A group of radical Islamists arrested in Sarajevo last week “planned to carry out a deadly attack in the capital Sarajevo.”
This was announced by State Prosecutor Dubravko Campara on Friday. He specified that the attack was planned for New Year’s Eve, December 31.
The Prosecution of Bosnia-Herzegovina on Thursday asked that eight of the 11 men arrested during the December 22 operation be held for one month. The Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina accepted this proposal on Friday.
Explaining the demand to extend the detention, Campara for the first time confirmed there had been information that the group planned “a bombing terrorist attack aimed at killing more than a hundred persons.”
The suspects allegedly planned to plant an explosive device under a police car in one of the locations where a large number of people gathered. But investigators are yet to find the explosive that would be needed for this – another reason, the prosecution said, why the group should be held in prison, as they might otherwise “destroy the evidence.”
The suspects’ lawyers, however, described the prosecution’s claims as “absurd” and said their clients should be released, “as there is no evidence to confirm the commission of a crime.”
The suspects named as members of the organized terrorist group, “close to Islamic State,” include: Elvir Muratovic, Kemal Muric, Semir Salkovic, Zulfo Alajbegovic, Edin Tabakovic, Darko Peco, Elvir Masic, and Adis Kesan. They will be held for at least another month.
The crimes they have been accused of carry the penalty of least ten years in prison, Bosnian media have said.