Kosovo as private property

February 19, 2009

Kosovo Albanians celebrated Feb. 17th  their first year of sc. Independence.  Among normal praising statements and congratulations there was also various definitions of the status of this Serbia’s separatist province.  Newest for me was one of which  the former PM Ramush Haradinaj used.  He addressed many criticisms toward the Government – a quote (Koha Ditore, Zëri, Epoka e Re):

We are witnesses of the transformation of the state into the private property of the leadership that wants to monopolize everything good that we inherited, our entire history and future, and which has transformed Government into organized corruption.

Rude words but given the background also understandable.  Today’s PM Thaci and Haradinaj are representing two leading and competing tribes or clans of organized crime in Kosovo.  Both have been accused also e.g. about war crimes, Haradinaj even was in Haague but released when witnesses surprisingly were murdered or threaded to keep their mouth shut.

State as private property is quite good description  about how matters stand.  I have earlier described circumstances in Kosovo with  “Quadruple Helix Model” where government, underworld, Wahhabbi schools and international terrorism have win-win symbiosis.  First I was thinking that Kosovo is sliding to be a “failed state” now I am tending to the opinion that a “captured state” is better definition – maybe Kosovo’s ex-PM is concluding the same.

Other definitions were also heard during “celebrations – here few of them:

  • One Kosovo Albanian political leader, Mr. Demaci, said that his dream for independence was different and he kept stutus of Kosovo as “half independent” (Epoka e Re and Kosova Sot)
  • Serbian PM Mirko Cvetkovic described Kosovo as “a virtual state on the Serbian territory” (RTS)
  • The Assembly of (Serbian) Municipalities of in Kosovo adopted a declaration and “dismisses as non-existent and legally invalid any act and activity declaring the independence of the quasi-state of Kosovo and forming the institution thereof”. (RTS)

From the other side celebrations went without incidents so as positive point one could conclude that conflict has rised on the level of words which is real progress compared region’s past.


Strange BND affair in Kosovo

December 14, 2008

On 14th Nov. 2008  a bomb planted at the office of the European Union Special Representative was detonated in Pristina, Kosovo.  Three officers of Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) – Foreign Intelligence service of Germany – were arrested. The three agents – despite protestations from Berlin and the BND of their innocence – spent 10 days in detention.  The case created tensions between Germany and Kosovo’s local government and nobody seems to know how the case developed so far in public.

Today doubts concerning the culpability of the BND agents seemed to have  been cleared. The previously unheard of ‘Army of the Republic of Kosovo’ (ARK) had accepted responsibility for the bomb attack. Laboratory tests had shown no evidence of the BND agents’ involvement. In addition, a television report had aired quoting a police report that allegedly said that the Germans had in no way been involved.  (Source Welt-Online)

Now the agents are free and the Kosovo government has expressed its regret over detention. (Source: Deutsche Welle).

BND in Kosovo

For a number of years, Kosovo has been a major operational area for the BND. In addition to being politically unstable and located not far from Germany’s borders, it is a hotbed of organized crime with links to Germany and is a country where numerous German police officers and soldiers are stationed.

A German magazine Der Spiegel published a wide article about BND in Kosovo.  It claims that there are no less than three BND departments focusing on Kosovo, including Department Five, responsible for organized crime, the same department that certified in 2005 that Prime Minister Thaçi is a key figure in a Kosovar-Albanian mafia network. (Source Spiegel) .

Some backgrounds of Kosovo  “Independence”

Tom Burghard describes in “The Intelligence Daily” some backgrouds of Kosovo’s “independence”.

“When Kosovo proclaimed its “independence” in February, the Western media hailed the provocative dismemberment of Serbia, a move that completed the destruction of Yugoslavia by the United States, the European Union and NATO, as an exemplary means to bring “peace and stability” to the region. If by “peace” one means impunity for rampaging crime syndicates or by “stability,” the freedom of action with no questions asked by U.S. and NATO military and intelligence agencies, not to mention economic looting on a grand scale by freewheeling multinational corporations, then Kosovo has it all! (Source The Intelligance Daily)

Revence?

So how is it possible that this BND affair took place in circumstances described earlier?  Given the fact that after the U.S. Germany is the 2nd largest financial backer of Kosovo, why would the Thaci government risk alienating the German state –  why did Mr. Thaci choose to pick this fight with Germany in the first place?  Günther Lachmann said quite straight in his article on 30th Nov. 2008 in Die Welt, that “In security circles one hears various answers to this question. The most common one is that the action was taken as revenge”.  The cause of revenge are leaked BND reports linking Kosovo’s political leaders to international organized crime.

