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Macedonia Warned of Terror Attacks Danger

June 1, 2012

Macedonia should expect more terrorist following the gruesome murder of five men near Skopje, says security expert, retired professor Ivan Babamovski.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic, Balkan Insight, 31.05.2012


Macedonian police | Photo by: Boris Grdanoski

Speaking at a security conference in Skopje Professor Babamovski said the recent killings of five people near Skopje was a terrorist act designed to spread fear among people, and more might follow.

“I expect several more such fierce actions,” Babamovski said, adding that if his predictions do not come true “I won’t be ashamed to admit I was wrong”.

Babamovski said the overall security situation in Macedonia and the region was poor and provided fertile terrain for extremists and terrorists.

“Al-Qaeda had three training camps in Macedonia”, he claimed, not saying when this was supposed to have happened.

Babamovski said that 25 members of “one ethnic group” in Macedonia had undergone terrorist training in Iran, and that one of the leaders of that same community – presumably referring to Macedonia’s large Albanian Muslim community – had been to the city of Qom, the Shia spiritual centre, where he was trained in terrorist acts.

Despite this, “the international anti-terrorist coalition” was not helping Skopje in any way, the professor said.

On April 12 police found the bullet-ridden bodies of four young men and one local fisherman near the Skopje ring-road.

The murders sharply raised ethnic tensions between Macedonians and the Albanian minority, as rumours spread that the killers were Albanian.

In a police action on May 1, 20 ethnic Albanians were arrested whom the authorities claimed they were radical Islamists.

Police then filed terrorism and murder charges against five people that they say organized and carried out the killings. Three of them have been arrested. The other two are believed to have fled the country.

Court proceedings are currently waiting for expert analysis to be completed so that the trial can start.

Meanwhile police still have no word on the whereabouts of the two men who have fled.

From → FYROM, Islamists

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