Bin Laden Plans Balkan Front : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


FROM DEBKA INTELLIGENCE FILES Bin Laden plans Balkan front

Controls core of 6,000 fighters in Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania

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Military sources report that Osama bin Laden’s deputy, the Egyptian Jihad chief Ayman al-Zawahri, has ordered al-Qaida and Jihad activists in Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia – an estimated 6,000 men – to report for duty and prepare to open a second Islamic front against the United States in the Balkans. That group is capable of mustering another 40,000 trained and well-armed fighting men. Many hold on to the up-to-date weapons handed out to them by NATO, including the U.S. Army, during the 1998 Kosovo War. In Bosnia, the bin Laden-Jihad alliance commands a reservoir of 7,500 fighting men; in Kosovo – 15,000; in Albania – another 15,000 and in Macedonia – 5,000.

NATO headquarters in Brussels received reports of some 3,000 Chechen rebels funded by bin Laden beginning to cross into Georgia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. They are in flight from President Vladimir Putin’s 72-hour ultimatum to give themselves up and surrender their arms. They suspect that Putin received an American carte blanche to crush the Chechen rebellion in return for his support of the U.S. operation in Afghanistan. The generals in Brussels fear the Chechens will strike at the U.S. bases going up in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tadjikistan.

NATO maintains 60,000 servicemen in the Balkans, one third American; U.S. strength in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia now stands at some 15,000.

-- Robert Riggs (, September 28, 2001

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