Islamist video raises concerns in BiH

Islamist video raises concerns in BiH

Banja Luka, July 27, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

Tensions in BiH raised on a whole new level as a video, with islamists burning the Serbian national flag, appeared on social networks. State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) has started an investigation  and it appears that the video was recorded somewhere in BiH.

SIPA director, Perica Stanic, said to media that it is possible that Anti terrorism task force, on its meeting at Wednesday, will discuss this event.

“We have seen the video and, in cooperation with the BiH Prosecution Office, take all actions to determine when the video was made, if it is possible to determine, because the portals released it on July 25. Also, we will seek legal help and try to gather information about the internet address from which the footage came”, Stanic said.

In the video, two persons with masks burn the Serbian flag in the woods, and behind them are flags of ISIL and flag of Republic of BiH that was used in the war and was never recognized as state flag. The appearance of this flag usualy raise tensions between Serbs and Bosniaks, because Serbs consider it as the flag of Army of Republic of BiH. In the background, a song titled “Tigers of Bosnia” is chanted: “A smell is spreading in Bosnia, there’s no country more beautiful anywhere, be brave my Bosnia, the enemy is once again preparing injustices. Brothers’ message to everyone, we won’t give you to the enemy, we are coming from all sides to trample on your enemy”. At one instant a shot from a weapon can be heard in background.

Right after this video reached the social networks several institutions in RS reacted with demand for instant investigation. Serbian officials demanded from BiH institutions to investigate the case in the name of good relations between the two countries and to prevent similar cases in the future. RS President, Milorad Dodik, said to the media that this case shows that BiH, in this moment, is a very dangerous place to live in.

“It means that BiH now is not a desirable place for any nation, especially for Serbs. Serbs do not want to live in a community where radical Islam flourishes, where the Serbian flags are burnt while threatening and shooting with rifles, which binds flags of the Islamic State and war flag of the so-called Army of BiH, and which sweeps all this under the rugs”, Dodik said.

He emphasized that RS is not the entity that endangers BiH’s path to the EU, as political Sarajevo wants to present in the public by replacing thesis. Dodik said that real danger is coming from the radical Islamists and their supporters incorporated into the government and intelligence agencies in BiH, who are trying to destabilize BiH and the entire region, including the world.

Political analyst from Banja Luka, Predrag Ceranic, said that the BiH authorities didn’t take the warnings from a video footage seriously and that the song’s lyrics “we are coming from all sides to trample on your enemy”, can be understood only as a call by someone who returned from the Syrian front. Ceranic added that the video footage could have been made in any parajamat which refused to be incorporated into the BiH Islamic Community and that the state, except for announcements that it will close parajamats and paramesjids, is doing nothing.

According to him, the concern about parajamats in BiH, recruitment centres of the most notorious terrorist organisations, the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, was left to the municipal police.

“Warnings that BiH citizens who were fighting for terrorist organisations are returning to BiH since they gave up internationalism and decided to fight for their ideological goals at home when they estimate that the time is right, have not been taken seriously in BiH”, Ceranic said.

For other analysts, the footage clearly shows that the unstable situation in BiH is used for promotion of Islamic radicalism and that it can set the tensions on the highest level ever since the war.