Terrorism in the Balkans becomes an increasing worry as official reports claim rural communities in the Balkans are popping up and may be home to thousands of ISIS sympathizers.
The number of potential terrorists and the threat of terrorism in the Balkans is growing every day. Serbian officials report there a thousand suspected terrorists living among dozens of extremist organizations including seven organizations on the blacklist of the United Nations Security Council. The majority of the world’s leading newspapers are silent about this issue, not understanding the potential severity of the crisis.
Representatives of security services operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina reported that 64 enclaves have sprouted up in remote territory in conditions that are favorable to generating ISIS sympathizers. They claim the inhabitants are practically isolated from the rest of the state and live “in the way that ISIS commands.”
Terrorism in the Balkans: 5,000 potential terrorists living in remote regions.
Data suggests that about 40,000 people live in these remote enclaves and of that around 5,000 “sleepers” or potential terrorists may live among them. In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), there are many returnees from the Syrian war zone, and six prisoners from the U.S. military detention camp, Guantanamo, who are in BiH for “resocialization.” Officials believe people returning from the Syrian war are more prone to being radicalized by ISIS if they haven’t already been so.
The area from Niksic Plateau to Ilidza in Sarajevo is particularly dangerous. A former suspected “coach of bin Laden bombers” in Afghanistan, Abdul Aziz Abdulah Ali al-Saudi, now lives in Montenegro. Tarik Mahmud Ahmed el Savah, who is a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Egypt, also moved to Bosnia. He was Osama bin Laden’s close associate and was accused of being an Al Qaeda expert for explosives.
Many security experts argue the fight against Islamists have to be resolute, serious, fundamental and dedicated. Analyst Dzevad Galisevic believes the security of the entire border of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Montenegro and Serbia is an absolute top priority as the “border is ideal” for crossings.
ISIS issues a direct threat to the Balkans.
ISIS has made it clear that they have not forgotten the Balkans. “Soon the soldiers of the caliphate will walk through Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Tirana, Pristina, Skopje and other cities, ripping off heads and shedding the blood of infidels,” ISIS threatened in June of 2017.
Terrorism in the Balkans is becoming an increasingly more alarming issue as ISIS aims to extend their influence further to the west. The Balkans could become the new western front of the war on terror.