Alumnus Vasko Shutarov Talks Foreign Fighters in Macedonia at Terrorism Workshop 18NOV15

oh I forgot to mention Roscoe is a graduate of ptss 097 way back thank you so dear Pollux i will give you a presentation about the experience of the Republic of Macedonia bus also the broader Western Balkan region because we share the same challenges there is a lot of inter connection of the radical structures as well as I will share some best practices I’ll pick up from the different countries I hope my colleagues from my neighborhood adult might the idea is to share the best examples the best practice how to build this joint threat so when the Islamic state so called dash published the picture of the global caliphate there was a lot of attention panic and fear amongst our region by day but the idea of the caliphate was not new to the Balkans because in the past years those are some Salafi leaders they dreamed about the balcony murat so in the name of death did olajide inspired young people and recruited aim to fight in syria the most well-known group is the group of new treaty mom which in Bosnia which connect represented by different read leaders for example it is Billy Bonney in Kosovo is a tragedy IRA in Bosnia Dillard boss which in Bosnia Abbott provision in the region of san jac in serbia so this group was very active in the diaspora in luxembourg slovenia austria germany and with the shift and the disputes among the javits al-nusrah and dis Lamech state this shift reflected also in the our region so we faced these boots conflicts debates on the social media ideological debates what which is the right path whether to follow javits al-nusrah or to follow Islamic state so this group splitted abid put bitching bill voltage remain it with Islamic state and new circle knowledge it is Billy bunnies at Rogers era they followed to the Java tindora we have independently two main representatives of the Islamic state Reggie permission from Macedonia which is currently in custody and security see me in the region of nelena in kosovo desired the main recruiters in our region so i will give you here I want tip in intelligence matter if you want to collect information approach to that current of the Java tundra to collect intelligence on Islamic state at currents and do the opposite so few years ago Syria was only one of them mainly Middle Eastern countries far away from the Republic of Macedonia and the region without matching comme une but now there is a lot of inter connection so what we got from the Balkans to the Syria first we have foreign fighters still going then willing to go there to fight besides undertaking measures then we have the phenomenon of Hedra women children all the families going down to live soldiers or fighters coming back to our country’s just to get married and go back there to live in the caliphate we have various types of logistics support for example in the past they sent military act with equipment rental car Vance just bring back to the turkey-syria border to give in the terrorist groups various forms of military equipment weapons and as well we have various types of verbal or Internet support what we have in return we have propaganda toward our region in various video messages stories then we have intelligence gathering because fighters there and leaders of the Group up very well informed what is going on in the region about the religion structured political structure and especially what the security services are doing also we in the recent months which have growing threat in spreading fear among our citizens on different ways and we have phenomenon of bringing money probably from some robberies and they’re bringing money to maybe to change in other currency in to buy equipment back to Syria so these are some the numbers don’t take them for sure just an illustration what’s going on and what kind of the Feynman phenomenon is that you can see children women percentage of guilt and left so just to have a picture so what are the balcon foreign fighters in general we can divide them in three groups first one those who want just to go there to

experience the caliphate to feel the atmosphere there how the life is going there the second group is suicide bomber’s they go there and they are selected to commit a suicide attack and we already have people from our region that committed suicide attacks the third group are so-called Mujahideen the classic Mujahideen the classic fighters they go they’re engaging the combats this could not finish just in Syria but to go elsewhere when they need to to to to to to fight below you can see the faces of the three months no Vulcan fighters Becky Medina from ghost over Macedonia River hockey from Guinea leonard kosova Eamon and lambda mu ha Jerry from koneko so this footage was part of a video where they destroyed their passports I wanted to show that here we are one no nations no ethnic backgrounds we want to stay there and we will die here if it’s necessary so la ferme ok Jerry is the most known figure because he appeared in many videos he killed in life in propaganda videos he cut the throw to a boy he killed a man with bazooka he promoted the dinner and he is the one of the most wanted man in the region what is the profile of a foreign fighter is there a matrix to follow or is there are some exceptions or rules I will present you to maybe case studies for examples the first one is of Albania origin jealous ohmic over which represent most of the Albanian background fighters which are from the porfa le premier Lee are not well educated with some criminal background contact with imam they went to Syria he was killed and they engaged in the recruitment activities from