Tuesday, September 02, 2014


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In Bosnia, U.S. Embassy Shooting Resurrects Old Fears

The shooting spree reportedly lasted around 10 minutes
The shooting spree reportedly lasted around 10 minutes
By RFE/RL
In Sarajevo, Irma Maric's Friday afternoon was shattered by gunfire. She describes watching a brazen 30-minute rifle assault carried out by a suspected Islamist on the U.S. embassy unfold from her office window: 
 
"I looked out of the window and I saw people running, like kids, also. They were [fleeing], because of the fear...When you see, through the window, people lying down on the streets, it's the first thing I remember: the 1990s in Sarajevo," Maric said.
 
The Bosnian capital was under siege during the region's 1992-1995 war. Maric, a 28-year-old born and raised in Sarajevo, describes the city as calm today.
 
Political and religious leaders in the Balkans are voicing concerns over what some are describing as a "terrorist" attack on the embassy on October 28. The building has been temporarily closed.
 
Armed With A Kalashnikov
 
Sarajevo Mayor Alija Behmen said the attacker "got off a tram with a Kalashnikov and started shooting at the American embassy." He was wounded in the leg by a police sniper and is now in custody. At least one police officer was also reported injured. 

An eyewitness to the incident, who gave his name as Admir, told RFE/RL by phone from his car that the shooting spree outside the embassy lasted some 10 minutes as police rushed onto the scene.

"There was the sound of automatic weapon fire like in a war. Individual shots were heard. It didn't last just a minute or two," he said.
 
The attack is believed to be the work of 23-year-old Mevlid Jasarevic from the southern Serbian city of Novi Pazar. Bosnian officials say the gunman is tied to the fundamentalist Wahhabi branch of Islam brought to the region during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war by way of fighters from Algeria, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, and the Middle East.  
 
The Saudi-based movement is connected to various religious militants in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. They represent a minority, however, within Bosnia's large Muslim community. 
 
Bosnian Security Ministry Sadik Ahmetovic told reporters in Sarajevo on October 29 that authorities are working together to investigate the attack. 
 
"This attack against the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo is a terrorist attack and the authorities are coordinating their investigation with the Serbian authorities," Ahmetovic said. 
 
"the Security Ministry of Bosnia-Herzegovina, along with other law-enforcement agencies, will make every possible effort to ensure that all possible perpetrators and accomplices of this serious act are apprehended and prosecuted. The authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina will search all the sites that have any kind of links to the bombing of the U.S. embassy."
 
Both Jasarevic and his home town of Novi Pazar have been in trouble with the law before. 
 


WATCH: The Sarajevo-based news service SensServis posted this video, which apparently shows the gunman walking calmly while holding his weapon after he had fired at the embassy.

Officials say Jasarevic entered Bosnia on October 28, although it was not immediately clear whether or not he entered legally. He was convicted for robbery in Austria in 2005 and deported to Serbia. 
 
Serbian police said he was also detained for a short time last year on charges of wielding "a large knife" during a visit by the U.S. ambassador to Serbia and other officials to Novi Pazar. 
 
Arrests
 
Meanwhile, at least 15 people suspected of belonging to a Wahhabi sect were detained early this morning in Novi Pazar and two other Serbian towns. 
 
Novi Pazar, which has a large Muslim community, was in the spotlight in 2007 after the police found what they said was an Islamist "terrorist" training camp there. 
 
The incident resurrects long-standing concerns over the rise of Islamic extremism in the region. Reports in recent years have warned that some areas serve as breeding grounds for the so-called "white" Al-Qaeda -- a term used to refer to Islamic fundamentalists with European features thought able to blend in more easily in the West. 
 
The incident is likely to have Muslims on their guard for potential reprisals against the attack. Maric worries that her last name -- which she describes as "very Islamic" -- will cause her problems. 
 
Sarajevo continues to see occasional violence and tension between its Muslim, Catholic, and Orthodox religious communities.
 
