Iranians move in

Published on March 22, 1998, Sunday Times - London

Category: Islamic Terror in Kosovo

Uzi Mahnaimi, Cairo

Iranian Revolutionary Guards have joined forces with a Saudi millionaire to support the Albanian underground movement in Kosovo. They hope to turn the region into their main base for Islamic armed activity in Europe. According to a senior Egyptian security source, an agreement was signed in Tehran on February 16 with the Saudi Osama Bin Laden who also has links with Afghanistan's fundamentalist Taliban militia. Bin Laden, 44, described by the US State Department as "one of the most significant sponsors of Islamic extremist activities", has begun extending his operations to eastern Europe. He has supported Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo, the source said. Iran is keen to strengthen its presence in the region. Bin Laden's activities appear to have been concentrated so far mainly in the Bosnian town of Zenica. Five Egyptian members of the al-Gamaa al-Islamiya movement, which killed 58 tourists in Luxor last November, have now moved to Kosovo.

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