With the arrest of individuals who are believed to have links with terrorist activities, BiH proves that it is taking a serious approach to the problem of public security in the country and in the world.
By Bedrana Kaletović for Southeast European Times in Sarajevo -- 18/10/12
A member of a special unit of the State Investigation and Protection Agency police force takes part in an anti-terrorist and hostage rescue drill in eastern Sarajevo. [Reuters]
A one-month surveillance action of people suspected of having links to terrorism in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has concluded with several arrests.
"These are the individuals who have been tied to terrorism, and are arrested in four cantons. The search of the premises used by these individuals was carried out in order to obtain physical evidence," said the spokeswoman for the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), Zeljka Kujundzija.
The arrests were made by SIPA, in co-operation with the Intelligence-Security Agency of BiH and the operative group for combating terrorism. The operation was conducted on the orders of the prosecutor's office of BiH and court in accordance with the obligations arising from the strategy for the terrorism prevention.
"Arrested persons have publicly incited to terrorist activities. For the above-mentioned reason the prosecutor's office in BiH will continue to deal with this case," SIPA said in a statement.
Those arrested include Bilal Bosnic from Bihac, western Bosnia, who is described as the leader of the terrorists in Bosnia and who openly calls for jihad, a holy war. He is the follower of the conservative teachings of Islam (Salafism), and has advocated hatred against the US and the West.
The arrests followed a search by the Australian Federal Police of the Al Furqan Islamic Centre in Melbourne, which resulted in several arrests and the seizure of documents that indicated an attack had been planned in BiH.
Dušanka Majkić, chairwoman of the Joint Commission for Defense and Security of the Assembly of BiH, told Belgrade's Večernje Novosti that the recent raids were "encouraging."
"Analyses show that [BiH] has become a mecca for movements involved in terrorism. There have been no attempts at any time to ascertain who was active in some foreign embassies and religious objects in Bosnia, and who was funding those activities," she said.