other side we have Stefan Stefan escape so-called sufian Macedonian Orthodox convert from wells technic family in nice neighborhood in Skopje he graduated medicine and he went in Syria to do to help Islamic state into in their hospitals what they said in kamoun radical ideology a recruiter or inspirated as legit permission places this to mosque for example which were outside this official Islamic community and Internet activity recruited a woman is another phenomenon we faced these are examples in Kosovo Macedonia as you can see very young girls who became interested in religion via internet get in touch with a recruiter to the Internet in the first case these two little girls tried to reach Syria via Macedonia when they were intercepted but in the second case the girl from Macedonia managed to left as you can see she received money online for the trip she was recruited to the internet and her father reported the case to the police in order to be located but unfortunately she’s somewhere in Iraq on the picture you can see is an example in Bosnia how to Facebook a woman tries to recruit young girls in order to get married for some of that fighters so you can see the role of the internet this is something that is going on in the region so what is the track from the foreign facts let’s start with this famous video caller is in Jihad video when published by Al Hayat media center when this video appeared it gets so much publicity across the Balkan countries so why this video is so important first it represent the first direct threat to the balkans and illustrate the photos to the region sis previously there were no such massive manifestations second it’s very professional than propaganda video recording in the cember last year but released in June it showed the importance of the Balkans for the Islamic state as a frontier of the Islam balkan wars suffering of the muslims and third intends to show that Vulcan fact is there are a swan here there are soldiers from Bosnia Kosovo Serbia albania and Montenegro this video also sent three stir daily check messages first by mirza hot clay he was killed in from montenegro and he was killed he called to Hedra come to taste the faith freely to practice the religion since there is an operation in the Balkan countries so don’t let the dirty tavik arrest you humiliate you breaking in your houses in the middle of the night find the cure vice uncovered brothers fear Allah the color of the caliphate some things you must transfer dear brothers come to taste the sweetness of fate the second message is the thread which we call / the message of this young boy from bosnia abu

mohammed al bosne who refers to the bosnian speaking community in Bosnia Montenegro Serbia and he is saying come to fill the Caliphate here and you can practice your religion but if you cannot come here do jihad air in your domestic countries put explosive put poison so kill civilians they focus on the civilian targets the second message is also similar by return hockey fie fo mokka-dal alco solving who also referred to the Albanian speaking community and he refers to Macedonia Kosovan albania he said do not think that we have forgotten about how your press the Muslims by Alec black days are coming to you you will feel to walk in the streets we will be terrorized and fill repressed even your homes we will put you and terrorize you even in your dreams when you’re asleep we will kill you with the permission of Allah will come to you with explosive belts with metal dome operations with an army this will happen very soon there was immediately a second video we are slamming state casa de also direct threat to the Balkan countries and you can see they focus on particular bouton countries and put us a target in this like sniper sniper style footages another examples so besides the videos we have also this kind of messages straight through the social media Facebook the first one is from a man called abubakar LOL bonnie again in june this year so the same period of the videos so you can see the narration the message they focus of the neighbors of the other than young people soon the attack in the region do coordinated pair elena spectacular they refer to prime minister macedonia greasy but also another albanian politicians the second message was published after the police action in macedonia called self against the foreign fighters and here you can see narration with ethnic element so they refer to slaps but also crusaders he named to inspire how you can sleep when your brothers or sisters are terrorized do something there react so there were some reaction that okay other countries receives video messages macedonia receives facebook but also this shows that behind these messages we have radical individuals that are willing to do something so this is particular case my colleagues from kosovo very familiar this case showed that republic of macedonia and the region started to live with the terrorism threat Becky Medina from Macedonia and lovely mocha Jerry the experts in diversion in explosives in strategy making feed annie during his contacts with his friends he announced that there is a plan to attack civilians regardless of their religious origin so to kill as much possible civilians whether they are Christians or Muslims the attacks disposed to be in Skopje Macedonia and Christina Kosovo saw the Capitals and after the announcement of the Kosovo police there was a restaurants in the battle at lake where there is a waters provide water supply for for some towns there are information that also poison is found in argumentation what amount of the poison is necessary to conduct such attack but anyway we have willingness to conduct