BELGRADE – Bosnia’s Muslim religious leader Husein Kavazovic asked authorities for protection after he was threatened by an alleged member of the Islamic State (IS) group for his denunciation of Islamic extremism.
“We hope that the state’s institutions will take up this issue,” said a statement from Kavazovic’s office, RFE/RL reports.
The appeal came after Bosnian media broadcast a video of a Bosnian-speaking man in front of an IS flag threatening to “cut the throat” of Kavazovic.
According to public broadcaster FTV, the man is Bosnian Muslim Amir Selimovic, who joined IS in Syria in 2014.
Bosnia’s security minister Dragan Mektic said the threat was “serious” and the state is taking “additional security measures” to protect Kavazovic.
After the November terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, Kavazovic repeatedly denounced Islamic extremism and the radicalization of Bosnian Muslims, who make up 40 percent of the Balkan country’s population of about 4 million.
Authorities say about 50 of the 200 Bosnians who have joined extremist groups in Syria and Iraq have returned home, and at least 26 have been killed.