Bosnia Islamic community leader placed under protection

The head of the Islamic community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Husein Kavazovic, has been placed under police protection after receiving a death threat from a member of the Islamic State terrorist organisation, Security Minister Dragan Mektic confirmed on Tuesday.

Mektic said that Bosnian security services were monitoring all online communications that might be related to terrorism and were promptly responding to any challenges.

"Steps are being taken to increase the protection of Mr Kavazaovic and all other persons who are being threatened," Mektic told the press in Sarajevo after meeting Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman, with whom he discussed the fight against terrorism and organised crime.

A video was posted on the YouTube website last week in which a man, identified as Amir Selimovic of Zivinice, northeastern Bosnia, threatened to "slit Kavazovic's throat" in the centre of Sarajevo, accusing him of betraying the true values of Islam. Selimovic joined Islamic State in Syria two years ago and is still there.

Mektic said that the authorities had issued 67 international arrest warrants for Bosnian citizens with ties to terrorism.

During the talks with the Swedish interior minister, Mektic presented a proposal to set up a regional centre for combating terrorism. He said that a statement on this was expected to be signed in April as part of the Brdo Process initiative.

Ygeman stressed the need for a timely exchange of information in preventing arms trafficking, saying that large quantities of arms were being smuggled from the Western Balkans into Sweden where they were used by organised crime groups.

Last update: Tue, 23/02/2016 - 15:23
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