“Islamic State Déjà Vu”: US Sponsored Islamic Fighters in the Balkans

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Author’s note

The following article focussing on the jihadist terrorist insurgency in Macedonia was first published by antiwar.com in July 2001, barely two months before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.

Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest had become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress had revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment through the so-called “Militant Islamic Network,” of thousands of Mujahedin from the Muslim world.

The “Bosnian pattern” was then replicated in Kosovo, Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Among the foreign mercenaries fighting with the KLA-NLA in 2001 were Mujahedin from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union as well as “soldiers of fortune” from several NATO countries including Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian Muslim Army. Moreover, within the ranks of the jihadists, there were US military advisers and special forces.

What is important to underscore is that:

  1. Two months before 9/11, US mercenaries on contract to the Pentagon were working hand in glove with jihadist terrorists affiliated to al Qaeda. This in itself is of crucial significance because it refutes “the theory of the blowback”. The latter was used profusely by the media in the wake of 9/11 to the effect that while Al Qaeda had been supported by the US in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war, it had indelibly turned against its US sponsors.   “We helped them [al Qaeda] and they went against us.”  This argument was used to uphold the notion of the “outside enemy” which threatened America on September 11, 2001. What is documented in this July 2001 article is that two months before 9/11, the US military was firmly behind the Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in Macedonia. Visibly the blowback theory is a lie. Al Qaeda is a construct of US intelligence.
  2. In 2001, the US was officially waging a war against terrorism in the Balkans while providing weapons and money to the Al Qaeda affiliated brigades.
  3. While Washington supplied National Liberation Army (NLA) terrorists with brand new weapons “Made in America,” some 3000 heavily armed NATO troops were given the mandate to “disarm the rebels” and enforce the cease-fire. Code-named “Essential Harvest,” this bogus “peacekeeping” operation under British command was intended to weaken the Macedonian A