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Friday, September 08, 2006


Sarajevo, 8 Sept. (AKI) - Bosnia's wartime president, the late Alija Izetbegovic received money from a Saudi businessman, Yassin al-Kadi - who has been designated by the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union as a financier of al-Qaeda - Sarajevo weekly Slobodna Bosna (Free Bosnia) reported on Friday, quoting local and foreign sources.
Izetbegovic, a Muslim, who died in 2003, received 195,000 dollars in 1996 from al-Kadi, Slobodna Bosna alleges. Al-Kadi's bank accounts were frozen in 2001 by the United States authorities for money laundering and financing al-Qaeda.

The weekly said that Bosnian authorities obtained the information on this transaction from a British bank in the process of investigation of activities of al-Kadi’s humanitarian organisation, Mufavak, which was outlawed four years ago and which began operating in Bosnia under the name 'Blessed relief’.

Under the guise of humanitarian aid, Mufavak channelled 15-20 million dollars to various organisations, which at least three million dollars went straight into the bank accounts of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Slobodna Bosna said, quoting unnamed Saudi sources.

Izetbegovic led Bosnia to independence from the former Yugoslavia, and thousands of foreign fighters or 'mujahadeen' from Islamic countries came to Bosnia to fight on the side of local Muslims in bloody 1992-1995 civil war. The war effort was partly financed under the cover of 'humanitarian' organisations from Islamic countries, according to intelligence sources.

Many mujahadeen remained in Bosnia after the war, and some have been operating terrorist training camps and indoctrinating local youths with radical Islam, intelligence reports have claimed. The Bosnian authorities are currently reviewing the citizenship Izetbegovic’s government granted to 1,500 individuals from Islamic countries. So far, 50 people have been stripped of their Bosnian citenship as a result.
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