dragisic, said the danger of terrorist attacks in the Balkans was real.

“The terrorists have their own networks in the Balkans and no one can exclude the possibility that terrorist attacks may occur in the countries mentioned in the video,” Dragisic told BIRN.

He said the goal of the video was to spread radical Islamist propaganda and to intimidate ordinary people.

In June, an earlier video released by Isis called on more Balkan fighters to join their ranks - and for sympithsers to maim, kill and poison unbelievers in their home countries.

“For those of you that can’t come here, fight over there. Fight against them over there. If you have to, put explosives under their cars. If you can, take poison and put it in their drinks and their food. Let them die. Kill them in every place, whenever you can. In Bosnia, in Serbia, in Sandzak,” a fighter who seems to originally be from Bosnia, who calls himself Salahuddin Al-Bosni, said.

After the video was published, countries in the region raised security levels and introduced new precautions to counter the threat of terrorist attacks.

Experts say closer cooperation between regional security services is required, including permanent communication with leading global intelligence agencies.

Between 200 and 600 fighters from various Balkan nations including Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo, have traveled to Syria since 2012, according to a June study by the Combating Terrorism Center, a research institution at West Point.

Mainly or partly Muslim Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania are the main recruiting grounds in the Balkans for radical Islamists. The other countries in the region mainly serve for transit purposes.

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Background

Western Balkans on Alert Over ISIS Threat

Countries in the region have raised security levels and introduced new precautions to counter the threat of terrorist attacks by Islamic State.

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