Platform For a Terrorist

Published on November 20, 2007, FrontPage Magazine

Category: Islamic Terror in Kosovo

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article on Kosovo’s impending unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia. The piece attested to the inevitability and rightness of this independence. It was also penned by a terrorist. Specifically, by the “former” terrorist and current “prime minister” of the province, Agim Ceku.

If Hamas were threatening to declare unilateral Palestinian statehood, would The Journal print an unopposed perspective from the leader of Hamas, or of Hezbollah, for that matter?

To give readers a sense of who Agim Ceku is, he was such a Serb-hunting enthusiast that when the early, Croatian leg of the Balkan wars kicked off, he volunteered to become a colonel in the Croatian Army, leading the 1993 offensive on a Serbian village in Croatia named Medak. As Canadian military journalist Scott Taylor wrote:

It was here that the men of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry came face to face with the savagery of which [Agim] Ceku was capable. Over 200 Serbian inhabitants of the Medak Pocket were slaughtered in a grotesque manner (the bodies of female rape victims were found after being burned alive). Our traumatized troops who buried the grisly remains were encouraged to collect evidence and were assured that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.

Nevertheless in 1995, Ceku, by then trained by U.S. instructors as a general of artillery, was still at large. In fact, he was the officer responsible for shelling the Serbian refugee columns and for targeting the UN-declared "safe" city of Knin during the Croatian offensive known as Operation Storm. Some 500 innocent civilians perished in those merciless barrages, and senior Canadian officers who witnessed the slaughter demanded that Ceku be indicted. Once again, their pleas fell on deaf ears.

"Throughout the [1999] air campaign against Yugoslavia," continues Taylor, Ceku--by then commanding KLA terrorists in driving two-thirds of Kosovo’s remaining Christian Serbs out along with other non-Albanians--"was portrayed as a loyal ally and he was frequently present at NATO briefings with top generals such as Wesley Clark and Michael Jackson."

The Canadian soldiers today suffer physical maladies from the suppression and denial of what they witnessed, and they await justice for Ceku, which the U.S. actively intervenes to prevent every time a move is made in that direction. That this monster is now given a platform in the pages of the Wall Street Journal only adds insult to their injury.

Chris Deliso’s new book The Coming Balkan Caliphate offers a window into how Ceku operates with Kosovo’s Western champions and benefactors:

Embarrassingly for Ceku, two of his KPC (Kosovo Protection Corps) men were involved in an ANA (Albanian National Army) bridge bombing attempt on April 12, 2003, near the northern Kosovo town of Zvecin. For the stated goal of making Kosovo a multiethnic society based on rule of law, having members of the civil police moonlighting as terrorists was not auspicious.

[UN Mission in Kosovo Chief] Harri Holkeri, had infuriated Agim Ceku on December 3 [2004] by ordering the suspension of [the] two KPC generals…over the April bridge bombing debacle. Ceku darkly intoned that “this decision is unacceptable for us.”

In writing about the March, 2004 riots throughout Kosovo by the majority-Muslim Albanians -- riots that injured a thousand people and killed over 30 including six NATO troops, according to UN officials in Kosovo -- Deliso mentions that:

Most embarrassing for the UNMIK authorities, Agim Ceku’s KPC officers actively aided the mobs. The suspicious complicity of leading Kosovo Albanian politicians and KPC commanders was attested to by other internationals, such as the Greek policeman who pondered, “Why did [Hasim] Thaci and [Agim] Ceku not say ’stop’ until three days into the riots?…And why, once they did say ’stop,’ did everything suddenly stop?”

A former German soldier in Kosovo explains that…”the Albanians put women and children in front of our barracks as ‘human shields’ so that our vehicles couldn’t get out.”

While the March 2004 riots were seemingly fueled only by ethnic hatred and general frustrations, evidence indicated an Islamist dimension to the violence. The Albanian Muslim rioters did everything from slashing the throats of Serbian farmers’ pigs…to the dynamiting, burning, or vandalizing of 35 churches…. videotapes glorifying the destruction of such Christian monuments were soon being circulated throughout radical Islamic mosques in Western Europe, for the purpose of jihad fundraising.

