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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Sarajevo, 26 Sept. (AKI) - At least three foreigners with Bosnian citizenship are on the revised United Nations list of individuals who are aiding or who belong to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, a senior Bosnian official said on Monday. Dragan Lukac, assistant director of the Bosnian state security agency, said in an interview with the daily Nezavisne Novine that three Tunisians, who are on the UN terrorist list, were granted Bosnian citizenship after the country's 1992-1995 civil war.

"It's difficult to say where they are at the moment, but we can say with great certainty that they are not in Bosnia and don't use Bosnian passports," Lukac said.

He named the three Tunisians as Mahrez ben Mahmud ben Sashi al Amandani, Shafik ben Mohamed al Ajadi and Halil ben Ahmed ben Mohamed Jaraja. He said they were issued Bosnian passports in the last decade and their last reported addresses were in Sarajevo, but have in the meantime disappeared without a trace.

Thousands of mujahadeen from Islamic countries fought on the side of local Muslims in the Bosnian war, but many remained in the country afterwards and took Bosnian citizenship. A special state commission is currently scrutinizing some 1,500 citizenships granted to foreigners, and 50 citizenships have been revoked so far.

Lukac said the ongoing "process of revising all citizenships granted in the period between April 6, 1992 and January 2006, will give precise answers on how many people linked to terrorist organisations have Bosnian citizenship".

He said it was normal that someone "comes to Bosnia in 1994, gets the citizenship and then leaves the country without anyone knowing where he is, or what he does". The paper also quoted Bosnian police director, Zlatko Miletic, as saying that the authorities were not prepared to speak about terrorism openly.

Citing several cases in Bosnia of attempted terrorist activities, Miletic said that there have been "such attempts". Last October the police arrested three local youths, with links abroad, plotting to bomb the embassy of a European country in Sarajevo.

Miletic said that several terrorist attacks were prevented by chance, but that "Bosnian officials and the whole community should ponder the causes of such behavior".
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