This article appears in the Nov. 2, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. U.S. Protects Al-Qaeda Terrorists in Kosovo
by Umberto Pascali
While the United States is relentlessly bombing Afghanistan with the official aim of getting Osama bin Laden, one of bin Laden's top collaborators is running a terrorist training camp in an area of Kosovo that is under U.S. control. The shocking revelation has been confirmed by multiple sources: Macedonian intelligence agencies, as reported by several Macedonian media, including the leading daily Dnevnik; Russian press agencies, including Novosti and ItarTass; and the London Independent.
This intelligence coheres with Lyndon LaRouche's assessment of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, as a strategic covert operation by an enemy within the U.S. and "allied" security services, for geopolitical purposes.
The Russian media quoted, as the source of their detailed revelation, the Russian troops stationed not far from the reported terrorist training camp. This is in itself exceptional, in the sense that there is hardly a precedent of the Russian military in Kosovo reporting events of such gravity to the leading news agencies.
These revelations, and the clear position taken by Macedonian intelligence in confirming and expanding them, are now reopening the explosive question of the protection and sponsorship granted to the narco-terrorists by Anglo-American agencies.
But this is only a small part of the new strategic geometry opened up by the revelations. The red-hot political point concerns the very basis for the "war against terrorism" launched after the war-like attacks of Sept. 11, and the immediate concentration on bin Laden and Afghanistan as the perpetrators of those attacks—and the threatened extension of the "infinite war" to Syria, Iraq, and so on. If the Anglo-Americans are at "war" with bin Laden's terrorism, why are bin Laden operatives active in Kosovo in an area totally controlled by NATO? Furthermore, in the U.S. zone in Kosovo? Investigations on the bin Laden connection into the Balkans and Kosovo could, according to experts, lead to even more explosive truths in a very short period of time.
Keep The Clash Going
On Oct. 16 Novosti reported: "A training camp of Albanian militants functions near the village of Ropotovo, close to Kosovska Kamenica, in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, which is controlled by the American force, sources from the Russian peacekeeping force in Kosovo reported on [Oct. 16]. According to [the sources], the camp is now training 50 Afghan and Algerian mujahideen, led by Zaiman Zawahiri. He is reportedly the brother of one of the closest associates of international terrorist Osama bin Laden. This camp prepares militants for terrorist formations in Kosovo and Macedonia. Their 'instructors' are former [ethnic] Albanian officers who, in 1991-92, deserted from the Yugoslav Army."
The Independent reported on Oct. 21 that Interpol has linked bin Laden to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) crime gangs, and that he "supplied one of his top military commanders for an elite KLA unit" in Kosovo.
That was only the beginning. The target of the terrorist gangs' deployment into Macedonia: to prevent, by violence, the return of Macedonian refugees into the villages "cleansed" by the KLA during this year; and to take over the water reserve on which the Macedonian capital, Skopje, depends.
Beyond that, these extremists are out to re-ignite the ethnic "Clash of Civilizations" in the Balkans, to crush the escalating resistance of Macedonia—which has been actively playing the LaRouche card in response to its national crisis (see EIR, Oct. 19)—and to continue the march of destruction, possibly triggering in the near future, an ethnic upheaval in Greece or Bulgaria.
The fact that such an operation is taking place in the middle of the "war on the Taliban and al-Qaeda"—the fact that NATO's Lord George Robertson, U.S. Ambassador James Pardew, and the European Union's Javier Solana insist, to this very day, that Macedonia has to surrender to the KLA ultimata, including the subversion of the Macedonian Constitution, opens up a dramatic contradiction. That contradiction throws light on the virtual reality the world has been propelled into after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Who Runs Al-Zawahiri?
The Macedonian daily Dnevnik reported on Oct. 19 that the group led by the brother of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the closest associate of bin Laden, had crossed the border from Kosovo into Macedonia. Quoting intelligence sources, Dnevnik wrote: "The younger brother of the chief of the Balkan headquarters of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, with around 50 mujahideen, has entered Macedonia and has started building fortifications in the Skopska Crna Gora region. The aim of the terrorist group is to attack the water supply" for Skopje.
The newspaper reported that the gang had been stationed earlier in the training camp near the village of Ropotovo, Kosovo—as Novosti also reported—and received orders to enter the Macedonian town of Matejce. On Oct. 16, a convoy of refugees, who were previously expelled by the KLA, were supposed to visit their destroyed houses. However, the observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe entered the village first, and reported that at least 50 armed men had communicated they were going to fire on the convoy if they dared to enter Matejce. The OSCE order to the heartbroken refugees was: Go back, we cannot guarantee your security!
But who is Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, whose brother Zaiman is running terrorist camps under NATO protection in the U.S. zone in Kosovo? As the London Guardian wrote recently, "Even to say he is bin Laden's right-hand man may understate his importance." He is considered by many to be the real head of what is known as the bin Laden group. "Some analysts believe that in his current role in Afghanistan, al-Zawahiri has taken over control of much of bin Laden's terrorist finances, operations, plans, and resources," wrote the Guardian. His known terrorist career started no later than 1981, with his involvement in the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat; it includes the massacre of 70 people on a tourist bus in 1997 Luxor, Egypt, and the assassination attempt against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 1995.
Strangely enough, according to an expert who testified before a U.S. Congressional committee in January 2000, al-Zawahiri was granted U.S. residence by the Immigration and Naturalization Service—something almost impossible for many legitimate immigrants to obtain. Should we be surprised that one of the centers of operation for al-Zawahiri was London, where one of his closest relatives resided? President Mubarak is believed to have referred to him when, after the Luxor massacre, he stated: "There are people who carried out crimes and who were sentenced [in Egypt] and live on British soil."