The wiretapped conversations between the jihadi leaders had eerie similarities with those captured by the FBI before 9/11: “It was said, for example, that ‘in two or three weeks the party will begin’ and that ‘in Prizren everything is prepared for a hot party;’ then it was asked whether the interlocutor ‘can guarantee it will be a blast in Urosevac?’”

These are just a handful of the countless, uncomfortable Balkan truths that are out there, but one is hard-pressed to find any mention of them in mainstream American news outlets. One Balkan truth that did make it past the censors was the May arrest of four Albanian Muslims plotting to massacre American soldiers at Fort Dix—but The Journal’s editorial and opinion pages ignored this major news story.

In his Journal article, Ceku speaks of cooperating with Serbia in fighting “organized crime.” This comes from the head of a “state” founded on organized crime. Ceku and other Kosovo leaders hold regular meetings to manage their criminal rackets at Pristina’s Grand Hotel, according to German intelligence (BND).

Ceku also gives the usual spiel that independence is “inevitable” and can’t be delayed. Why is that so? He doesn’t say. Perhaps it’s for the same reason that a Hungarian member of the EU parliament bluntly said, “Because we’re afraid of them,” when asked why the U.S. and EU are giving the Kosovo Albanians what they want unconditionally.

Ceku refers to suffering of “all the people of Kosovo in the 1990s”, the oft-used justification for Kosovo to never again be ruled from Belgrade. What many people suffered from—Albanians and Serbs alike—were ceaseless attacks by the KLA even during ceasefires and pullouts by the Serbs as per Western-mediated agreements. And why are sufferings in the 1990s—which the KLA fomented with a terrorist insurgency—more relevant than the “peacetime” suffering post-1999?

Ceku also speaks of "guarantees for 'minority' citizens." Based on post-1999 life in Kosovo for non-Albanians, why should anyone believe those guarantees? If Ceku and his cronies were not the violent criminal types that they are, why would Serbs need guarantees? Do other democratic states in Europe (including Serbia) need guarantees for minorities enforced by outside powers, or are they simply expected to behave according to civilized standards--which Ceku and Co. have shown themselves incapable of?

One is reminded of something that was said of the writer and communist fellow traveler, Lillian Hellman: You can’t believe a word she says. Not even “the” or “and."

It is curious that the Journal would agree to publish a commentary by a KLA leader, especially when one considers that the paper's European edition ran the following piece two months after September 11, 2001:

For the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade. Many recruits to the Balkan wars came originally from Chechnya, a jihad in which Al Qaeda has also played a part.

By 1994, major Balkan terrorist training camps included Zenica, and Malisevo and Mitrovica in Kosovo…In Albania, the main training camp included even the property of former Albanian premier Sali Berisha in Tropje, Albania, who was then very close to the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Islamist infiltration of the Kosovo Liberation Army advanced, meanwhile. Bin Laden is said to have visited Albania in 1996 and 1997, according to the murder-trial testimony of an Algerian-born French national, Claude Kader, himself an Afghanistan-trained mujahideen fronting at the Albanian-Arab Islamic Bank. He recruited some Albanians to fight with the KLA in Kosovo, according to the Paris-based Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues.

Albanian separatism in Kosovo and Metohija was formally characterized as a "jihad" in October 1998 at an annual international Islamic conference in Pakistan. Nonetheless, the 25,000 strong KLA continued to receive official NATO/U.S. arms and training support and, at the talks in Rambouillet, France, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright shook hands with "freedom fighter" Hashim Thaci, a KLA leader. As this was taking place, Europol (the European Police Organization based in The Hague) was preparing a scathing report on the connection between the KLA and international drug gangs. Even Robert Gelbard, America's special envoy to Bosnia, officially described the KLA as Islamic terrorists.

The Wall Street Journal has defaulted to the Bush administration’s policy on Kosovo, the Bush administration itself having defaulted to the Clinton administration’s policy, being too distracted with bigger battles to bother changing course in the Balkans--even after 9/11 supposedly taught us a few things. And so here we are, with a now institutionalized terror-friendly policy in Kosovo.

Until we start viewing terrorism against Serbs as terrorism, we will continue to be co-targets of the Serbs’ enemies. When we betray our Christian kin, just as when we betray our Israeli kin, in a fanatical but futile attempt to win favor with an incompatible society, we put ourselves at risk.

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