A sort of follow-up to the related story of Syrian “rebels” learning from the “former” KLA that we put in charge of Kosovo — and put in touch with the Syrians. And so one supposes that to U.S. officialdom, the below developments are nothing alarming. Wonderful news, in fact. After all, we organized the Syrian-Albanian note-sharing on how to win an insurgency and have an unfree “liberated” country afterwards.
Comment from American Council for Kosovo director Jim Jatras, who circulated the item below:
“Albanian Islamists”?? What? There’s no such thing!
Shouldn’t that be, “Secular, Democratic, Pro-American Kosovo Albanians Paradoxically Join Jihadists in Syria”?
Funny how US support for political and military empowerment of secular, democratic, pro-American (etc., etc.) Muslims always seems to morph into more jihadists.
Albanian Islamists Join Syrian War
Ethnic Albanians are getting more and more involved in the Syrian war as they join Syrian Islamist groups, writes Mohammad al-Arnaout. (Al-Hayat, Apr. 29)
In recent months, the “Albanian world,” which consists of five contiguous states (Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro), has been increasingly interested in what is happening in Syria and the controversy over whether Albanians should go fight there.
This coincided with the growth of political Islam, which in the past few weeks expressed itself in an unprecedented way with the emergence of Kosovo’s first officially registered Islamist political party: the Islamic Movement to Unite (LISBA). [Didn’t see that coming!] It is headed by Arsim Krasniqi and supported by Sheikh Shaukat Krasniqi and a former Yugoslavian army officer, Fuad Ramiqi [who is al Qaeda-connected]. The latter made no secret of his goal to change Kosovo’s secular constitution in order to “defend the Islamic identity of Kosovo’s Albanians, who make up 95% of the population.”
[Digital Journal on March 6th reported that the party — Levizja Islamike Bashkohu — is actually “the first fundamentalist Islamist political party in the Balkans.” That is, the American-sponsored, “secular”, “nominally Muslim” Kosovo which we’re still feverishly trying to prop up as a fully-fledged state that is Muslim and pro-U.S., has the distinction — a decade-and-a-half after our “help” — of housing the region’s first official Islamist party. Digital Journal quoted a Weekly Standard article by Stephen “Suleyman” Schwartz — Muslim Kosovo’s biggest advocate and war proponent — now “warning” that “‘exponents of Saudi-financed Wahhabism and of the Muslim Brotherhood have penetrated the highest levels of the official Kosovo Islamic apparatus,’ though they are not readily welcomed by the secular population…Kosovans struggling in poverty have been paid (by Gulf-sponsored charities) to the wear the hijab or grow beards…” What was expected to happen after NATO handed Kosovo to ‘Kosovans’?]
There has long been behind-the-scenes talk that young Albanians, influenced by political Islam’s rise in Syria, are participating in the fighting there among the ranks of Islamist groups (Jabhat al-Nusra and others). [Hmm, young, Albanians. Surely they don’t see parallels in Syria to their own “no religious component” struggle in 1998-99 Kosovo?] When news emerged in November 2012 that the first Albanian martyr, Naaman Damoli, had fallen in Syria, the Kosovar newspaper Koha Ditore brought that issue to light in its Nov. 12, 2012, issue.