such attacks so dimensioned baking feed an enlarger mukha cheering as well the message this is the example of the message of the Kosovo police there was they were circulated among all the police stations alarming about the threat and provide some countermeasures so this case also shows the importance we need to cooperate in terms of intelligence sharing among the countries and among the services because we face the same threat we must cooperate and share information so as you can see soft target civilians also maybe Teixeira which from Bosnia in his video he also announced let’s kill civilians let’s boys on their water and food when we speak about the terrorist threat in the Balkans we must consider the context referring to the Balkans we used to say that it’s a powder keg ready to explode in any moment considering the experience from the past wars conflicts but unfortunately Balkans is still not a stable region in every country there are still present ethnic religious political social tensions that will be easily

exploited extremists for example when this picture in Bosnia appeared with the Islamic state flag immediately you Jeff reactions from the Serbian community and Republic of Srpska as a threat to the Serbian community in terms of the direc Missa tee also if you have a graffiti in detinue monastery in kosovo you immediately have reaction from the serbian minority so that shows the fragility of the of the load of the region the example with the football game serbian benya at the fact with the drone and the chain reactions also showing how sensitive data problems still are in Macedonia we have several incidents involving both ethnic and religious element so you should bear in mind that in balance we have overlapping identities religious and ethnic so it’s very easily religious to move into that ethnic enters from ethnic conflict into religious and opposite so when macedonians want to insult Albanians they refer to the Orthodox religion when L minus 1 to 2 to protect their identity they are calling to the their religion so there is a warning that Islamic state could easily exploit this situation as I said we had many incidents in the in the past years in Macedonia involving the religious element recently we have a reaction of the macedonians not to build a mosque in a town in eastern Macedonia so after the protest there was a tack of a message it so can you imagine this picture to be perceived in some radicals how they will respond on that so what was the response to the foreign fighters phenomenon and to the threat as I said since the countries of the region share the same problem the first response of them was to change the laws and to make participation in foreign conflicts army punishable so Macedonia accepted the changes in a criminal thought in the last chamber as you can see they aim to punish organizers drainage specific participants and also foreign fighters in various formations also they target the financial aspects and this is my favorite all those who try to send radicalization messages in Kosovo deja flexfit cialis a special law so no changes in the existing law but like a special law but other Balkan countries also involves some changes and that was perceived as a precondition for the police actions but for but in coastal there are several police actions without this loss to be adopted so the existing law basis could be will be used because in every criminal code you have provoking religious and ethical hate and that will be also used but before to press this button of the justice we need evidence so this is new experience to the judiciary system a new practice so public prosecutor still doesn’t know how to act there are different arguments to be accepted as evidence for example if they found pictures in the cell phone in other men they could not be used they could be your private cell phone so in different countries there are different practice so as I said that was precondition for the police action el donya was the first country in March last year kosovo in august last year and in September in Bosnia in September last year in February this year also in May so we missed Macedonian to the club and it was turned to Macedonia to do the action so the main target was the recruiter the ideology regimen machine the two mosques which were outside official Islamic community places of gathering Islamic humanitarian organization internet cafe but according to me destruction was not fully successful because okay reg permission was arrested but still many people are at large and as I said we were afraid that’s why maybe we were late with the action not to provoke ethnic reactions but in that in that way media media reported the case of Stefan as Macedonian who also is a foreign fighter there are also Turks other ethnic groups so which showed that Macedonia stay united against terrorism and extremism so let’s make a overview about the countermeasures positive and negative aspects for one site we have fear and conspiracy but they are also now aware and afraid of the government measures and they keep