Reporting by Milad Obradovic of RFE/RL's Balkan Service. Written by Kristin Deasy in Prague. 
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
October 29, 2011 11:44
No,dear brothers and sisters,this man is not a muslim,or islamist,they are moderate peace loving dovesand we must not insult our saudi friends by calling them names.The man is a serbian nationalist,separatist,militant,extremist,bigoted,far-right,etc., etc.,just like the albanian who shot dead 2 american soldiers in Germany-it turned out he was a serbian in muslim disguise.Now we have also found out that the bloody bastards who brought down the towers were either serbs or iranians,which means we`ll have to bomb Iran too.So,there you have it,dont say we didnt warn ya,were real gentle folk and not some bloody serbian or Iranian or any other terrorists.God Bless America.And dont say our god is a fallen angel.
In Response

by: aleks
October 29, 2011 16:23
what are you talking about camel anaturk? or more importantly, what are you smoking? any educated person knows that serbs are orthodox christians and have been fighting radical muslims like yourself and this fool who shot up the embassy for countless centuries. how dare you insult serbia for an act perpertrated by your religious kin. serbia has been the defender of christian europe for hundreds of years. shame on you for trying to spread your venomous lies. go back to kurdistan, afghanistan, pakistan, or whatever hole or cave you crawled out of.
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by: Alex from: LA
October 29, 2011 19:32
I felt lots of sarcasm in his comment i dont think he is insulting christians but US policy
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by: eennaaa from: Bosnia
October 29, 2011 23:27
Alex. Serbians fighting muslims you mean killing thosands of inocent people in Bosnia. What an defender of christian europe!
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by: Slava
October 30, 2011 15:00
Western neocon-neolib influenced foreign policy hypocrisy galore.

Serb and Bosnian authorities appear to be encouraged to cooperate in this instance, involving an American target.

On the other hand, when Islamo-fascists attack Serbs and Russians, there's a tendency for some to second guess Serb claims.
In Response

by: George from: Melbourne
October 30, 2011 01:29
Radical muslims have been killing the Serbs for centuries. During the war the Serbs defended themselves but the USA decided to support the jihadists. Will America finally understand that the Serbs were only defending Yugoslavia against muslim fanatics?
In Response

by: Slava
October 30, 2011 23:49
A typically downplayed matter on the Bosnian Civil War concerns a good period when Serbs, Croats and Muslim supporters of the secular Fikret Abdic opposed the fundamentalist Izetbegovic and his forces.
In Response

by: David from: Florida
November 06, 2011 18:32
Slava, Serbs were not defending Yugoslavia by having Sarajevo under siege for 3.5 years, by killing thousands in Srebrenica or by having nazi-like concentration camps for non-Serbs throughout Bosnia. Were Serbs also defending Yugoslavia by literally destroying Croatian cities like Vukovar or Dubrovnik? Come on! Serbs are known for for their violence and hatred of others. What was the point of burning down a US Embassy and Croatian Embassy in Belgrade? Serbs even went as far as torching down McDonalds in Belgrade. Get your facts straight.

by: Faruk from: Sarajevo
October 29, 2011 11:44
Wahhabism is not just rooted, it's the state-doctrine of Saudi Arabia. Riad is the financial center of support for this kind of actions. I know first hand, that our people were given money here in Bosnia, to convert to this art of Islam.

by: Daniel Monte from: USA
October 29, 2011 14:26
Osama didn't teach Americans how little takes to Muslim ally to turn his gun around.US has been biggest supporter of Bosnian and Albanian Muslims.This was not enough for Albanian in Germany to kill two American soldiers in cold blooded manner,to prove point yesterday attack happened.Talking heads will start talking about extremist isolated incident,we know better these are lies.
Bosnian Muslim leadership is part of this Wahhabi movement financed by Saudi Arabia and they actively support them,population at large suppots them too,make no mistake.
Serbs proven allies from two world wars were bombed for three months,how come there is not one incident of Serbs breaking window in any western capital.
Reason for warr in Bosnia was desire of Muslim leadership to create Islamic Republic ,same reason is driving conflict between Serbs and Muslims today and now Muslims and Croats.Bosnian Muslims and their immams have two stories.
One for western audiences about democracy and all those fine things that liberals like.Second story is their true story when they answer to their supperiors in Iran and Saudi Arabia.I assume that Iran and Saudis are not financing social democracy,if this what they love they will have for their own people .
In Response

