Balkans: December 11, 2003


: SFOR reported a SFOR peacekeepers "sealed off" an area near Zenica, Bosnia. The operation included ground troops and helicopters. SFOR was responding to a tip that certain houses in the area held arms and munitions linked to a "terrorist group." A subsequent report said the terror group could be Al Qaeada. There was no follow-up report after the operation.

Turkish police are now telling the Turkish press that four Imams" directed the two recent terror attacks in Istanbul. Those attacks killed a total of 61 people and wounded over 700. Two of the Imams are identified as Habib Aktaz and Azad Ekinci. Both of these men allegedly trained as Islamist terrorists in Pakistan. Aktaz and Ekinci (according to the Turkish sources) were also in contact with Al Qaedas chief of operations, Aiman al-Sawahiri. Heres the real heads-up in the report: the four terror facilitators (ie, the Imams) recruited ten suicide bombers. Four of the suicide cadre are now dead. This means six others may still be at large in Turkey. The Turkish press sources give the Turkish intelligence service, MIT, as the source for this particular information. The conclusion drawn by some Turkish analysts is that the terror network is a branch of Al Qaeda, and that the so-called "Front of Champions for a Great Islamic East" (IBDA-C sometimes also called The Front of Fighters for a Greater Islamic East) which claimed credit for conducting the attacks is either an ally or possibly a cut out for Al Qaeda. The Turkish police sources told another newspaper that the one common tie they have found among the Turks involved in the attacks is that most of them have ties to the Salafist Islamic fundamentalist movement.




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