Terror attack hits Bosnian Capital, Sarajevo

Forensic personnel investigate a bus with windows broken by bullets after an attack in Sarajevo, November 19, 2015. Two soldiers of the Bosnian army were shot dead late on Wednesday when an attacker opened a fire from an automatic weapon at a betting shop near the army barracks at the periphery of the capital Sarajevo. Witnesses at the scene said the attacker appeared to be a follower of the ultra-conservative Salafi Muslim movement in Bosnia, but Nefic could not confirm the reports. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic - RTS7ULY

 

  • By Sulajman Husainović

 

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At least two Bosnian soldiers and one assailant were killed with three civilians injured in an attack by a gunman/suicide bomber in Sarajevo.

“An unknown attacker fired shots from an automatic weapon, killing two servicemen of the Bosnian armed forces,” Sarajevo police spokesman Irfan Nefic said.

The attacker also fired at a city bus as he began to flee, injuring the driver and two passengers, according to Nefic.

According to witnesses, the gunman looked like a member of the ultra-conservative Salafi Muslim Movement in Bosnia, although political activism has not been ruled out, a common motive for such attacks in Bosnia.

“We should wait for the investigation to complete,” Regional police directorate chief Dragan Lukac stated.

In one of the latest developments, there have been reports that the assailant detonated a suicide bomb when security forces have surrounded a house supposedly belonging to a suspect identified as the shooter in the Sokolje neighborhood.

The two soldiers killed were identified as Armin Salkic, 26, and Nedeljko Radic, 34, Bosnia Today reported. Salkic was a Bosniak Muslim and Radic was a Serbian Coptic. The two were reportedly good friends.

According to a Bosnia Today report, the attacker’s name was Enes Omeragic, but police have yet to identify the shooter.


 

With 45% unemployment, and strong ethnic divides following years of civil war and international occupation, political protests against all manner of domestic and international issues turning sour are not uncommon in Bosnia.

Bosnia is held today as the founder of the modern Jihadist movement after the fall of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Muslims my Nationality were driven from Yugoslav lands and slaughtered in concentration camps in what is the worst genocide and ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen after the Holocaust of World War 2. Approximately 50% of the Muslim population was eliminated.

Under attack from the Coptic Serbs and Catholic Croats, occupied by NATO and the UN, bombed by NATO and fighting British, French, American and Dutch troops on the ground, from the central mountains of the Islamic Federation of Bosna i Hercegovina emerged the Mujaheddin (Mudjahadin) with hundreds of foreign fighters from around the world coming to Bosnia to fight for them, mostly from Saudi Arabia.

Today, the war over, Bosnia remains troubled, with a failing economy, still under international administration with no self governance, fractured in to sub-republics along ethnic lines, 45% unemployment and a rotating presidency that floats from Croatian, Serbian and Muslim leadership over a majority Muslim population. Whilst most Muslims in Bosnia refer to themselves as Bosnjaks, some prefer to stick to their Yugoslav era identity of Muslim by Nationality representing the fact that large Muslim majority regions such as Kosovo and Sandzak remain under Montenegro, Serbian and Albanian control and not Bosnian authority, if such a thing even exists. Much as the people of Makedonija are divided between Yugoslav Macedonia, Greek Makedina, Bulgarian Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro.

Bosnia is at a crucial turning point in it’s identity, the occupying international forces whom have occupied the land since the early 1990s want Bosnia to be a multi-ethnic member of Europe, the majority of the people do not.

Bosnian history, religion and heritage is steeped in the Middle East, part of the Ottoman Empire for almost 700 years, the Islamic, former communist state with strong ties to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Russia is a long way from being European. As with a lot of Balkan people many can trace their ancestry back to the Ottomans or the Sarbans (Sarbani tribe from Northern Afghanistan, believed to have taken part in the Slavic Migration 1’000-1’500 years ago) Occupation and political pressure to try and remold the identity of the Bosnian people is failing.

Bosnian domestic forces are cracking down on religious extremism on all sides, Catholic, Coptic and Islamic, with recent raids breaking up support in a northern village of some 200 suspected Da’ish Al-Dawla supporters.

As a percentage of it’s overall population more Bosnians are currently fighting for Da’ish Al-Dawla than any other nation other than Iraq and Syria themselves. Some with strong personal ties to Turkey and of Turkish decent fight the Kurds, some fight for other reasons, but in a state so divided and troubled under occupation for so long, with many of the fighters born after the start of the Yugoslav wars, occupation is all they have known, these fight as a way to vent their frustration, mistakenly superimposing their concerns and their cause onto another.

Da’ish Al-Dawla can not be a true Islamic cause, Islam teaches of peace and tolerance. Much like the attack in Sarajevo today, many Muslims are dying at the hands of these attacks, which in turn tarnishes the reputation of all Muslims, provoking attacks from non-Muslims.

It is time to lay down your weapons, and stop fighting.

The west need to stop giving the terrorist what they want, fear and a divided intolerant society filled with Islamophobia. The so called ‘Islamic’ extremist need to re-read their Qur’an and Ahhadith, realise that Islam is a religion of harmony, peace, tolerance and learning.

Political or religious the attack in Bosnia today cannot be justified. Rather than retaliating childishly as France has done, perhaps Bosnia can address it’s socioeconomic problems and cure the cause at it’s root.


Divided Bosnia, the nation of many flags

 

Flag of the Serb Coptic population in Bosnia (Similar to the Serbian Flag)

Flag of the Serb Coptic population in Bosnia (Similar to the Serbian Flag)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Official Flag of the Ruling Bosnian Muslim Party

The Official Flag of the Ruling Bosnian Muslim Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flag of the Muslim By Nationality people of Yugoslavia

Flag of the Muslim By Nationality people of Yugoslavia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occupation flag, enforced by international forces to represent all Bosnian ethnicities, seen by many as a European flag of occupation.

Occupation flag, enforced by international forces to represent all Bosnian ethnicities, seen by many as a European flag of occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flag of the large, yet mostly ignored Roma population of Bosnia

Flag of the large, yet mostly ignored Roma population of Bosnia

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

S.Husainovic@theinternational.org.uk