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Study: Bosnia hot spot for terrorists

April 20, 2006 at 11:38 AM

BRUSSELS, April 20 (UPI) -- A new report by U.S. and Croatian intelligence warns that Bosnia risks becoming a hot spot for Islamist recruiters plotting terrorist attacks in Europe.

The young Balkan state is rapidly becoming a breeding ground for Muslim terrorists -- a development fueled by high unemployment rates among the young Muslim population, the report states. This group is particular interesting to terrorist recruiters because of their Slavic blood, which makes it hard to distinguish from their fellow Europeans, according to Brussels-based news site EUObserver.com.

"People who are born here and live here have an advantage which would make their job easier. By their appearance, they are less obvious," says the document.

Radical Islamists have been operating in the area for more than 15 years. Thousands of foreign mujahadeen warriors fought on the Muslim side of the trenches in the 1992-1995 Balkan wars and after the cease-fire some 500 radicals remained in the country. However, the study suggests that terrorist recruitment got a major boost after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

In October, a joint Danish-Bosnian police operation cracked down on a Sarajevo-based international terrorist network that was planning a suicide attack against a Western embassy in the Bosnian capital. Two Bosnians and several EU-citizens have been indicted.

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