This book reveals the role that radical Islam played in the Bosnian conflict of the 1990s--and the ill-considered part that American policy in that war played in al-Qa’ida’s growth. Schindler explores a truth long hidden from view: that, like Afghanistan in the 1980s, Bosnia in the 1990s became a training ground for the mujahidin. Unholy Terror at last exposes the shocking story of how bin Laden successfully exploited the Bosnian conflict for his own ends--and of how the U. S. Government gave substantial support to his unholy warriors, leading to blowback of epic proportions.
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From the Inside Flap
The Bosnian conflict of 1992 to 1995 has been largely misrepresented in the West . . . until now. In Unholy Terror, John R. Schindler—professor of strategy at the Naval War College and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer—reappraises the war in Bosnia, illuminating its pivotal role in the development of radical Islamic terrorism.
The long hidden truth is that Bosnia played the same role for al-Qa’ida in the 1990s that Afghanistan did in the 1980s, providing a battleground where mujahidin could learn to wage holy war. Schindler exposes how Osama bin Laden exploited the Bosnian conflict for his own ends and the disturbing level of support the U.S. government gave to the Bosnian mujahidin—just as had been done with the Afghan mujahidin. Repeating the mistakes of Afghanistan contributed to blowback of epic proportions: Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (the mastermind of 9/11) and two of the 9/11 hijacker pilots were veterans of the Bosnian jihad.
Unholy Terror is a compelling and meticulously researched step toward finally learning the lessons of Bosnia, which can only help in the continuing battle against Muslim extremists and their global jihad.
This is a very good book, but it is important to state clearly what this book is and is not. I came to "Unholy Terror" drawn by the title, and the cover photograph, looking for an operational history of the foreign Islamic mujahideen units of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Bosnian War of 1992-95. Analysis of the military actions of the foreign mujahideen units in the Bosnian War is really not what this book is about and is very minimally covered. Rather, "Unholy Terror" is a remarkably detailed autopsy of of the growth of an extreme Islamic faction in post-WWII Bosnia, in post-Tito Yugoslavia (after 1980), and especially in the Bosnia of the 1991-1995 wars over the dissolution of Yugoslavia. John Schindler makes clear that Alija Izetbegovic, one of the original Islamic agitators in post-WWII Yugoslavia and the first president of an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, had consistently sought from his earliest days to make Bosnian Muslims the dominant power in a Bosnian state, despite his many protestations that he was a secular and democratic leader above all. Izetbegovic and his Young Muslim cronies romanticized Bosnia's 500 years of Muslim Ottoman rule, and from the 1950s sought to establish ties to conservative Islamic movements (the Muslim Brotherhood, Khoemeini's Iran) in the greater Muslim world.Read more ›
Recently several books came out shedding a different light on the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. Most authors are people with mentality and the perception of reality based on the morality of the modern Western society. It looks like they don't have an axe to grind and the only reason urged them to write the books running counter to the mass media presentation, the official political course and the widespread academic interpretation of the Bosnian War was objectivity built on the whole of the facts, not just on a "convenient" part of them. As a Latin maxim says - Non Nova, Sed Nove. I chose the book "Unholy Terror" to read first because of the phrase the author mentioned in Introduction namely, "...spend time in muddy boots in war zone" - what he just did. The second reason was that he is a researcher who was trained to be a spy. This means that the author has acquired and developed the strong ability to gather, analyze, classify facts establishing logical connections between them and deduce the corresponding conclusions. The third reason was the long list of sources he used which penmen range from Bosnian Christians and Muslims to Western writers. So the thorough unbiased research was conducted. And the last reason was that it seems the author doesn't have any Bosnian family roots and thus he is a neutral observer.
To my eye the book is the very comprehensive research on the subject encompassing the period of time from the Ottoman Empire to the modern era. The material is presented in a consistent and intelligible as for experts so for laypersons way and accompanied by numerous quotations and references to the sources. The author doesn't arbitrary pick some facts from the conflict.Read more ›
Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa'ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad is by far the most significant and insightful book yet written about the presence of foreign mujahedin in Bosnia during the 1990s, and the role they and their sponsors played in globalizing the jihad that had been created during the Soviet-Afghan conflict, which was winding down just as Bosnia was on the verge of civil war.
The pre-eminent position of this work on the Bosnia bookshelf owes both to the comprehensive and balanced treatment of events presented therein, and also to the fact that the author, John Schindler, was formerly the National Security Agency's Balkan expert analyst. This fact has undoubtedly caused many people to be very nervous about what the author, now Professor of Strategy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Newport, Rhode Island, has to say.
And well they should. For unquestioning supporters of the former Izetbegovic government in the West, the darker side of that government and its connections to global terrorism, organized crime and human rights abuses against fellow Bosnians makes for chilling reading. To be fair, many were fooled by Izetbegovic and his SDA party's rhetoric of human rights and democracy, but many others, especially Western leaders, were in a position to know the truth.
Nevertheless, they unfailingly supported, to the point of military intervention, an individual who was personally collaborating with Osama bin Laden, an individual whose vision for a future Bosnia was radically different from that supported by the West. The result of this suicidal policy would manifest itself most vividly on 9/11, but also in many other terrorist attacks and attempted attacks around the world.Read more ›
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