Bosnian police detain 16 for involvement
in Syria, Iraq conflict
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[September 03, 2014]
SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnian police
detained 16 people on Wednesday on charges of financing terrorist
activities, recruiting and fighting on the side of radical groups in
Syria and Iraq, authorities said.
The arrests were made in 17 raids the police conducted across the
Balkan country, the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA)
said in a statement.
It was the first such security sweep since April when Bosnia
introduced jail terms of up to 10 years for its citizens who fight
or recruit fighters for conflicts abroad.
The move was aimed at discouraging young Bosnians from going to
fight in Syria. Many of those are seen as a possible security threat
upon their return home.
"The suspects are connected to financing, organizing and recruiting
Bosnian citizens to depart for Syria and Iraq, and taking part in
armed conflicts in Syria and Iraq, fighting on the side of radical
terrorist groups and organizations," the police statement said.
Experts estimate that several hundred people have left Bosnia, where
Muslims make up 45 percent of the population, heading for Syria.
Some of them reportedly crossed into Iraq this year to fight for the
Islamic State group.
Several dozen have been reported killed, the latest case that of a
young Bosnian who died in a suicide attack in Iraq in early August,
according to local media.
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Many young Muslims from the Balkans, including Serbia, Kosovo and
Macedonia, have become radicalized to fight for global Islamic
causes in the recent years.
(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and
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