What a wonderful world Wesley Clark has created:
Albanians Discovered Wiring UN Vehicles With Explosives
Narrow escape for UNMIK staff in Kosovo as terror fears mount
A sign of the times in Kosovo? According to official internal sources, there have been two near-death experiences for UN staff in Pristina in the past 4 days. While these did not result in any out-of-body experiences, they could have except for luck and watchfulness.
On 20 December at 9:05 AM, an UNMIK vehicle in Pristina was discovered with a grenade attached to one of its wheels. The grenade should have been activated when the vehicle swung into motion, but it failed to detonate as the wire broke and the lever
Hours later, at 4:45 PM, a second booby trap was discovered underneath a UN vehicle in Pristina- an M75 grenade attached to the cars left front bumper. Fortunately, the driver was told about the presence of the deadly object by a commuter and it was safely removed. No arrests have been reported thus far, though investigations have begun.
These sobering examples of the UNs increasing vulnerability in Kosovo came, ironically enough, barely a month after outgoing NATO Secretary George Robertson arrived for a stage-managed appearance dedicated to whitewashing the Wests utter failure in Kosovo since 1999. While admitting that the picture is still not perfect, Robertson claimed that NATOs troops had fulfilled the mission of United Nations Security Resolution 1244 to provide a stable and secure environment for the people of Kosovo. Averred Robinson:
we allowed people to resume their normal lives, and we provided the necessary backdrop for other international organizations to be able to fulfill their work, Lord Robertson said.
If only this were true! In any case, despite the failure to mention that human rights and democracy have deteriorated steadily in the UNs Kosovo, Robertson did manage to perpetuate the illusion that all of the provinces problems owed to the nationalistic highly destructive Milosevic policy.
Would that these same Western saviors had the time to congratulate themselves on their victory. However, it now seems that they have more to worry about just in terms of not being killed by the same people they liberated in 1999.
The problem is doubly vexing. Fears have been growing in recent months that UNMIK workers in Kosovo might be targeted by Albanian nationalists angry at arrests and trials of militants, subservience to international institutions, and even a poor economy. At the same time, since UNMIK presents such a plush target for any al Qaeda cells operating in the Balkans, security officials must be vigilant against that threat as well. It has been argued that Albanian extremist groups are cooperating with the al Qaeda, but evidence of such an association has not been revealed, publicly at least.
According to Debka.com, intelligence information gleaned from recent anti-terrorist raids in Germany, Italy and the UK helped UNMIK staff to increase security and forestall a specific threat against international organizations in the UN-run province and neighboring Macedonia.
KFOR itself has acknowledged such claims. A press release of 28 November states that security measures taken then represent a measured, prudent and deterrent response to a specific threat, though they would not release any information on potential targets.
Interestingly, KFOR also stated that it and the Police were committed to providing security for the province. It is known that the Police, i.e., the Kosovo Protection Corps, is staffed and run by many of the former KLA thugs who fought the Yugoslav Army in 1999 and then graduated to the Macedonian academy 2 years later. Numerous events this year, especially the botched bridge detonations in northeastern Kosovo that left two bombers dead, show that the KPC still retains links with outlawed extremist groups such as the AKSH. In other words, KFOR and KPC cooperation goes only so far. If it is not in the interests of KPC leaders to cooperate on certain crimes- whether they be attacks against Serbian churches or attempted murder of UN staff- then it will simply be a case-closed situation. It is demonstrably clear that unassailably honest institutions are not yet operating in Kosovo. And it is also highly unlikely that individual foreign UN staff have the ability to penetrate Albanian militant groups, which tend to be tight-knit and suspicious of outsiders. Therefore, UNMIK and KFOR staff are in a vulnerable and potentially dangerous situation, which can basically be translated as, dont make the natives restless.
In Kosovo, it used to be that just crimes against Serbs and Serbian property were left unsolved; yet if crimes such as the grenade plantings of December 20th go unsolved, it will show that the UN has worn out its welcome in Kosovo, and that there is only one way out- to go home. If, in the interest of building up respectable institutions UNMIK decides it has granted too much power to the KPC, removing that power will cause a serious backlash. Since this would be too dangerous a risk to take, UNMIK may have to just watch its step and continue working with people some of whom have really malevolent intentions. Much to the UNs chagrin, the ball is now in the Albanians court.
