Balkans: June 30, 2005


: European press sources report Greece is investigating allegations that "Greek volunteers" participated in the July 1995 massacre of Bosnians in the town of Srebrenica, Bosnia. Though the allegations of Greek participation are (at the moment) thinly sourced, there were numerous rumors dating back to 1992 of "Orthodox volunteers" serving with Serb paramilitaries-- Orthodox as in the "foreign" volunteer claimed to be a member of one of the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. The Greek press mentioned Greek volunteers operating in Bosnia in 1995. The latest press reports (from Britain's Independent) now refer to the volunteers serving in the "Greek Volunteer Brigade." The rumors Jim Dunnigan and I heard in the early Nineties suggested a few dozen "non-Serb" volunteers might be participating (a "brigade" in propaganda terms, not military terms). Here's the scenario: A Greek "ultra-nationalist" who "hates Turks" decides to head north to Bosnia because he sees "the Serbs are doing something about the Turks." In his mind "Bosnian Muslim" means "Turk." All this character has to do is take a bus from Athens to Belgrade and then ask for an automatic rifle. An investigation may reveal there were far more than a "few dozen" who took the bus to Belgrade. If the Serb paramilitaries' use of Orthodox volunteers echoes Al Qaeda's appeals to fellow Islamist radicals-- guess what, it's the same dark stroke, though there's no evidence the Serbs were ever as well-organized as Al Qaeda in terms of foreign recruitment. Greece appears to be investigating it's own citizens' possible participation in terrorist murder. When Saudi Arabia conducts similar prosecutorial investigations we'll know the War on Terror has turned a major corner. --Austin Bay




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