Balkans: Kosovo Crises Reaches New Jersey


May 9, 2007: Six Moslem refugees from the Balkans were arrested in the United States and charged with planning a terrorist attack on an American military base in New Jersey. The six were observed for over a tear. Three of the young men are in the country illegally. The base in question, Ft Dix, hosted 4,000 Albanian refugees from Kosovo in the 1990s. Some 14,000 Kosovo Moslems were let into the U.S. during the Kosovo crises of 1999. After Serbian troops had been forced out by NATO, about half of those 14,000 returned to Kosovo. The other remained in the U.S., and one of the arrested men was from that group. Islamic radicalism is popular with young Moslems, often to the point where they plan and carry out terror attacks in their own neighborhoods. Most have been caught, but a few plots went undetected, and attacks were carried out (as in London and Madrid over the last few years.) Islamic terrorists have a very paranoid view of world affairs. NATO and European efforts in Kosovo are seen in the worst possible light, and considered just another Christian attack on Islam. The appeal of Islamic radicalism is that it considers everything black and while. Moslems are good, everyone else is bad, and an enemy. Kids love that kind of simplicity. Add in automatic weapons, explosives and the promise of an eternal orgy, and you have a powerful recruiting pitch for young Moslem guys. May 6, 2007: After the Turkish parliament failed for a second time to elect him president, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul withdrew himself as a candidate. At the moment Gul was the only candidate. It takes a two-thirds vote of the entire parliament to elect the president. Opposition parties boycotted the parliament so there were not enough members present to have a legal vote. In the days prior to Gul's withdrawal, pro-secular demonstrators protested throughout Turkey.

May 3: The US State Department said that the differences of opinion over what to do about Kosovo's "final status" as "not insurmountable." The US appears to believe that Russian concerns for Serbia and concerns about setting a precedent for devolution of European states can be addressed. The US statement was a clear contrast to Serbia's position. A Serbian government spokesman said that Serbia was "certain" that Russia would veto any UN resolution calling for a Kosovo state independent of Serbia.

May 2, 2007: The US State Department's "annual review of terrorism" concluded that if Transdniestr fully separates from Moldova is could become "a potential area for terrorist recruitment." That assessment reiterates a conclusion reached in previous years. Transdniestr is, at the moment, something of a gangland statelet. Its neighbors accuse Transdniestr of being a haven for smuggling and money laundering

Turkey's ruling AK Party (AKP) proposed that the Turkish constitution be changed so that the president is elected by popular vote. Currently the president is elected by parliament. The proposal comes after the AKP's failure to elect Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul president. Secularist opposition parties boycotted the vote in parliament and Turkey' s highest court ruled that the vote was not valid since a sufficient number of parliamentary members did not participate.

The Turkish military, which under the Kemalist system has the mission of "protecting Turkey's secular state," remains in the background. Few Turks doubt that if the AKP sought to impose religious rule (Muslim rule) that the military would launch a coup. In 1997 the Turkish military forced Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan from office. Erbakan favored many Islamist policies that Turkish secularists feared.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close