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Jewish World Review August 24, 2004 / 7 Elul, 5764

Julia Gorin

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Kosovo could explode — at the Olympics | If, heaven forbid, there are any attacks — foiled or successful — at the summer Olympics in Greece, we'll be able to thank the KLA. That's more or less Albanian for "al Qaeda."

Remember the Kosovo Liberation Army? Those bin Laden-trained and -funded narco-terrorists whose jihad we fought for them soon after the name Juanita Broaddrick surfaced in the press in 1999? That group which in 1998 was on the State Department's list of terror organizations but by March 1999 had been removed? Our 1999 alliance with these increasingly radicalized Muslims makes "our friends" the Saudis seem like blood brothers.

Not to bring up that confounding subject which causes people's eyes to glaze over, but in the Balkans (still with me?) we were told that — in a bizarre twist from the usual story line — Muslims were the hunted. No doubt, given our post-9/11 world, we wish we had examined the yarn we were sold more thoroughly, except that — unlike the "rush to war" in Iraq which we debated for a year and a half — our then commander-in-chief didn't give us much notice.

Today, more than a few Americans are scratching their heads, wondering why we forcibly precluded the Serbs from doing what we've gone halfway around the globe to do, when they were doing it in their own backyard.

Getting Slobodan Milosevic out of the way was the big obstacle to the Balkans becoming a smuggling-funded fundamentalist free-for-all. Al Qaeda, and Iran, sat back and watched Wesley Clark and NATO fight their jihad for them in Europe's underbelly, then hand the Balkans to them on a gold-trimmed silver platter. That is to say, we actualized what Congressional Task Force on Terrorism director Yossef Bodansky calls "Iran's European springboard."

While, after only a year, the future of Iraq is taking some semblance of shape and most Iraqis are grateful to the Americans, our politically correct war in the Balkans has been backfiring for five years, and those we "rescued" have turned their weapons against the West — now "the occupiers." Few in the U.S. know that since our ballyhooed Balkan interventions, what keeps the occupiers in Kosovo occupied — aside from impotently trying to protect the handful of Serbs that Albanians haven't yet killed or cleansed — is rooting out terror cells. Guess what: the terror cells aren't Christian Serb.

In November, 2001, what should have been an explosive article appeared in the Wall St. Journal's European edition. Headlined "Al Qaeda's Balkan Links," it read: "For the past 10 years…Ayman al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps [and] weapons of mass destruction factories throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia…Though the Clinton administration had been briefed extensively by the State Department in 1993 on the growing Islamist threat in former Yugoslavia, little was done to follow through…While in February [1998] the U.S. gave in to KLA demands to remove it from the State Department's terrorism list,…that summer the CIA…[was] engaged in one of the largest seizures of Islamic Jihad cells operating in Kosovo…"

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Nor did an article in Britain's Sunday Mirror last December register a blip: "Posing as members of the Real IRA, we…made our deal in Kosovo, a breeding ground for fanatics with al-Qaeda links. Our contact was the deputy commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army Niam Behljulji, known as Hulji…Astonishingly, we met him under the noses of the British Army and UN forces…Hulji is said to supply terrorists across Europe and has been accused of massacring Serbian women and children during the war. He even posed grinning for a photograph, holding the severed head of one of his victims…Hulji said: 'The plastics (Semtex) is the old type. No metal strips inside. It cannot be detected at airports.' …He then offered us an anti-aircraft gun…"

And check out this fun headline from Canada's National Post in March of 2002: U.S. supported al-Qaeda cells during Balkan Wars, Fought Serbian troops: "Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network has been active in the Balkans for years, most recently helping Kosovo rebels battle for independence from Serbia with the financial and military backing of the United States and NATO…In the years immediately before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the al-Qaeda militants moved into Kosovo…to help ethnic Albanian extremists of the KLA mount their terrorist campaign against Serb targets in the region."