a low profile but in the same time they feel anger and may trade to the authorities because of the changes of loss and police actions we have now may be loaded equalization and recruitment a level but because they need to hide an escape from the services but from the other side that became a problem services to monitor their activities changes in the loss means that we have finally a legal mechanism to counter this phenomenon but is still a problem how to obtain evidence and how this evidence could be accepted by public prosecutors and in front of the courts then thank countermeasures provoked a dilemma for potential fighters whether to stay and face the sanctions or whether to live in some countries the representative effect in other countries they forced them to live actually they start to fill the pressure from the services and decided to leave for Syria they cannot stand the depression in the same time there is another pressure in Syria too because of the intervention campaign by United States recently France Arab countries to as a part of the coalition Arab troops asset troops are also on offensive besides that some of them I’ll already disappointed they wanted to live and we have a man from Albania he was killed by islamic state just because he wanted to live so on one way or another the paradise called caliphate will be could disappeared whether on ground or in their minds so what to do if they return in their domicile countries they will face justice at this moment there is no exist strategy alternative in terms of some kind of amnesty or a program since there is a consensus that they could face justice and as we witness Islamic state defeated on ground this dilemma will be more and more actual so concluding on the counter measures I will quote a statement but by Arrieta heater from Kosovo whose brother Blaine in Quetta was the first suicide blonde bomber in the media she said she didn’t buy him a ticket to Syria but he took him to places where they said it was a good idea he recruiters places or gatherings lectures and third jihad is a good idea Dade ology so far for my presentation I didn’t see measures which are aimed at ideology most of the measures were aimed at recruiters faciliate errs places but what about the ideology what about jihad is a good idea I saw a picture recently a Paragon the Paris attacks the picture was don’t pray for Paris fight that hateful religiously dulwich so this is my proposal how to fight the adaalat use it the the the program of al-qaeda 39 principles of holy war by mohamed bin ahmed al saleh so just do the opposite preparing to norwich intimate of jihad preventing the might of jihad praising the Mujahideen condemning the Mujahideen encouraging the Mujahideen discouraging the Mujahideen so you just do the opposite of Dale program of their strategy so this strategy is aimed at the youth to contaminate their mind and indoctrinate them at the most early stages of their life these are the real pictures of young children from Bosnia and Kosovo which are currently in Syria these children already have their childhood destroy it and this could and shoot away cos do you think that in our countries there is some kind of strategy measures how to deal with these children I don’t think so so religious community their silence is not an option all these past years they remain silent because this was besides this was their religious problem and religion was misused this is some we have rare statements of the Balkan religious leaders this is the statement of the Macedonian leader Suleiman offender a GP and you can see small but strong messages how counter narration there is no Shaheed Islamic states a terrorist organization and if jihad is when you fight for your fat Earl and Macedonia the second example is the reaction of the Islamic community in the aftermath of the Macedonian police action so it’s very good when you have Islamic community supporting the such kind of police action and you can see very strong messages we have no compromise regarding violence we will always treat this as pestilence we want legal state to work on eliminating extremism and violence all international bodies to see slamming community as a real ally in this urgent matter so we need more and more such statements and we have a project within the Islamic community unfortunately it didn’t realize a

promoted last December very well a project but you can see they have provided various actions to counter the ideology to provide help to the families to provide help enter alternative to the fighters they search help from the international factor for example here they present the project to the French and Israeli ambassador and I like this sentence into the project this project to contribute to peace in the country the region in the world so even such kind of project in one country can put promote and contribute to the peace in in in the world this is an example I pick up from Bosnia an example how the representatives of the Islamic community could fight extremism by their own on the local level so the image a feeding back began which engage in a debate on social media but unfortunately he didn’t succeed he was attacked by the extremists also he was supported by local citizens which is also a good example of the engagement of the local community in Kosovo we also have a local hero in the name of the email moose liver banning hygienic he was also attacked several times from the extremists because he spoke against extremism and there was I despite whether there is a problem of this there is debate whether this is a problem of the state or to the religious community Macedonian religious community asked the minister of interior to to intervene in the cyst mosques but they didn’t agree who the problem is I will say this is our common problem they’re all the family so so far we have different situations at the beginning the parents didn’t speak against their children in some occasions when they died they were set but stated in the middle that their sons died believing in what they were doing in other cases like the family of glaring heta they openly spoke about the radicalization process and openly blamed radical Imams in Macedonia in the case of the little girl from kumon away I mentioned which left from Syria her father spoke to the police but not to the public opposite the parents of busy Gerasim obscure Macedonian origin girl recruited in Belgium they spoke in public about how their daughter daughter got radicalized so the families on the front lines was called the tech change in behavior inform the police about the suspicious activities and be witness witness Edwards in spread their story in order to alarm other parents and show the problem so this is the example in Bosnia where the father of the diet foreign fighters spoke how his son was radicalized and he also became a witness in fourth of the court cases against this radical Imam who has been recently sentenced for seven years in prison several days ago for in segment recruitment and organizing travels to Syria I didn’t include example of the NGO because unfortunately no such example of the role of the NGO in our region the media could also save their part of the fight so these are the three utiful examples the first one is from possible the voltage website which was recently launched by AE mom Beck image-sharing into this website he tries to explain about the religious ideological issues and he published various activities this phenomenon conferences other topics but also sports for example the second example is from also Kosovo I use many examples from coastal because Kosovo is real an example how to fight extremism the second example is the investigative journalism of the Gazzetta express in the past several years this newspaper published a lot of stories a lot of investigative journalism about the spreading of the of the radicalism and he also received threats and also we have examples of threats against journalists in Albania also and in Bosnia so that is proof that they’re doing a good job and the third is to the headlines so with specific headlines they could discourage to go to to Syria similarly with the two girls in Bosnia background in out from Austria that went recruited so no Nutella no happiness just fear and sorrow and disappointment here also I read a news about cuddle from airbill Iraq hehe as a refugee he went to to Germany and he was disappointed he said I expected Europe to be in different way I’m going back to Iraq it’s better to live there so also you can apply in different in different

situations it’s also it’s good to work the media with the police also maybe Marshall Center to organize some training for the media how properly to to understand this problem so the most important according to the me the religious tolerance and dialogue so after the recent attacks in Paris President Obama spoke about values which were attacked so these are our values because the ideology of Islam each state is indeed against the civilization values so we shall promote them in a multi religious and multi-ethnic societies such as Macedonia and this is very important also in dub for the internal stability and to prevent radicalization cooperation with that among the religious leaders is crucial we shall admit that we lack cooperation and more often there are more disposed than corporation but when they sit together is much easier much different and they sent messages to the followers celebrating religious holidays together is another way to split a message of tolerance and unity this is a form of example of the city of roommates in Macedonia they made iftar when people of different religion could sit together also Macedonian government organizes iftar during Ramadan and we have also a good example in Macedonia in the city of Tabor which is multi-ethnic downtown an example of Tolerance where the long tradition of the multi and Orthodox priests they celebrate the both holidays together and these stories is under all the media so we have only very rare examples but we should promote and spread them the next example is from the propaganda video which is called the teen mid the 10-meter separated a day for a joint prayer and this shows the prayer among the Christians and Muslims in Macedonia because we live so close and this this propaganda video one at animal a lion awarded the canvas cloth also we have ward conference of tolerance and peace ok so we should put these religious leaders together to fight extremism and such examples we should promote them properly in Boston we have example of of the Ray who’s in karate which congratulation s turn in Kosovo also in other countries so the problem will remain we need to acknowledge and face it terrorism threat is growing strength countermeasures legal measures are not sufficient because the addala G is the problem evidence at the prosecutor court we need constant learning constant improvement it’s a regular problem and we need to cooperate also there was idea to of cooperation of the Islamic communities in the region it’s a complex problem and we need a comprehensive strategy unfortunately in Macedonia we still write the strategy in Kosovo I think we still learn how to deal with this problem further recruitment we need to prevent them and return this we need to provide the radicalization but these ideas will remain anyway we need to fight them so this is the Battle of our generation and we should not leave this to other generations as we could see we still lack ideas strategies proper actions how to deal with this problem foreign fighter phenomenon related to see restarted in 2012 and the region after the three years we still lack solutions all of us here professionals in this whole beard responsibility to deal with this problem yesterday we remember the great Nick Pratt so on behalf of his legacy on the health of our future and the future of our future generations I will just say let’s act so thank you for your attention