KOSOVO SERB CIVILIAN REPORTEDLY IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER ATTACK
FoNet - November 8, 2003
Kosovska Mitrovica, 8 November: Aleksandar Stojkovic (born in 1928) from Novo Brdo near Gnjilane was hospitalized in Kosovska Mitrovica at around 2100 (2000 gmt) this evening. He suffered serious head injuries and sustained hematoma all over his body. Stojkovic said that he was tending to his herd in Parlovo near Gnjilane when five Albanians attacked him, beating him up with their rifle butts, at around 1500 (1400 gmt).
Stojkovic lost his conscience and the attackers, thinking that he was dead, shoved him into a big plastic bag and pushed him into a nearby river. Stojkovic's neighbours later pulled him out of the river.
Kosovska Mitrovica hospital doctors said that Stojkovic had suffered serious head injuries, that he sustained hematoma all over his body and that his condition was critical.
Serb woman dies of gunshot wounds
Beta - November 6, 2003
BELGRADE -- Wednesday A 72-year-old Serb woman has died of injuries sustained when she was shot last month by a Kosovo Albanian man in the village of Livoc near Gnjiljane.
The family of Sofijanka Jovanovic-Peric said she died yesterday in Belgrades Military-Medical Academy.
Ramush Halimi was arrested for the shooting. He is said to have been angry at having to leave Jovanovic-Perics home in Livoc, where he had been living since the end of the conflict in Kosovo.
The Jovanovic-Peric family told Beta news agency that members of Halimis family continue to live in the house.
Revolt of the Sqiptars
Der Spiegel (Germany) - November 9, 2003
Balkans: In northern Greece, militant Albanians are preparing for armed conflict. Their declared aim is to create a Greater Albania. It has long ceased to be a secret that the architects of Greater Albania are also training their sights on Hellas. Already, Greek media are warning of the danger of a rebellion. Macedonia's moderate former president Kiro Gligorov has predicted that if Kosovo should gain independence "a war in the region" would be very probable. The "Albanian National Army" (ANA) is the driving force behind the Greater Albanian project, which was declared a national goal back in 1995 at a secret meeting of the UCK.
Kosovo Serb farmers under fire
Beta - October 27, 2003
SRBICA -- Monday Unknown gunmen opened fire on a group of seven Serbs from village of Banja today as they headed to their orchards on tractors.
The apple orchards are located near a village populated exclusively by Albanians.
Village leader Milutin Kovacevic told media that the group was fired on from several different directions, adding that it was pure luck that no one was killed.
The Serbs hid in a nearby forest until Danish KFOR troops came to their rescue and escorted them home.
Banje and the neighbouring Suvo Grlo are the only two villages in the Srbica municipality still inhabited by Serbs.
They are completely cut off from the surrounding region and subject to frequent attacks by their Albanian neighbours.
WE BUY BAG OF SEMTEX FROM TERRORISTS
Sunday Mirror (UK) - December 7, 2003
By Graham Johnson Investigations Editor
A TERRIFYING threat to Britain's security can today be revealed by the Sunday Mirror.
With the country on its highest-ever state of alert amid fears of a Christmas terror strike our investigators infiltrated a cell of Muslim extremists - and bought enough Semtex to blow up Oxford Street and the Houses of Parliament or down 40 Lockerbie jets.
Last night one of the men we dealt with was under arrest. The other was believed to have been assassinated by his own terror masters for blowing their cover.
Our 13.5kg haul of Semtex - in 108 sticks - is one of the biggest ever seized from terrorists and could have potentially armed 30 suicide bombers.
And chillingly the explosive, which we bought for £10,000, was of a form that doesn't show up on metal detectors, making it much easier to smuggle into Britain.
A small amount of the explosive was allegedly found here last week as police arrested more than 20 terror suspects.
Posing as members of the Real IRA, we were also offered three shoulder-held missile launchers, an anti-aircraft gun, and enough machine guns, hand grenades and landmines to equip a small army.
We made our deal in Kosovo, a breeding ground for fanatics with al-Qaeda links.
Our contact was the deputy commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Niam Behljulji, known as Hulji. The group were trained by Bin Laden's men.
Astonishingly, we met him under the noses of the British Army and UN forces - who remain as peacekeepers following Kosovo's bloody war with Serbia.
