IS sets up stronghold in Bosnia for terror attacks on West
Islamic State terror group is secretly buying land near an isolated village in
Bosnia in the heart of Europe which could be a base for devastating terror
attacks on the West, a media report said on Sunday.
At least 12 IS fighters
trained in the village of Osve have left for Syria in recent months and five
are reported to be dead, a Sunday Mirror investigation said.
Crucially, the location
gives IS a key strategic position due to its proximity to the Mediterranean
which is used by extremists from Syria, Iraq and North Africa, the report said.
Security services think
the area in Bosnia is used for ISIS training camps and could be a base for
devastating terror attacks on the West. Counter-terrorism expert Dzevad
Galijasevic said, “From this village a large number of people went to Syria and
are going constantly. The chosen location of some of the properties is on a
hill, where there is no possibility to approach without being seen. It is clear
that the source of the terrorist threat is right there. It is a major threat.”
“There is no one there
who isn’t ready to respond to the summons to jihad,” Galijasevic said. The
newspaper said the hilltop village is not mapped by GPS and is only accessible
by steep and winding roads barely wide enough for cars to pass.
A number of houses
there appear to have been abandoned or only half built and it is not overlooked
by any other settlement. It is understood that notorious IS supporter Harun
Mehicevic is among fanatics who bought land in the area. He has purchased two
hectares, it said.
Mehicevic fled Bosnia
during the 1990s Balkan wars and settled in Melbourne, Australia, where he is
considered one of the country’s most dangerous men. Other known terrorists
believed to have bought land in the village include Jasin Rizvic and Osman
Kekic, who are both now fighting with ISIS in Syria.
Muslim leader Izet
Hadzic, arrested by Bosnia’ and Herzegovina’s security service Sipa in a raid,
is also understood to have property in the village, as have many others who
have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq.
One villager told the
newspaper that locals fear the area is a “nest for terrorists”. The man, who
does not want to be named, said, “We regularly hear gunshots coming from the
woods up there for long periods at a time. It happens every week. I don’t know
what they are doing, whether it is target practice or something like that, but
it happens regularly.”