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Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al Sawah, who has been extradited to Bosnia and Herzegovina after having spent 13 years in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba, is the biggest source of terrorist threat to Europe, especially to the Western Balkans, says counterterrorism expert Dzevad Galijasevic.“The statement by the BiH Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak that Al Sawah is not a security threat is just nonsense coming from an ill-informed person and an obvious example of helping terrorists and ingratiating with their patrons in Sarajevo. It is shameful that Crnadak is minimising the terrorist threat that only deserves contempt and calls for his replacement,” said Galijasevic.
The personal file of Al Sawah that was opened at Guantanamo in 2008, which Srna got hold of, reads that he was born November 2, 1957 in Alexandria, Egypt to father Mahmoud and mother Semawat, nee Halil.
His personal identification number is 0211957190058. He was entered in the Zenica registry of births on March 15, 1996 under the number 1.100 on the basis of the decision of the Zenica Security Services Centre No. 21-07 / 200-1483 dated March 13 1996.
The personal file kept at Guantanamo reads that Al Sawah was transferred to the prison on November 16, 2007.
At the beginning of his time there, he was very aggressive to the guards, staff, and even other prisoners, and became more cooperative in the last four years of his time in the prison. He admitted that he had been part of Al Qaida’s leadership and that his role was to provide special training to the terrorist group members in making special kinds of explosives and planting them in daily used objects, and also making explosives for suicide bombers.
He taught several hundred members of Al Qaida how to install and use explosives in shoes, vests, watches, ball-point pens, footballs, TV sets and different other devices.
He took part in preparing explosives for the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11, 2001.
He was head of the infamous Ebu Ubeyd camp that trained Al Qaida terrorist to carry out terrorist operations on transoceanic flights and in air, road and maritime traffic. He received a commendation for the camp activities from Osama bin Laden himself.
He had admitted that, being part of Al Qaida, he developed specialised improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to be used against US military forces and civilians.
The US intelligence services found that during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Al Sawah fought on the side of the Army of BiH 3rd Corps and went by the pseudonym Al Layth, that he was unrelenting and brave.
After the Bosnian war, he worked as an accountant at El Karama, a firm owned by Abu Mali, the commander of the El Mujahid squad.
When it comes to the Guantanamo prisoner and his return to BiH, Galijasevic points out for Srna the frightening conclusion by US investigators about Al Sawah’s role in shedding light on many terrorist groups and organisations – their organisation and command structure and the manner of carrying out terrorist actions.
“Investigators have found that Al Sawah is an extremely intelligent and experienced terrorist and that he has become their collaborator. It is specifically important to note that the US Military Intelligence Service investigators are certain that Al Sawah will continue to work with terrorist groups and resume all his former activities, and that he will notify them of such actions, and that he might prove useful,” Galijasevic said.
According to the counterterrorism expert, the way in which Igor Crnadak qualified the person who had received such assessments from the US services as a person who “does not pose a threat” damages the security of Bosnia and the entire European Union and marks the continuation of the “crazy policy against the terrorist threat carried out by Bakir Izetbegovic with the help of his sycophants from Republika Srpska, Dragan Mektic and Perica Stanic, as well as some other individuals working for the joint BiH institutions.”