The American Interest

The Balkan Terror Threat

A chain is as strong as its weakest link.  In President Bush’s “War on Terror,” that weak link is not in the Middle East or North Africa or the Subcontinent but in Europe.  For years, Chronicles has been warning that flawed pro-Muslim Western policies would turn the Balkans from a “protectorate of the New World Order into an Islamic threat to Western interests” (see, for example, “Osama bin Laden: The Balkan Connection,” Chronicles Intelligence Assessment, December 2001).  Such warnings were routinely ignored or discounted by the media and politicians alike.  This attitude is rapidly changing, however.  A spate of media reports and statements by Western officials over the past two months indicates that the threat is finally being taken seriously.

“US to build Balkan anti-terrorism center in Bulgaria,” news agencies reported on January 6, to monitor and detect terrorist threats to the United States and other countries.  In addition to the CIA-staffed center, Bulgarian media reported, the FBI also plans to set up an office in Sofia.  U.S. intelligence experts were quoted as saying that Al Qaeda has a training base in the Balkans and uses the region as a terror route to the West.

That same week, an Associated Press report warned that terrorists could use the Balkan route to sneak a nuclear weapon into Europe by land. ...

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