Suspected Islamist extremists arrested in Bosnia

AP News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2015 7:19 AM

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Police in Bosnia said Tuesday that they have detained 11 people suspected of links with the Islamic State group and its militants fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Police said Tuesday the operation, launched on the orders of the state prosecutor's office, was continuing in 13 locations in the wider area of Sarajevo.

The prosecutor's office said in a statement the operation targeted 15 suspected of involvement in "incitement of and recruitment for terrorist attacks" and are believed to be in "close contact" with the Islamic State group militants, including persons fighting in Syria and Iraq.

In searches of several private homes and two places of worship, police found and seized evidence confirming such links, the prosecutor's statement added.

Some of the facilities raided on Tuesday were in the suburb of Rajlovac where a gunman killed two Bosnian army soldiers in November in an apparent terrorist attack. The gunman, identified as 34-year-old Enes Omeragic, killed soldiers in a betting shop right across the street from the gate of an army barrack and he also shot at a bus before killing himself with a hand grenade.

Authorities say that a small number of Bosnian Muslims, known as Bosniaks, have embraced Salafism under the influence of foreign fighters who came to Bosnia during its 1992-95 war to help Muslims fight against Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats.

Authorities say 94 Bosnians have gone to fight in Syria; 56 have returned and 26 are known to have died.