Overview: Bosnia and Herzegovina made progress increasing its counterterrorism capacity in 2010 and improved its interagency communication and cooperation between the various state and entity-level law enforcement agencies. Joint operations were conducted against suspected terrorist groups, the State Court prosecuted perpetrators of acts of terrorism, and Bosnia revamped its Counterterrorism Task Force to better counter potential terrorist threats.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: On June 27, a bomb was detonated at a police headquarters in the central Bosnian town of Bugojno resulting in the death of one police officer and injuries to six other officers. The State Prosecutor indicted six suspects on terrorism charges for their roles in the attack. The suspects reportedly belonged to a local violent extremist movement.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In order to harmonize Bosnia and Herzegovina's criminal code with UN and EU standards related to countering terrorism, the parliament adopted new legislation in January to criminalize terrorist recruitment, terrorist training, and the incitement of terrorist attacks.
The trial against Rijad Rustempasic and three other defendants on terrorism and weapons trafficking charges commenced in February. In early February, in an extensively coordinated effort involving several different law enforcement institutions and police forces, approximately 600 police and law enforcement officers conducted a raid on the village of Gornja Maoca, where authorities suspected the local religious extremist movement of involvement in criminal activity. A significant amount of evidence was seized during the raid and the suspects remained under investigation by law enforcement authorities at year's end.
In December, the State Prosecutor's Office and State Investigative and Protective Agency (SIPA) began discussions on forming an operational Joint Task Force based on the FBI model to deal with counterterrorism. The Ministry of Security will fund the Joint Task Force and it will operate out of SIPA. The Ministry of Security recently adopted a strategy to prevent and counter terrorism covering the period of 2010-2013.
Countering Terrorist Finance: In August, the Directors of the Federation and Republika Srpska Tax Administrations and SIPA agreed to form an operations team to evaluate financial information of persons and groups of interest to counter terrorist financing. This initiative will assist the Joint Task Force's focus on the financing of terrorism-related activity.
Regional and International Cooperation: Bosnia and Herzegovina's law enforcement agencies regularly interact with their U.S. and European counterparts on counterterrorism investigations. Bosnia ratified the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In December in Sarajevo, the Ministry of Security co-sponsored the OSCE's workshop on Suppressing Terrorist Financing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Leads to Terrorism. The OSCE sponsored-event brought together representatives from the NGO-sector, banking industry, and representatives from 15 countries and regional organizations.