Serbia Charges Alleged Isis Funders and Recruiters

October 7, 2014
Serbia's prosecution for organised crime has charged five men with recruiting fighters for the extreme Islamist cause in Syria and organising their transport to the war zone.

Abid Podbicanin, Sead Plojovic, Tefik Mujovic and Izudin Crnovršanin, all from Novi Pazar, and Ferat Kasumovic, from Belgrade, are accused of recruiting men to fight for the Sunni terrorist organisation Islamic State, or Isis.

According to the prosecution, the men, all aged between 30 and 35, recruited people from Serbia and other countries for the war in Syria and organised their travel from Europe to training camps in the war-torn country.

While three of the men have been in custody since March, Podbicanin and Mujovic remain at large and may be tried in absentia.

The prosecution maintains that Podbicanin and Mujovic made contact with Isis in early 2013 and then, along with the others, started raising funds from Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Austria, Germany and Luxembourg, in order to recruit fighters for Isis and finance their trips to training camps in Syria.

According to the prosecution, the accused used a mosque in Novi Pazar, southwest Serbia, to welcome new fighters and help them continue their journey to Syria. The town is in the mainly Muslim Sandzak region.

Mujovic awaited the new recruits in Istanbul and organised their transport from Turkey to Syria, while Podbicanin was in charge of awaiting them in Azaz, Syria, where he organised the reception, accommodation and military training of the newcomers.

The indictment further states that Podbicanin , Mujovic and Kasumovic also fought for Isis in Syria, while Podbicanin commanded an Isis unit.