BELGRADE – A large base of support for the Islamic State has been created. As estimated, it contains about 400,000 people, said president of the Company for strategic consulting and analysis of the political risk in Southeast Europe, Gordon N. Bardos.

Illustration - Photo from: Al-Alam
Illustration – Photo from: Al-Alam

Bardos says that, while one of the most brutal terrorist movements in the history spreads propaganda and builds its own infrastructure, recruiting new members and planning new actions, international officials try to convince the public that the largest threat in the Balkans represents “the date of a holiday or a referendum of citizens”.

“Given these numbers, it is not surprising that results of certain studies show that the largest number of volunteers for the “Islamic State” and other Islamic movements in Syria and Iraq per capita comes from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania,” says Bardos in an article for Serbian daily “Politika”.

He added that radical regimes such as Saudi Arabia have invested billions of dollars in the Balkans, funding Islamic media and propaganda, as well as sponsorship of local clerics in the Middle Eastern schools, where they “perfected the most extreme interpretations of the religion”.

Speaking about the Balkans as a nursery for fighters of the “Islamic State”, he recalls that in January this year a veteran of the “Bosnian Jihad” Naser bin Ali al Ansi, otherwise leader of Al Qaeda, took responsibility for the attack on the editorial staff of the magazine “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris.

“In April a person connected with returnees from Syrian battlefield killed two police officers in Zvornik, in November a man connected with a veteran of Syrian jihad killed two soldiers in Rajlovac near Sarajevo, and this month police services in Italy and in Kosovo discovered a possible assassination attempt on Pope in which participated four jihadists from Kosovo,” warned Bardos.