Expert: Bosnian ISIS fighters will likely face indictments if they return home

NEWS 07.03.2019 20:39
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Source: N1

Should the Bosnian nationals who fought for the Islamic State and surrendered a few days ago return to Bosnia, they will most likely face criminal prosecution, but how they could come back is questionable, expert on terrorism and professor at the Sarajevo Faculty of Political Science, Vlado Azinovic, told N1 on Thursday.

Several Bosnian nationals were among the hundreds of Islamic State (IS) fighters who were captured since the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) besieged Baghouz, the last IS enclave east of the river Euphrates, a few weeks ago.

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Among them were Amir Selimovic and Alija Keserovic who were identified on photos published by AFP a few days ago.

Source : N1

The two are well known in Bosnia, and “not only for their social media posts and photos on Facebook,” Azinovic said.

Keserovic has been the subject of an Interpol Red Notice since 2017.

Selimovic is known for the threats he made via YouTube in 2016 from Syria and Iraq, Azinovic pointed out.

He threatened “that he will dress us up in orange suits” and that he will “execute” the head of Bosnia’s Islamic Community, Husein Effendi Kavazovic, in Sarajevo’s Bascarsija, Old Town, the professor reminded.

“Today we barely recognise him, he obviously lived through a lot in the meantime,” Azinovic said.

According to the expert, estimates from last year said that there are nearly 50 people from Bosnia in Syria and Iraq.

Authorities in Bosnia do not have “reliable” information about what happened to those people, he said, but added that it is believed that “our people took nearly 80 children to Syria, and then in Syria about that many were also born.”

Azinovic told N1 that every “person with a healthy mind” could see what that “entire project” of Bosnians leaving for the battlefields in Syria and Iraq was about.

“Unfortunately, some Bosnians who were misled and who bought into that story are now facing the consequences of their decision,” he said.

But will those Bosnian nationals be deported?

According to Azinovic, the situation is complicated because “those people are surrendering to Kurdish forces in Syria.”

“They (Kurdish forces) do not have a state nor a formation with which you could negotiate about the deportation,” he said, explaining that the US is withdrawing from that area and that is it unclear who could bring those people back to Bosnia.

“If they come back, they will face what those who came back earlier did. Questioning, testimonies by previous witnesses and determining whether there are elements for an indictment against those people,” he said.