Overview: Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) continued to make slow progress in increasing counterterrorism capacity and remained a cooperative counterterrorism partner with the United States. The BiH Court and Prosecutor's Office processed cases against perpetrators of acts of terrorism as well as against those who planned to conduct, or otherwise support, acts of terrorism that were carried out in previous years. Despite budgetary challenges, BiH's Joint Terrorism Task Force continued to work toward improving coordination between BiH's many security and police agencies to better counter potential terrorist threats and to respond better to acts of terrorism. Violent Islamist extremist ideological influences and regional nationalist violent extremist groups represented sources of potential threats in BiH.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: BiH's criminal code and related legal framework is harmonized with UN and EU standards related to combating terrorism. BiH's law enforcement capacity to detect, deter, and prevent acts of terrorism is hampered primarily by the problem of overlapping jurisdictions, particularly in Sarajevo, where at least three distinct police forces have a role in responding to terrorist incidents: the State Investigative and Protective Agency (SIPA), Bosnia's state-level police authority; Sarajevo cantonal police; and Federation entity police. In addition, the state-level Directorate for the Coordination of Police Bodies (DCPB) is charged with the protection of diplomatic and certain other public facilities. While state-level laws give DCPB the authority to coordinate the responses of all state-level police agencies, this organization remains underfunded and under-supported by both BiH government authorities and by international organizations, many of which have bilateral relationships with other state-level agencies. In practice, SIPA generally takes a lead role in responding to attacks and the BiH Prosecutor's Office has the authority to investigate and prosecute acts of terrorism. The Ministry of Security (MoS) continues to consult with state, entity, district, and cantonal police and security agencies to evaluate whether a better legal framework can be created to mandate more coordinated responses to attacks and actions to prevent attacks.

Responding to the relatively large numbers of Bosnian Muslims going to fight in Syria, Minister of Security Fahrudin Radoncic, introduced a bill in November that would punish BiH citizens who return to the country after having fought in a non-recognized militia abroad. The bill also sets forth punishments for those who organize and recruit people for these missions. The bill was making its way through the BiH Parliament at year's end.

Bosnia's Joint Terrorism Task Force, led by BiH's Chief Prosecutor, began operations in January 2011. It includes members from BiH's state and entity law enforcement agencies and the Brcko District Police. The MoS funds the Joint Task Force, which operates out of SIPA headquarters. The Task Force remains in its formative stages nearly three years after its establishment and primarily acts as an intelligence-sharing mechanism.

Counterterrorism cooperation of local law enforcement with U.S. counterparts is generally good. State Department's Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program training to BiH law enforcement included courses in conducting counterterrorism investigations, securing vital infrastructure from terrorism threats, and managing airport security.

To track entries into Bosnia, the BiH Border Police (BP) uses a computerized database and software system to support immigration and passenger information collection. The system, in place since March 2012, links all 55 border crossings and all four airport locations (Sarajevo, Tuzla, Mostar, and Banja Luka) via the State Police Information Network, a network developed and donated by the Department of Justice's International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program. In 2013, Foreigners Affairs Service (FAS) field offices became connected to this system. It provides the BP and FAS with immediate access to other supporting databases (including Interpol) to run appropriate checks and cross-checks.

On terrorism-related prosecutions, Bosnia saw two convictions during 2013 in cases related to terrorist planning and acts carried out in previous years. In July, the BiH Appeals Court ordered a new trial for Mevlid Jasarevic, who was convicted of terrorism in December 2012 for the October 2011 U.S. Embassy shooting, on the ground that the original trial panel had committed procedural errors. On November 20, Jasarevic was re-convicted of terrorism and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Jasarevic's original December 2012 18-year sentence was reduced after the court took into consideration that Jasarevic "has sincerely repented for the act he committed."

On December 20, the BiH Court convicted Haris Causevic of a terrorist act for the June 2010 bombing of the Bugojno police station, which killed one police officer and injured six others. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison. His co-defendant, Naser Palislamović, was found not guilty and released. The other defendants were freed in January due to a lack of evidence.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: BiH is a member of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body; and its Financial Intelligence Unit is a member of the Egmont Group. The country's geographic position and political structure make it difficult to police its borders and enforce anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance rules. BiH has implemented UNSCR 1267/1989 sanctions. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: BiH law enforcement agencies regularly interacted with their U.S. and European counterparts on counterterrorism investigations. Regional cooperation at the professional law enforcement level with Croatia and Serbia improved in 2013.

Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: The main religious communities in BiH (Islamic, Orthodox, Catholic, and Jewish) worked together, through the Interreligious Council, to promote tolerance and to confront violent extremism. Some Muslim leaders were particularly active regarding their own congregants. On August 23, in response to reports that Bosnian Muslims were fighting in foreign conflicts, Reis Husein Kavazovic, the leader of the BiH Islamic community, delivered a widely published sermon in which he condemned "the shedding of innocent blood, any form of violence, and calls for threats, because that is not the path of believers." At the same time, he encouraged believers to think critically and carefully about whose military they are joining and whose guns they are holding.


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