"KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY"
Freedom Fighters or...

Truth in facts and testimonies

David Hicks
Australian David Hicks is seen holding a bazooka in this undated photo taken in Kosovo. Hicks, a 26-year-old from Adelaide, southern Australia, has been captured by northern alliance fighters in Afghanistan. The Australian government says he has trained with the al-Qaida terror network.
(AP Photo/News LTD)
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/p/ap/20011213/wl/1008220037australia_taliban_fighter_syd101.html

Reports on Islamic Terror Links


The KLA's main staging area is in the vicinity of the town of Tropoje in northern Albania [Jane's International Defense Review, 2/1/99]. Tropoje, the hometown and current base of former Albanian president Sali Berisha, a major KLA patron, is also a known center for Islamic terrorists connected with Saudi renegade Osama bin-Ladin. [For a report on the presence of bin-Ladin assets in Tropoje and connections to anti-American Islamic terrorism, see "U.S. Blasts' Possible Mideast Ties: Alleged Terrorists Investigated in Albania, Washington Post, 8/12/98.]

The following reports note the presence of foreign mujahedin (i.e., Islamic holy warriors) in the Kosovo war, some of them jihad veterans from Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan. Some of the reports specifically cite assets of Iran or bin-Ladin, or both, in support of the KLA. To some, "mujahedin" does not necessarily equal "terrorists." But since the foreign fighters have not been considerate enough to provide an organizational chart detailing the exact relationship among the various groups, the reported presence of foreign fighters together with known terrorists in the KLA's stronghold at least raises serious questions about the implications for the Clinton Administration's increasingly close ties to the KLA:

"Serbian officials say Mujahideen have formed groups that remained behind in Bosnia. Groups from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Chechnya are also involved in Albanian guerrilla operations. A document found on the body of Alija Rabic, an Albanian UCK member killed in a border crossing incident last July, indicated he was guiding a 50-man group from Albania into Kosovo. The group included one Yemeni and 16 Saudis, six of whom bore passports with Macedonian Albanian names. Other UCK rebels killed crossing the Albanian frontier have carried Bosnian Muslim Federation papers." [Jane's International Defense Review, "Unhealthy Climate in Kosovo as Guerrillas Gear Up for a Summer Confrontation," 2/1/99]
"Mujahidin fighters have joined the Kosovo Liberation Army, dimming prospects of a peaceful solution to the conflict and fuelling fears of heightened violence next spring.. . . . Their arrival in Kosovo may force Washington to review its policy in the Serbian province and will deepen Western dismay with the KLA and its tactics. . . . 'Captain Dula', the local KLA commander, was clearly embarrassed at the unexpected presence of foreign journalists and said that he had little idea who was sending the Mujahidin or where they came from; only that it was neither Kosovo nor Albania. 'I've got no information about them,' Captain Dula said. 'We don't talk about it.' . . . American diplomats in the region, especially Robert Gelbard, the special envoy, have often expressed fears of an Islamic hardline infiltration into the Kosovo independence movement. . . . American intelligence has raised the possibility of a link between Osama bin Laden, the Saudi expatriate blamed for the bombing in August of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, and the KLA. Several of Bin Laden's supporters were arrested in Tirana, the Albanian capital, and deported this summer, and the chaotic conditions in the country have allowed Muslim extremists to settle there, often under the guise of humanitarian workers. . . . 'I interviewed one guy from Saudi Arabia who said that it was his eighth jihad,' a Dutch journalist said." ["U.S. Alarmed as Mujahidin Join Kosovo Rebels," The Times (London), 11/26/98]

"Diplomats in the region say Bosnia was the first bastion of Islamic power. The autonomous Yugoslav region of Kosovo promises to be the second. During the current rebellion against the Yugoslav army, the ethnic Albanians in the province, most of whom are Moslem, have been provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries. They are being bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters, or Mujahadeen, who infiltrate from nearby Albania and call themselves the Kosovo Liberation Army. US defense officials say the support includes that of Osama Bin Laden, the Saudi terrorist accused of masterminding the bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. A Defense Department statement on August 20 said Bin Laden's Al Qa'ida organization supports Moslem fighters in both Bosnia and Kosovo. . . . The KLA strength was not the southern Kosovo region, which over the centuries turned from a majority of Serbs to ethnic Albanians. The KLA, however, was strong in neighboring Albania, which today has virtually no central government. The crisis in Albania led Iran to quickly move in to fill the vacuum. Iranian Revolutionary Guards began to train KLA members. . . . Selected groups of Albanians were sent to Iran to study that country's version of militant Islam. So far, Yugoslav officials and Western diplomats agree that millions of dollars have been funnelled through Bosnia and Albania to buy arms for the KLA. The money is raised from both Islamic governments and from Islamic communities in Western Europe, particularly Germany. . . . 'Iran has been active in helping out the Kosovo rebels,' Ephraim Kam, deputy director of Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, said. 'Iran sees Kosovo and Albania as containing Moslem communities that require help and Teheran is willing to do it.' But much of the training of the KLA remains based in Bosnia. Intelligence sources say mercenaries and volunteers for the separatist movement have been recruited and paid handsome salaries. . . . The trainers and fighters in the KLA include many of the Iranians who fought in Bosnia in the early 1990s. Intelligence sources place their number at 7,000, many of whom have married Bosnian women. There are also Afghans, Algerians, Chechens, and Egyptians." ["Kosovo Seen as New Islamic Bastion," Jerusalem Post, 9/14/98]

