Lateness in government formation and poor cooperation between agencies and institutions hamper the adoption of stronger measures and the fight against terrorism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the U.S. Department of State says its annual report on terrorism around the world in 2018, as carried by Bosnian media on Saturday.
"Slow government formation after the October 2018 elections continues to delay the adoption of new measures," the report for Bosnia says. "Law enforcement cooperation continued to suffer from interpersonal and institutional infighting."
The Department of State says that despite amendments, the criminal policy remains very lenient towards terrorism suspects. "Bosnia closed some legislative loopholes through amendments to terrorism provisions in its criminal code, although lenient sentencing remained a challenge."
"In May, the Bosnian Parliament adopted amendments to the criminal code to increase the minimum sentence for certain terrorism-related crimes from five to eight years, eliminate the ability of convicted terrorists to pay fines rather than serving time, and prohibit terrorists from securing provisional release," the report says.
It notes that three new crimes were introduced to the Bonian criminal code: "travelling and residing abroad for terrorism, misusing information technology or cyber technology for terrorist purposes, and forging documents for the purposes of terrorism. The draft amendments also strengthen an existing criminal code provision on training for terrorist activities."
"Few Bosnian citizens attempted to travel to foreign battlefields in 2018, although dozens remain in Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine," the report says.
"Extremist ideology and regional nationalist groups remained potential sources of terrorism in Bosnia," it notes.
"While little progress was made on rehabilitation and de-radicalization, the BiH Ministry of Security and the Interreligious Council made notable efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism."