Islamist Extremists Arrested in Bosnia

Islamist Extremists Arrested in Bosnia

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) -- Police said Tuesday the operation, launched on the orders of the state prosecutor's office, was continuing in 13 locations in the wider area of Sarajevo.

The prosecutor's office said in a statement the operation is targeting 15 suspects who have been investigated for "incitement of and recruitment for terrorist attacks" and are believed to be in "close contact" with the Islamic State group militants, including persons fighting in Syria and Iraq.

During the search of locations used by suspects, including two places of worship and several private homes, police found and seized evidence confirming such links, the statement added.

It stressed some of the facilities raided on Tuesday were located in the suburb of Rajlovac where an armed gunman had killed two Bosnian army soldiers in November in an apparent terrorist attack. The gunman, identified as 34-year-old Enes Omeragic, had killed soldiers in a betting shop right across the street from the gate of an army barrack. He had also shot at a bus, shattering glass which injured the driver and two passengers before fleeing to his nearby home and killing himself with a hand grenade.

Although most Bosnian Muslims, known as Bosniaks, are moderate, some have embraced Salafism under the influence of foreign fighters who came to Bosnia during its 1992-95 war to help Muslims fight against Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats.

Authorities said that 94 Bosnians have gone to fight in Syria. Their records show that 56 have returned, while 26 died there.

(KA)