Terror hunt for 7/7 bomber's relative in Bosnian mosque
Mail on Sunday (London) - February 12, 2006 Sunday


BRITAIN'S war on Muslim terror has switched to Sarajevo after claims that hundreds of second generation Pakistani and Afghan youths from the UK are being radicalised at the city's mosque.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that anti-terrorist officers from Scotland Yard spent three days there last week.

Chief among their concerns was evidence that has emerged about links between last year's July 7 bombers and another group plotting an attack on western embassies in Bosnia.

A source close to the inquiry said the British officers were particularly concerned about reports that a UK-based close relative of one of the London suicide bombers was involved.

This newspaper can also reveal that, thanks to the crackdown on so-called terror training schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Al Qaeda has been directing its operatives to Bosnia instead.

Significantly for the UK, jailed cleric Abu Hamza was one of many Arab fighters who spent time in Bosnia battling the Serbs in the early Nineties.

Just two hours from London by plane, the city and its notorious King Fahd Mosque has been described as a 'hotbed of terror'.

Evidence of training camps has been uncovered in woods on the city outskirts and police have arrested dozens of suspected terrorists in the last few months.

Edita Pejovic, of the prosecutor's office in Sarajevo, said: 'British investigators spent several days here this month as part of their inquiry into the July 7 bombings.'

And a Bosnian police source said: 'Four British men were being watched in the UK and then we received word from British police that they were coming to Sarajevo. One of them was the relative of one of the July 7 bombers. They spent most of their time in the King Fahd Mosque, which is used by very extremist Muslims.' When in Sarajevo the British Muslims stay at the mosque whose imam, Nezim Halilovic Muderis, is well known for his radical and extremist views.

Besides the mosque there is also a cultural centre, accommodation for visitors and a gym July 7 bombers' leader Mohammad Sidique Khan opened councilfunded gymnasiums in West Yorkshire to recruit impressionable youths.

Last year, an undercover reporter from local Sarajevo newspaper Dhani bought a video showing Chechen Muslim fighters slitting the throat of a Russian soldier from a stall near the mosque.

He reported the vendor's chilling sales pitch: 'The good part is where they kill a captured Russian soldier. You see everything.'

Imam Muderis's Friday midday sermons are also highly inflammatory he incites violence in Afghanistan and Iraq and is said to preach along the same lines as terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

One local Muslim, who would give his name only as Mirsad, said: 'I have stopped going to the King Fahd mosque. It has become too radical. The sermons have become very extreme. The place is full of boys from England, Scandanavia, and elsewhere in Europe.'

It is not the first time western intelligence services have focused on the mosque in 2002, German police were tipped off about a plot to blow up the newly reconstructed Mostar Bridge.

The British men have now left Bosnia and are believed to be back in the UK, although their exact whereabouts are not known.

Last night Imam Muderis said: 'We have had British people here but I don't keep a check on them.'

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Copyright 2006 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
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