Mektic Attacks Bosnian Prosecution in Croatian ‘Plot’ Row

Security Minister Dragan Mektic said the country's state prosecution was unfit to probe his claims that Croatian intelligence tried to portray Bosnia as a terrorist hub by smuggling weapons into village mosques.

Dragan Mektic, Bosnian Security Minister Photo courtesy of N1

Bosnia’s Security Minister on Friday accused the state prosecution of being unfit to probe allegations that Croatian intelligence tried to smuggle weapons into mosques that police would later discover in order to discredit the country as a terrorist hub.

Dragan Mektic confirmed all the allegations to the state prosecution regarding the alleged plot but said he had no confidence in the prosecution to verify them.

“The security sector has no confidence in this prosecution and its chief prosecutor. In the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia, they have to know this and consider it,” Mektic told regional TV station N1.

Mektic claimed that Croatia’s secret service tried to manipulate a police operation that would result in the discovery of weapons hidden in Bosnian villages inhabited by members of the ultra-conservative Wahhabi movement.

This would then confirm claims made by Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic in 2016 that there were 10,000 terrorists in Bosnia, and that country was a security threat.

A strict form of Sunni Islam, the Wahhabi movement first appeared in Bosnia in the early 1990s, as war was breaking out in the former Yugoslav republic.

Wahhabis claim they want to restore a pure form of Islam through practising a strict, ultra-conservative interpretation of their faith.

Tomo Medved, Croatia’s War Veterans’ Minister, on Friday called the allegations irresponsible and unfounded. He asked why Mektic did not address issues such as a rally by uniformed Serb nationalists in the eastern town of Visegrad.

“We must repeat that these theses are very dangerous, completely unfounded, irresponsible and without any basis. Ultimately, Mektic will have to elaborate or explain his thread,” Medved told the Croatian news agency HINA.

Two members of the three-member state presidency of Bosnia have condemned the claims, if true, while one declined to comment.

Safik Dzaferovic, the Bosniak member of the presidency, and Zeljko Komsic, the Croat member, said the claims could have serious implications, if confirmed.

“If what the media reported is true, then this is a very grave issue that will require a reaction from Bosnia,” Dzaferovic said.

But Milorad Dodik, the Serbian chair of the presidency declined to comment.

Mektic is a senior official of the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, the main opposition party in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska, where Dodik used to be president.

The Croatian President has also not commented on the allegations.

Reports of the alleged Croatian Plot to discredit Bosnia emerged after the website on Wednesday accused Croatia’s intelligence service of recruiting Bosnian citizens to smuggle arms into Wahhabi villages.

Citing anonymous sources, and not backing up its claims with any documents, the website claimed the goal was to reveal the villages in Zenica Doboj Canton, in the country’s Federation entity, as terrorist hubs.

Croatian officials and its intelligence service have dismissed the claims, as BIRN has previously reported.

Mladen Lakic