A BBC reporter was, for all intents and purposes, kidnapped and tried by al qaeda during the Balkans war. Bear in mind while reading the following excerpt that the US was in Bosnia fighting for the Muslims, (the mujahideen).
The US in Bill Clinton's war was allied and fighting with/for the jihad just months after the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. Think about that. Why would Clinton choose to make the march to global Islamic supremacism easier?
'I was put on trial by al-Qaeda' BBC (hat tip Kasper)
' The BBC's Allan Little reported on the Balkan wars of the 1990s, following
at close range the fighting between Bosnian, Serb and Croat forces. But, one day
in 1993, he came face to face with a different group, the "Bosnian
BBC correspondent Allan Little reporting from Sarajevo in
hundreds of men from other parts of the Muslim world had arrived in Bosnia. Many
had come to train. Some – though we did not know it at the time – had already
fought in Afghanistan.
We Western reporters knew they were there. What we did not know is that they
were already part of a nascent global jihad led by a group whose name was not
yet familiar to us: al-Qaeda. We thought them a sideshow – irrelevant to the
much more compelling dynamic of the war between actual Bosnians.
One bright cold morning a camera crew and I drove from our house in the
Lashva Valley to the town of Zenica accompanied by our translator, a brave and
formidable young woman called Vera Kordic.
We made our way quietly through deserted outskirts. We turned into the main
thoroughfare. And then we saw them: a column of men hundreds strong marching
towards us in ordered ranks.
They wore green uniforms, and bandanas, and carried banners with slogans
written not in Serbo-Croatian but in Arabic script. Some wore turbans and heavy
Members of the Seventh Muslim Brigade on parade in Zenica in
shimmer of the Saudi national flag, and the red and green bands of the Iranian.
They were highly charged, pumped up with a raw, aggressive energy, chanting,
brandishing weapons above their heads.
Instinctively, we did what TV crews do. We started filming. Suddenly we were
surrounded. I heard the cocking of an AK47 at my side, felt a pistol at my
Cameramen are notoriously the most vulnerable of us. They watch the world
through a viewfinder and can see only what is on the end of their lens.
Greg, our cameraman, had not seen the pistol at his own head. I told him to
stop filming. We were manhandled down the street and into a walled compound.
The foreigners who had come to Bosnia had organised themselves into an
independent fighting force known as the Seventh Muslim Brigade. Local commanders
had little control over them.
Presently we were led into a room. There, behind a table draped with green
cloth, sat three middle-aged men, too dark-skinned to be Bosnian. Throughout
what followed, they never spoke.
A local man, bearing the insignia of the brigade, told us we were on trial,
that this was a tribunal. I asked what we were accused of. "Spying," he said.
They began to call witnesses. "Yes I saw the spies trying to run away when
they were arrested," the witnesses said, one after the other.
We are the civilian police and we try to uphold the law, but there
are so many of them and they are well armed. They do what they like
Unnamed police chief, Zenica
The local man asked me whether I understood the seriousness of the charge,
whether I understood that the rules of war demanded that spies be shot?
I began to play over and over again in my mind the moment we had made what I
now thought of as our fatal error. If only we had turned left and not right. If
only we had arrived 20 minutes later, or 20 minutes earlier. We sat and waited
to hear our fate.
Three men arrived. They directed us to the town's police station.
The police chief was large, taciturn, manifestly exhausted. We were in his
custody now. He had a piece of paper taped to his door identifying him as the
"INSPEKTOR ZA STRANCI" – the inspector for foreigners.
In my anxiety, the title struck me as bizarre. There were no foreigners in
Zenica except aid workers and peace keepers and us. And then it struck me. Of
course there were other foreigners.
The Seventh Muslim Brigade. The so-called foreign mujahideen
Years later, long after 9/11 had changed the world and the war in Bosnia was
all but forgotten, I found myself at a drinks reception at a London think tank.
New York's World Trade Centre after the fatal bomb explosion in
conversation with a war crimes lawyer who worked at the International Criminal
Tribunal for former Yugoslavia in the Hague.
I related this story to him.
"When was this?" he asked. "In November 1993," I said.
His eyes widened. "Do you have any idea how much trouble you were in?" he
"It was a few months after the first attack on the World Trade Centre in New
York which killed six people," he added.
"Some of those guys were already on the run.
"No wonder they didn't like your cameras around."
I was put on trial by al-Qaeda will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on
Sunday 8 February and Sunday 16 February at 22.45. Or listen again via the BBC iPlayer.
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