Counter-Terrorism: Where Have All The Balkan Terrorists Gone?


March 19, 2006: Not much terrorist action in the Balkans, despite the presence of Wahhabi missionaries, and their money for mosques and good works. Most of this action is found in Bosnia, a small part of southern Serbia, Kosovo and Albania. It was long believed that Islamic radicals would set up shop in the region, particularly Bosnia, and Islamic terrorism would soon follow. Didn't turn out that way. The Balkan Moslems were never hard core when it came to religion. But they welcome aid from their fellow Moslems in the oil rich Middle East. Many younger Balkan Moslems have been attracted to the Wahhabi missionaries. But that's pretty common the world over. The Wahhabi are hard core, and that appeals to young men, in particular. Moreover, the Wahhabi lifestyle is seen by many in the region as an antidote to the increasing crime and drug use.

But why no Islamic terrorism? There are several reasons. First, many of the Balkan Moslems are not keen on the Wahhabis, or seeing their kids turn into religious fanatics. Then there is the proximity to Europe, and the many counter-terrorism organizations found there. That, plus the fact that thousands of NATO peacekeepers are still stationed in Bosnia and Kosovo, means that anyone planning to try out Islamic terrorism is going to have a hard time avoiding detection, and retribution.

Nevertheless, the situation requires constant scrutiny. The Albanian criminal gangs are making a lot of money smuggling Middle Easterners in to Western Europe, via the Balkans. Most of these are people looking for work, but some are gangsters, and a few have been Islamic terrorists. Other goods are moved by the gangs, particularly drugs. But police fear that chemical, biological or nuclear weapons could be moved as well. So the situation is watched closely, and no one, except for the Serbian Moslems (who have had some hard times with the Serbian police), are complaining too much.




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