In fact, if we're having trouble finding Osama bin Laden, perhaps it's because we haven't checked Bill Clinton's Kosovo, where he was before 9/11: Bin Laden in Kosovo (Agence France Presse, April 27, 2000): "Osama bin Laden…is in Kosovo, the official Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said…bin Laden 'has found a new refuge in the Balkans, precisely in Kosovo, the nest of European terrorism' …[He] arrived from Albania after having formed a group of 500 Islamic fighters…to carry out 'terrorist acts' in Kosovo….[and] in the southern region of Serbia."

The picture gets even prettier: Hijackers connected to Albanian terrorist cell (Washington Times, Sept. 18, 2001): "U.S. intelligence officials are investigating ties between the terrorists who carried out airliner attacks and associates of Osama bin Laden based in Albania…KLA members have been trained at bin Laden training camps in Afghanistan."

Greg Copley, of London's Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, writes, "Now that both Iran and al-Qaida are under pressure from the US, their networks in Bosnia — now far stronger than in 2001, and with virtually all international and Serbian capabilities to stop them suppressed for fear of political outcries…are preparing to launch their new break-out attacks against the US and the West, both in order to polarize the Muslim world from the West at the Olympics and to build a stridently Islamist…network of states."

E. Wayne Merry, a former State Dept. and Pentagon official who worked on counterterrorism issues at the U.S. embassy in Athens, recently told the Pittsburgh Review-Tribune that while Greece has spent $1.5 billion to keep the Games safe, preparations began too late to prevent an attack. He said Greece has "poor police and security services, little experience dealing with international…terrorism, and long, open land and sea borders."

Even the issue of ethnic profiling could prove moot: While the world wept for Bosnia, Bin Laden and Iran recruited and trained thousands of blonde, blue-eyed Bosnian Muslims in suicide missions "for war against Orthodox Christian Serbs…in an effort to expand the Muslim base in Eastern Europe," according to Bodansky, who authored "Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America."

We were told the Serbs were the problem in Kosovo. Now, Kosovo is our problem. How ironic the pains the Bush Administration has been put through to prove a connection between Baghdad and al Qaeda, given the pains the previous administration went through to ignore the connections between al Qaeda and the KLA.

The memo is coming that we lost the war in Kosovo. We lost, because we fought for the enemy. Hence our "successful, casualty-free" war.

Hopefully that memo won't come during the Olympics. But if, god forbid, it does, rest assured that within 24 hours, international anger will direct itself at George Bush's America, for giving terrorists and despots a hard time, and debate will swell over whether the free world will be safer with a Democrat leading it. As with all mischief that is sowed under Democratic watch but erupts on Republican watch, the Bush Administration will take the fall.

If you start in Kosovo and head south along the Macedonia-Albania border, you can walk into Greece. The Greeks supposedly "have an agreement" with al Qaeda that it won't misbehave — that is, they've paid off people claiming to speak for bin Laden. As a result, says a U.S. source whom Copley doesn't name, "their security measures in Greece are cosmetic and have not been based on pre-emptive penetration of terrorist groups. As well, they think that the US and others will save them. If there is no terrorist action against the Games, it is not going to be because the Greeks stopped them."

The "others" who could end up saving the day, if the day needs saving, are armed guards from the bitterly experienced state of Israel, whom the Greeks have quietly allowed into the Games. The whole world can breathe a little easier knowing the Israelis are there.

Yet at the opening ceremonies — in contrast to the loud cheering for Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Britain, and "Palestine" — the announcement of the Israeli team was greeted with silence. The reaction was also less than enthusiastic when Serbia-Montenegro was announced, and included much jeering. That these are the two reviled demon nations, banes of the world's existence and thorns in the globe's curve is no coincidence. They had the poor taste to not wait for 9/11 before starting the resistance.

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JWR contributor Julia Gorin tours with Right Stuff Comedy and performs in the monthly New York-based show Republican Riot. Send your comments by clicking here.

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