Hulji, is said to supply terrorists across Europe and has been accused of massacring Serbian women and children during the war.
He even posed grinning for a photograph, holding the severed head of one his victims.
But we won him over by playing on one of his weaknesses...he is a huge fan of Irish rock band U2.
He couldn't wait to deal with us when we promised him one of the band's CDs - which we had signed with a fake message from lead singer Bono.
He told us: "I can give you enough Semtex for a small war. Do you need it for terrorism?"
Our investigation, carried out with Channel 5 sleuth Donal MacIntyre for his series MacIntyre's Millions, began when we arrived in Kosovo posing as members of the Real IRA.
Our first contact was with a Mafia arms dealer called Sinbad Sadkutz, who acts as a middleman for Hulji.
Sadkutz arranged a meeting with Hulji in a KLA-run cafe which was surrounded by armed guards and had been swept for "bugs".
Hulji said: "The plastics (Semtex) is the old type. No metal strips inside. It cannot be detected at airports. It is untraceable - no chemical markers."
He then offered us an anti-aircraft gun similar to one used by Iraqi dissidents last week to hit a US DHL cargo plane as it landed in Baghdad.
We next met Sadkutz in a Mafia-run brothel called The Massage Club, and agreed to buy 15kg of Semtex for £10,000.
To make sure the deal went through smoothly, Hulji insisted that we hand over a "human deposit" hostage and £7,500 in euros.
Our "deposit" was my fellow investigator Dominic Hipkins. He was to be held in a terrorist-owned bungalow - opposite the British ambassador's residence in Pristina - while the deal was sorted out.
Four days later Sadkutz took our man to collect the Semtex from his nearby home and the pair returned to the bungalow, the explosives packed into a sports holdall.
The grey-brown Semtex, wrapped in brown grease-proof paper marked "explosive", looked and felt like child's play dough.
But when burnt with a lighter it produced an intense blue flame - proving it was Semtex. As a Sunday Mirror investigator tested the explosive, Sadkutz grinned as he said: "15kgs can blow up all this neighbourhood."
After Sadkutz had left, we found the KLA had hidden 1.5kg of lead in the lining of the bag so that the actual Semtex weighed 13.5kg, instead of the 15kg we had negotiated for.
For safekeeping, our investigators buried the Semtex on a hill overlooking the British Army base in Kosovo and took a satellite reading of the exact position.
We then told the British Police in Kosovo, part of the UN presence there, exactly were it was.
It was later retrieved by a our investigators and a Finnish bomb disposal squad - who told us the hill had been mined during the war.
Following our investigation, with the whole country on red alert, 12 local policemen were arrested on terrorist charges.
The officers, said to be members of a secret cell aiding Kosovan extremists, are suspected of plotting to blow up a bridge and a power station.
Sadkutz was arrested on Thursday by British police operating in Kosovo. And there were strong rumours last night that Hulji had been assassinated for compromising the KLA's terror operations.
But the KLA were not the only group interested in selling terrorist weapons. While we were in the Balkans word had quickly spread that the Real IRA wanted to buy weapons. In neighbouring Croatia we bought a machine gun and a Walther PPK pistol.
In Belgrade, the capital of nearby Serbia, the local Mafia emailed us to offer a cache of anti-tank missiles, Kalashnikovs, a mortar and illegal landmines for £50,000.
And in neighbouring Montenegro, on the Adriatic coast's version of the Costa Del Crime, another war criminal was selling death on an industrial scale.
The man, known as Vesko - a former bodyguard of Serbian warlord Arkan - offered to supply us with 20 rocket-propelled grenades, 20 shoulder-fired missiles and 20 Spider machine guns used by the SAS.
To return to Britain, our investigators followed the route used by gun-runners out of the Balkans. We drove the short distance into Montenegro then sailed by car ferry from Bar to the Italian port of Ancona, blending in with holiday makers.
Once there they flew home - but could have easily taken a coach through Italy and France to Calais or hidden among thousands of asylum seekers hitching rides on fruit lorries and train carriages.
Last night a spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "Britain is on a high state of alert, only one below the highest level.
"That means we know the terrorists are planning to attack targets in the UK."
MacIntyre's Millions: Semtex For Sale, Channel Five, 9pm, December 17.