". . . By late 1997, the Tehran-sponsored training and preparations of the Liberation Army of Kosovo (UCK -- Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosoves -- in Albanian, OVK in Serbian), as well as the transfer of weapons and experts via Albania, were being increased. Significantly, Tehran's primary objective in Kosovo has evolved from merely assisting a Muslim minority in distress to furthering the consolidation of the Islamic strategic axis along the Sarajevo-to-Tirane line. And only by expanding and escalating subversive and Islamist-political presence can this objective be attained. . . In the Fall of 1997, the uppermost leadership in Tehran ordered the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] High Command to launch a major program for shipping large quantities of weapons and other military supplies to the Albanian clandestine organisations in Kosovo. [The supreme Iranian spiritual leader, the Ayatollah] Khamene'i's instructions specifically stipulated that the comprehensive military assistance was aimed to enable the Muslims 'to achieve the independence' of the province of Kosovo. . . . [B]y early December 1997, Iranian intelligence had already delivered the first shipments of hand grenades, machine-guns, assault rifles, night vision equipment, and communications gear from stockpiles in Albania into Kosovo. The mere fact that the Iranians could despatch the first supplies within a few days and in absolute secrecy reflect extensive advance preparations made in Albania in anticipation for such instructions from Tehran. Moreover, the Iranians began sending promising Albanian and UCK commanders for advanced military training in al-Quds [special] forces and IRGC camps in Iran. Meanwhile, weapons shipments continue. Thus, Tehran is well on its way to establishing a bridgehead in Kosovo. . . The liberation army was to be only the first phase in building military power. Ultimately, the Kosovo Albanians must field such heavy weapons as tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery, and rocket launchers, if they hope to evict the Serbian forces from Kosovo. . . . The spate of UCK terrorism during the Fall of 1997, . . . should be considered intentional provocations against the Serbian police aimed to elicit a massive retaliation that would in turn lead to a popular uprising. Thus, the ongoing terrorism campaign in Kosovo should be considered the initial phases in implementing the call for an uprising. Iran-sponsored activists have already spread the word through Kosovo that the liberation war has already broken out. If current trends prevail, the increasingly Islamist UCK will soon become the main factor in overturning the long-term status quo in the region. Concurrently, the terrorist activities have become part of everyday life throughout Kosovo. Given the extent of the propaganda campaign and the assistance provided by Iran, the spread of terrorism should indeed be considered the beginning of an armed rebellion that threatens a major escalation." ["Italy Becomes Iran's New Base for Terrorist Operations," by Yossef Bodansky, Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy (London), February 1998. Bodansky is Director of the House Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. This report was written in late 1997, before the KLA's offensive in early 1998.]

USA Republican Policy Committee
Larry E. Craig, March 31, 1999

http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/fr033199.htm

 

BIN LADEN, IRAN AND THE KLA
How Islamic Terrorism Took Root in Albania, by Christopher Delisso

KLA - ISLAMIC LINKS

OVERVIEW - KLA Islamic Links
The Times, US Alarmed as Mujahidins Join Kosovo Rebels, Nov 26, 1998
The Scotsman, US Tackles Islamic Militancy in Kosovo, Nov 30, 1998
AP, Bin Laden Operated Terrorist Network Based in Albania, Nov 29, 1998
Jerusalem Post, Kosovo Seen as New Islamic Bastion, Sep 14, 1998
Sunday Times, Bin Laden Opens a New Terrorist Base in
Albania, Nov 29, 1998

Sunday Times, Iranians Move in (Kosovo Link), Mar 22, 1998

Saudi Arabians in Post-war Kosovo
Osama Bin Laden or not?

Reuters, Security Fears in Kosovo, NATO Raids Saudi House, April 3, 2000

Charisma Magazine, Kosovo Christians Targeted by
Islamic Militants, May 18, 200
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Islamic Circles in UK and the Fund Raising for Arms in Kosovo

Sunday Telegraph UK, KLA Raises Money in Britain For Arms, Apr 23, 2000