Bosnia deports first Muslim ex-fighter: report

Bosnia has deported the first of dozens of Muslim former fighters identified as threats to security after investigations requested by the United States, a newspaper reported on Friday.

Bosnia deports first Muslim ex-fighter: report
Algerian-born Atau Mimun, 37, was among hundreds of foreign volunteers who arrived in Bosnia during the 1992-95 war to fight alongside Bosnian Muslims against Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats, and stayed on after marrying local women.

He was deported to Algeria on Sunday, the Nezavisne Novine daily quoted a senior security official as saying.

"It was established that this person jeopardized national security," said Dragan Mektic, the director of the foreign affairs service within the state security ministry.

"We believe he is linked with people who have been under surveillance in connection with terrorist activities," he told the newspaper. Neither security officials nor any representative of Mimun were immediately available to comment.

Washington asked Sarajevo to deport all foreign-born ex-fighters in the late 1990s, after the Bosnian government closed a training camp.

It repeated the request after the September 11 2001 attacks against the United States. Most left Bosnia after that and those who remained have been under close scrutiny.

Over the past 18 months, a government commission revoked around 500 citizenships out of 1,300 awarded to foreigners from a wide range of countries during and after the war.

Most are expected to appeal and may be allowed to remain. Dozens, however, are set to be deported because the government has said they represent threats to national security.

Complicated legal procedures had delayed the deportations but Bosnia's parliament has been discussing a new anti-terrorist law to simplify the process.

Mektic said nobody else would be deported for the moment because conditions have not been fulfilled.

"They are only waiting for this law to speed up the deportations," Syrian-born Imad Al Husayn, who has also been called a threat to national security and who is now waiting for a court ruling on his appeal said on Friday.

Husayn and others deny any terrorist activity.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Aralık 2007, 18:04