Bosnia had to release Syrian from custody despite security risk

Syrian Ismad el-Husein, also known as Abu Hamza, who had been in extradition custody in Sarajevo for eight years as he is regarded as a threat to the security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was released on Thursday, members of his family said.

His daughter was quoted by local media in Bosnia as saying that he is not allowed to leave his place of residence and must report to the police regularly.

Ismad el-Husein arrived in the former Yugoslav federation (SFRY) in the late 1980s to attend university. As soon as the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he joined Mujahedeen fighters who came from Islamic countries and was regarded as one of leaders.

In the meantime he became a naturalised citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

However, Bosnia's security services followed him and collected sufficient information to declare him a risk to national security. In mid-2008, he was ordered to leave Bosnia. He was stripped of Bosnian citizenship on suspicion that he unlawfully acquired Bosnian citizenship after fighting in the 1992-1995 war. After losing Bosnian citizenship, he appealed to the Constitutional Court in an attempt to suspend his deportation from the country. While being in extradition custody, where he waited for a final decision, a war broke out in Syria, which made his deportation impossible.

He was released in line with the new law on foreigners which Bosnia adopted in 2015 to align its legislation to European standards. The law restricts the detention of aliens in custody to no longer than 18 months if there is no indictment or ruling against them.

Last update: Thu, 18/02/2016 - 13:47

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