Police in Bosnia surveilling potential terrorists, security threat "very serious"

Police in Bosnia and Herzegovina are undertaking comprehensive steps to suppress the terror threat and prevent possible attacks, but the threat is real and the state must face the challenge of finding a permanent solution, the chief of police of the Federation entity's Interior Ministry, Dragan Lukac, said in Sarajevo on Friday.

A register of persons with ties to radical Islamic groups has been compiled and they are under surveillance, he told reporters. "Those persons pose a very serious security threat."

The number of Bosnian citizens who stayed in Syria and Iraq varies from 200 to 250, although the figure does not refer only to fighters but their families too, according to police information. About 50 persons have returned and Lukac said the number of those leaving for those countries was markedly decreasing.

"More importantly, we have created an overview of the activity of radical communities," he said, adding that police had collected lots of information on potential security threats, identifying radical communities, their members and how they act.

Lukac said ideological indoctrination was a much more serious problem than the religious communities acting outside structures officially recognised by the Islamic Community in Bosnia.

He said there was also a register of Bosnian citizens who went to fight in Syria and Iraq, and that they were under surveillance. Members of Islamic State and the Al-Nusra Front are arrested upon returning to Bosnia, he added.

Lukac said everything was being done to reduce the possibility of a terrorist attack as much as possible, and that the state must draw up and implement a programme for the deradicalisation of extremists.

Also today, Bosnian media reported that CIA director John Brennan arrived in Sarajevo unannounced. According to anonymous sources, he is to meet with the heads of Bosnian security agencies. The State Prosecutor's Office has announced that he will attend a meeting of Bosnia's anti-terrorism task force.

Last update: Fri, 22/04/2016 - 12:46
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