Embassy attack highlights Balkan Islamists
BELGRADE | The young man wore a long beard and pants that stopped above his ankles. He sprayed the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia with machine-gun fire.
Friday’s incident in Sarajevo, in which the gunman and a police officer were wounded but no one died, was the latest in a series of incidents in Eastern Europe involving Wahhabis - followers of an austere brand of Sunni Islam promoted by radicals, including the Taliban and al Qaeda fighters.
The recent rise of militant Wahhabis and other Islamic radicals across the Balkans - including in Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and even European Union member Bulgaria - has triggered concerns that the region could become a breeding ground for terrorists with easy access to Western Europe or the U.S.
The shooter in Friday’s incident, 23-year-old Mevlid Jasarevic, came from Serbia - the southern region of Sandzak, a Wahhabi stronghold - but also had strong links with a conservative Bosnian Muslim village that has attracted police attention in the past.
Authorities across the Balkans say that not all Wahhabis are militants, and not all militants are Wahhabis.
Many fear that militant Wahhabis and other extremist Muslims from the Balkans could slip across borders and blend into Western societies before conducting terrorist attacks.
Bishop says protesters likely to move on
LONDON | The bishop of London said anti-capitalism demonstrators camped outside the city’s iconic St. Paul's Cathedral have said they will likely move on.
Both the church and the local authority, the City of London Corporation, have launched legal action to seek to clear the scores of tents from a pedestrian square and footpath outside the cathedral.
Richard Chartres, the bishop of London, held talks Sunday with demonstrators, who were inspired by New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement.
He told Sky News television that the protesters had said “we shan’t be here forever.”