by: John Hood from: USA
October 30, 2011 07:24
There are plenty of incidences of serbs attacking and burning down US embassies in Belgrade and Banja Luka. Belgrade was celebrating the attacks of September 11th. They burned american flags and threatened to kill americans for the recognition of Kosovo. Don't for a second think they are your allies. Mentioning that you are from america if you are in serbia can be dangerous.
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by: Paul from: Belgrade
October 30, 2011 20:22
We are not liked in the half of the World, the difference is, that Serbs support the american way of living, with greater freedoms instead of hardend bureaucracy, BUT are STRONGLY OPPOSED to the occupation of their country aswell as bombardment, as much as to the american way of war mongering, and support of radical parties, especially in muslim regions of the world. I am a african-american btw. and homosexuall (if you believe it or not), living in Belgrade for 2 years now, and to be honest, I feel pretty safe here.
In Response

by: Slava
October 30, 2011 23:51
Serbs en masse have been comparatively reasonable.

Recall that the American government led NATO under Clinton launched a hypocritically warped attack against Serbia.

Serbs don't fly airplanes into buildings.

In Response

by: Abdulmajid
November 11, 2011 12:57
When and where did Bosniaks "fly airplanes into buildings"?
So you say the Bosniaks got what they had coming because of Sept. 11th? Which happened 9 years AFTER you started committing genocide against Bosniaks, for the fourth time in the 20th century!?!
Bosnibaks NEVER flew airplanes into buildings. Serbs had extermination camps for Bosniaks, snipers to kill them and in three days killed at least 8.347 people at Srebrenica, probably many more, and we will never forget nor forgive that. Not in 1000 years. If you persist in justifying that evil and wishing for more of it, the day will come when we will pay you back in the same coin, if it takes that long or longer. Or do you seriously believe that us balije are only there for you to kick us in the face all the time??? No, don't answer that. I KNOW you do.
Herewith I want to express that such people have resigned from the human race. Your statement is utterly inhuman and who approves of it even in the slightest way is utterly inhuman as well and guilty by association of the anti-Bosniak genocidal crusade, the unworthiest cause that there is. I want to make it unmistakably clear that I do not view such people as human beings and that they merit utter contempt and disdain. They should be done away with just like the Nazis were, because they are exactly as inhuman.
With people who have such a warped logic and such a blind hate and who are declared enemies of my people what kind of compromise or peace can there be? And just so you know, I am NOT filled with hate for the serb people. I only reflect the pathological hate of such people as yourself. They are utterly evil, beyond redemption.
But you will NEVER get your velika srbija! One day all the evil and hatred you throw on us balije wioll come down on your heads and on those of your children and grandchildren and I will not grieve for onbe of them. No, not for a single one of them. And don't count on your Greek friends to help you this time. Look at Libya and see your future in your beloved Kaddafi's fate.
THE CROSS WILL NEVER BRING THE CRESCENT TO ITS KNEES IN BOSNIA AND MUCH LESS CHASE IT OUT!

by: Jack from: US
October 29, 2011 14:35
US government propaganda for years was portraying Muslims as victims of "evil Serbs". US went on to bomb and kill Christians to protect Muslim terrorists. Now US government is getting back what it asked for. I pity Europeans who have no brains of their own and were ordered by US to kill Christians. Now it is Europeans who got Muslim fundamentalists in their own backyard, thanks to insanity and cowardice of their own governments which followed US government orders.
In Response

by: David from: Florida, USA
November 06, 2011 18:39
No, Serbs don't fly planes into the buildings, but instead, destroy cities, torture kill people en masse, just because they're not Serbs. Even Gay Pride parades are either banned or end up in bloodshed and violence. I don't consider Serbs to be friends of America. After burning our embassy, our flags and threatening to kill Americans over Kosovo, I wouldn't feel safe in Serbia, not that I have any intentions of ever visiting or spending my money in a country that openly hates me for being American.

by: Alex from: Germay
October 30, 2011 12:03
Serb again !? Just kidding...

It seems that Islam is starting to divide in Bosnia, pretty much like christianity divided in catholics and orthodox. Will we see Hanafis with strong Sufistic culture (Bosniak Islam) and Wahhabis (Saudi Arabia based and imported Islam, which is strongly opposed to Sufism) fighting for power over the muslim people of the Balkans. It seems so, unfortunately Wahhabism has a much more stronger base and support not only from the Sauds, but even by the U.S. which supports the Sauds in their international politics, even when it turns against them and their citizens, like we see since 9/11.

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