Leaked BND reports

At the time, the confidential report was quickly leaked to the media. Thaçi has never forgiven the Germans for that.( Der Spiegel).  The reports in question are a 67-page long, hard-hitting analysis by the BND about organized crime in Kosovo and a confidential 108-page report contracted by the German military, the Bundeswehr (sc. BND-IEP Report Kosovo 2007).

The BND-IEP report also repeats the accusations against Thaci claiming, that real power in Kosovo lays with 15 to 20 family clans who control “almost all substantial key social positions” and are “closely linked to prominent political decision makers,”.

In contrast to the CIA and MI6, both German intelligence reports accuse Thaci as well as former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and Xhavit Haliti of the parliamentary leadership of far-reaching involvement in organized crime.

More about leaked BND reports as follows:

  • Leaked BND Report 2005 (Short 27-p leaked BND report can be found upside down)
  • BND-IEP Report Kosovo 2007 (Operatinalisierung von Security Sector Reform (SSR) auf dem Westlichen Balkan intelligente/kreativ Ansätze fier die langfristig positive Gestaltung dieser Region)

Facts on the ground are remaining

In reports mentioned above is nothing new for intelligence agencies.  As a former official of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Michael Levine has said that one of the wings of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was “linked with every known narco-cartel in the Middle East and the Far East”, and that almost every European intelligence service and police has files on “connections between ethnic Albanian rebels and drug trafficking”.  (More inB92 article).

U.S. involvement?

There are also still further hypotheses made by Peter Schwartz in The Intelligence  Daily based to BND-IEP report about  substantial tensions between German and American bodies. “The German report is particular critical of the role of the US, which had obstructed European investigations and which had been opened up to political extortion by the existence of secret CIA detention centres in the grounds of Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo.” (Source The Intelligence Daily ).

The bottom line

Whatever is the true story about BND affair in Kosovo or its background the follow-up is an increasing  lack of confidence between German authorities and present Kosovo government as well doubts to skills of BND.

A high-ranking BND official spoke out with yet sharper words. “The German government had allowed itself to be dragged by the nose through global politics by a country in which organized crime is the form of government,” he told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. (Welt-Online)

More my views over Kosovo onemay find from my Archives:Blog

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P.S. Some times ago there was rumors about BND report claiming that then UN envoy Ahtisaari took bribes from (Kosovo) Albanian mafia.  However I have not found any proof or reports about this case.  If someone has more info so please send a link to proof that the case includes something more that a propaganda article.


A deadly combination of crime and religion

December 12, 2008

In my article “Quadruple Helix …” on 7th Dec. 2008 I shortly hinted to financial connection between Wahhabi organizations and international terrorism. I also pointed historical and social link between organized crime groups and political leaders and the international dimensions of system which I called as Quadruple Helix model.

Yesterday I was reading news from Axis Eurasian Secret Services Daily Review and one of them popped to my eyes immediately related to my earlier – maybe a little bit provocative – article. I quote:

Russian special services have managed to find out the name of one of organizers of the last month’s terror attacks in Mumbai, India, news agencies are reporting. According to Director of Russia’s Federal Anti-Narcotics Service Viktor Ivanov, drug baron Dawood Ibrahim was directly involved in the incident.

“The gathered inputs testify that infamous regional drug baron Dawood Ibrahim had provided his logistics network for preparing and carrying out the Mumbai terror attacks by the militants,” news agency RIA Novosti cites the top Russian official.  In an interview to the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta Ivanov said the Mumbai mayhem is a ‘burning example’ of the use of illegal drug trafficking network for perpetrating terrorism. “The super profits of the narco-mafia through Afghan heroin trafficking have become a powerful source of financing organized crime and terrorist networks, destabilizing the political systems, including in Central Asia and Caucasus,” Ivanov marked.

Dawood Ibrahim sought by India for 1993 Mumbai (then Bombay) serial blasts, killing 257, is said to be among the list of wanted persons sent to Islamabad in the wake of last month’s Mumbai terror attacks organized by Lashkar-e-Taiba, Rossiiskaya Gazeta noted.

This information seems to hint that secular organized crime and religious fanaticism are not so far away, they can find common political targets and they can implement joint operations.