BELGRADE – Radical Sunnis found a new refuge in Bosnia, where they preach jihad and recruit fighters for the Islamic States in the heart of Europe, writes the German newspaper “Der Spiegel”.
The paper tells the story of a 20-year-old Ibra Cufurovic from Bosnia who joined the Islamic State in Syria in 2014, and before he went he tore up all of his photographs because they are prohibited under sharia version of Islam in which he believes.
Before he went to Syria, Ibro lived with his father Sefik (58) in the village of Donja Slapnica, near the border with Croatia.
The father said that the son called him infidel and told him that he will not pray for him when he dies.
The paper further tells that Ibro is one of nearly 300 Islamists from Bosnia who joined the Islamic State, and among them are two from the list of the most wanted terrorists in the world – Bajro Ikanovic and Nusret Imamovic, who command units of the Islamic State and al-Nusra front in Syria.
There are more and more villages with flags of Daesh. In addition to Gornja Maoca, there are many other places where the Islamists found refuge, writes the paper, adding that Bosnia after Belgium areis the largest nursery of Islamists.
German experts believe that there are more than 10 places in Bosnia where Salafists, followers of the most extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam, gather supporters without any problems and government intervention.
However, Bosnian security agencies deny that there are so-called “Sharia villages”.
The village of Bosanska Bojna, in the far northwest of Bosnia, is one of the places that causes the most suspicion, and Sefik, father of Ibro, the young man who went to Syria, claims that in addition to this village, jihadists also recruit in Velika Kladusa.
“Der Spiegel” writes that jihadists bought eight acres of land in Bosanska Bojna, where the road leads straight to Croatia, and therefore to the European Union.
Fundamentalists from Bosnia mostly buy land where it is cheap and far away to draw as less attention as possible.
In Velika Kladusa unemployment is extremely high, as much as 60 percent, so poverty is one of the main reasons to join the terrorists.
Velika Kladusa threatens to become the largest meeting place for Islamists in Europe, primarily because of the help they receive from extremists returnees, and Salafist community was created there back in the early nineties, when Saudi Arabia and Sudan funded the most brutal Islamists, adds the German newspaper.