Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001 - Bosnia and Herzegovina

After September 11, Bosnian Government authorities pledged to put all possible resources toward the fight against international terrorism. As Bosnia has been a transit point for Islamic extremists, the State border service enacted a variety of measures to control the borders more effectively, including the introduction of a new landing-card document travelers are required to complete upon arrival at the airport.

Following the attacks on September 11, Ministry of the Interior authorities arrested several individuals suspected of involvement in terrorist activity, including an associate of Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah and five Algerian nationals suspected of being Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) operatives; Sabir Lahmar, one of the detained GIA operatives, had made threats against SFOR and US interests in the past.

Even before the September 11 attacks, the Bosnian Government was engaged actively in measures to combat terrorism. In April, authorities arrested Sa'id Atmani, a suspected GIA associate who roomed with Ahmed Ressam while he was in Canada, and extradited him to France in July, where he was wanted on an INTERPOL warrant. In July, Bosnian Government authorities arrested two members of the Egyptian group al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya – Imad al-Misri and al-Sharif Hassan Sa'ad. Both men were extradited to Egypt in October.

Various NGOs that have been identified as supporting terrorist activities, however, maintained a presence in Bosnia. The NGOs, which came to the region during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, continued to provide assistance to Islamic extremists throughout Bosnia, to include procuring false documents and facilitating terrorist travel. The Government has taken some significant steps to freeze assets and monitor activities of some of the NGOs, but their ability to carry out efforts to combat these organizations has been weakened by some residual support for those in the Islamic world that supported Bosnia wartime efforts.

Following September 11, Bosnian banking authorities have worked diligently to identify and freeze suspected terrorist assets in the financial sector.


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