Balkans: September 6, 2004


Bosnia remains divided along ethnic (Serb and Croat) and religious (Christian and Moslem) lines. Eight years of peacekeeping have stopped the fighting, but not created a lasting peace. The old Serb leaders, including over a dozen wanted war criminals, remain at large. Peacekeeper forces have never been able to penetrate the Serb network of informers and gunmen who protect the wanted Serb leaders. The three main communities (Serbs, Croats and Moslems), maintain their own political parties, and armed militias. A thousand square miles of minefields continue to impede economic progress, and current demining operations will take 75 years to complete. Islamic radicals remain in Bosnia, but their work appears to be mostly directed at fund raising for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. But the presence of  so much criminal activity in Bosnia (especially document forgery and smuggling) always makes it possible for Islamic terrorists to use Bosnia as a base for operations in Europe. 


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