Assessing Islamic terrorism in the Western Balkans: the state of the debate
Journal of Balkan & Near Eastern Studies
During the 1990s foreign mujahedin fighters espousing an extreme Islamic ideology fought on Balkan soil. The extent and consequences of their presence in the Western Balkans constitute a controversial issue that has often been subject to partisan manipulations in the service of national political agendas or the protection of personal political legacies. Given the post-9/11 international sensitivities and policy priorities, distortions, exaggerations and stereotyping are tempting ‘weapons’ in an effort to re-interpret the past and thus delineate the parameters of the region’s political future. Significantly, a series of recent serious scholarly efforts have addressed the manifestations of Balkan Islamic fundamentalism in a region that contains 7 –8 million Muslims and in one case, alarmingly, proclaimed The Coming Balkan Caliphate.