Report: Bosnian Village Becoming Islamic State Enclave

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The Islamic State supporters are building a stronghold in an isolated village in Bosnia named Osve, according to media reports.

Several known terrorists are thought to have bought land in the village and locals report hearing gunshots regularly from the village. Security services have been investigating terrorist connections there since May.

The UK-based Daily Mirror broke the story, after its investigators went to the village, 60 miles from Sarajevo.

They took several photos of buildings with jihadist flags flying, and men and women in traditional Islamic clothing.

They spoke to a resident of the village who told them “We regularly hear gunshots coming from the woods up there for long periods at a time. It happens every week. I don’t know what they are doing, whether it is target practice or something like that, but it happens regularly.”

Another village, Gornja Maoco, in the north of Bosnia, was raided by police five months ago after jihadist flags were spotted at the site.

Bosnia is a key conduit to and from Syria given Bosnia’s proximity to the Mediterranean. Weapons are also far more readily available than they are in the rest of Europe, a hangover from the country’s civil war in the 1990s.

Some 330 Bosnians have gone to Syria to wage jihad. A report on jihadism in Bosnia, entitled The Lure of the Syrian War: The Foreign Fighters’ Bosnian Contingent said “Returning foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq – battle-hardened, skilled in handling arms and explosives, and ideologically radicalised – pose a direct threat not only to the security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also of the region and beyond.”

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David Harris

David Harris is the editor in chief of Clarion Project.

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