Drug boss denies plotting terrorist attack

Published on September 28, 2006, Prague Monitor

Category: Islamic Terror in Kosovo

Prague, Sept 27 (CTK) - Princ Dobrosi, a Kosovo Albanian and onetime drug kingpin, concedes that he knew one of the four men recently arrested in Norway on suspicion of terrorism and that they had met recently, the Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) reported Wednesday.

"We got acquainted in the Ringerike prison in Norway a few years ago," Dobrosi told MfD by phone from his home in Peja, Kosovo.

It was probably the suspicion that the Pakistani-born suspect was planning an attack in Prague with the assistance of Dobrosi that made the Czech police launch unprecedented security measures in the Czech capital on Saturday, MfD writes.

Arfan Qaeder Bhatti, a Pakistani with a Norwegian passport, was arrested in Norway last week after allegedly attacking a synagogue in Oslo along with three accomplices.

Bhatti is reportedly the leader of the group that is suspected of planning further terrorist attacks on the Israeli and US embassies in Oslo.

Dobrosi told MfD that Bhatti had visited him in his Kosovo home this summer, but had neither asked him for money nor had they jointly planned any violent action.

Czech Interior Minister Ivan Langer (Civic Democrats, ODS) declined to answer MfD's question whether Dobrosi is linked to the terrorist threat Prague is reportedly faced with.

According to MfD, Dobrosi's possible plans might have been motivated by the fact that he was arrested in Prague and extradited to Norway in 1999.

In the 1990s, Dobrosi headed one of the strongest Kosovo Albanian drug mafias which was in control of the northern branch of the "Balkan route" that served drugs transportation to Nordic countries via the Czech Republic.

Dobrosi was arrested in Norway in 1993 and sentenced to 14 years in prison. He escaped from prison in 1996, underwent plastic surgery and hid in Prague. Czech police arrested him in February 1999 and he ended up in a Norwegian prison again.

Last year, he was released from prison early and he has been moving around Europe since. His wife and two children live in Prague.

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