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Islamic jihad to target Balkans next, Israeli foreign minister says
From The Sofia Echo
Islamic Jihad organisations that already had infiltrated countries in Africa and South America intended doing the same in the Balkans, through similar methods including huge transfers of funds and the establishment of cells, Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said.
Lieberman was speaking after meeting visiting Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski on January 5 2009.
Intelligence services had evidence that Islamic terrorist organisations were already recruiting in the Balkans, Lieberman said, according to Israeli media reports.
Islamic and Saudi charities were continuously transferring funds to Muslims of Bosnian and Albanian origin, the Jerusalem Post reported him as saying.
Citing Israeli intelligence sources, Lieberman said that Muslim militants planned to exploit tensions between Muslims and Christians in the Balkans. Bosnians and Albanians had been recruited for terrorist training camps in preparation for being sent home to foster an Islamic revolution, according to Lieberman.
In a number of countries in South Eastern Europe, money – often emanating from Saudi Arabia – has been provided to build mosques and Muslim schools. Muslim organisations and news services insist that this is conventional religious and educational work and that there is nothing sinister about it. However, some of the organisations involved in sending money have been listed by the US and others as terrorist organisations.
Reacting to Lieberman’s statement, Gruevski said that the warning was "not something new" and there had been several media reports about a year ago about such a threat.
"We should be prepared for all possibilities in this direction; services in all countries should be ready to stop such actions if they occur," Gruevski said.