by John Gizzi
Recent signs are strong that Kosovo, which the Clinton Administration demanded the NATO-run bombing of Serbia in 1999, will soon declare itself an independent sovereign nation. The Bush Administration may extend U.S. recognition. Talks are now ongoing between the predominantly Muslim Kosovo and Serbia over Kosovo’s independence. The Serbian parliament was recently briefed on the progress of the negotiations. In June, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warmly welcomed to Washington Prime Minister Agim Ceku, a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander.
According to the Washington Post, there is a “firm Western consensus” that the Serbian province “should be granted independence before the end of this year,” when the United Nations Security Council is set to address the issue of Kosovo.
Were Kosovo independence to occur, in the heart of Europe there would then exist an Islamic republic like Iran and a safe-haven for terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden. According to a 2003 report of the Serbian government, bin Laden visited neighboring Albania in 1995 “when bases for the logistic and financial support to the Al Queda organization were set up with cells in Kosovo and Metohija.”
In addition, Kosovo has a long and well-documented history as a base for narcotics to fund worldwide terrorist activities. Eight months before 9/11, the Wall Street Journal-Europe reported (January 11, 2001): “The overnight use of heroin trafficking through Kosovo -- now the most important Balkan route between Southeast Asia and Europe after Turkey [italics added] -- helped also to fund terrorist activity directly associated with Al Qaeda and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.... Operatives of two Al Qaeda-sponsored Islamist cells who were arrested in Bosnia on October 23rd were linked to the heroin trade, underscoring the narco-jihad culture of today’s post-war Balkans.”
A year after the U.S. State Department in 1998 removed Kosovo from its terrorism list and then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright shook hands with KLA leader Hasham Thaci at Rambouillet, France, NATO under General Wesley Clark went to war on Kosovo’s behalf against Serbia. The question of independence for Kosovo was never resolved after the 1999 war. In the seven years since, the predominantly Islamic Albanian nationalist state has become a European satellite for radical Islam and terrorism. Indeed, at the 16th Islamic Conference held in Pakistan in October 1998, Albanian separatism in Kosovo was defined as a jihad and the Islamic world was called on to help “this fight for freedom on the occupied Muslim territories.”
German intelligence (BND) confirmed in ’05 that the terrorist bombings in London in July of that year and in the Madrid commuter railway on May 11, 2004 were organized in Kosovo.
“The man at the center of the provision of the explosives in both instances,” reported Defense and Foreign Affairs Daily (October 25, 2005), “was an Albanian, operating mostly out of Kosovo (with links into Bosnia), who is a second ranking leader in the Kosovo Liberation Army...Niam Behzloulzi (phonetic spelling), also known as ‘Houlzi.’”
“Houlzi,” report Maroevic and Williams, is considered the “Number Two man” in the KLA and “reportedly in charge of many of the KLA’s secret operations, including narco-trafficking and narcotics production, and controls Islamist cells. . .He is described by those who know him as a ‘fanatical Islamist,’ who was trained in Afghanistan. . .”
The grisly combination of international narcotics dealing and militant Islam and terror in an independent European nation portends a future that is, at the very least, questionable. Granting Kosovo independence could well lead to a Greater Kosovo, one that is Muslim-ruled and could easily seize neighboring Macedonia and parts of Greece.
Such a nation-state could change the political dynamics in Europe and change the scales in the war on terrorism to the forces of Islamo-Fascism. Writing on the prospects of an independent Kosovo in Frontpage.com, veteran journalist Julie Gorin concluded: “We cannot fight terrorism with one hand while abetting it with another.”