United States Department of State
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Serbia and Montenegro
In June, a Serbian police officer arrested 22-year-old Moroccan Abdelmajid Bouchar while he was traveling by train in Serbia on a false Iraqi passport. In September, Bouchar was extradited to Spain. The Spanish Government had sought Bouchar, a member of al-Qaida, for his suspected role in the 2004 Madrid train bombings.
Serbia and Montenegro created a new directorate, which is still being organized, to coordinate counterterrorism policies and assistance. The Ministry of Defense’s 2005 strategy highlighted the global war on terror as one of the new fundamental organizing principles for the revamped Serbian and Montenegrin armed forces.
The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) continued to administer Kosovo pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1244. UNMIK's Central Intelligence Unit (CIU) continued to monitor suspected terrorist activity in Kosovo. UNMIK and the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) monitored individuals entering Kosovo at official points of entry. This regulation, in force since July 1, required persons who were not employed by an international organization to register with the KPS' Office of Foreign Registration upon entering Kosovo.
UNMIK police froze the assets of 34 individuals and groups on suspicion of links to terrorist activity. Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG), in cooperation with UNMIK, increased monitoring of 11 foreign NGOs suspected of extremism and issued regulations restricting their activities, including the appropriation of one mosque. It also required each NGO to submit documentation that explains its projects and shows its bank accounts. The Kosovo Islamic Community (KIC) evaluated foreign NGOs and prohibited them from using public facilities for gatherings if their views were found to be extremist.
In March, the KPS established an organized crime and terrorist unit, composed of 12 foreign police officers and three KPS officers. UNMIK initiated an ongoing Internal Security Sector Review (ISSR) that recognized Kosovo’s need to increase its internal capacity to prevent such future strategic threats as terrorism, inter-ethnic extremism, organized crime, and corruption.
Despite these advances, Kosovo's counterterrorism efforts were hampered by porous boundary lines easily crossed by individuals trafficking in people or goods. An insufficient number of KPS border officials limited the ability to monitor wide expanses of mountainous terrain between crossing points. Underpaid border and customs officials were often easily corrupted.
Domestic extremist groups or individuals continued to commit inter-ethnic violence and violence against UNMIK employees and property. Between March and December, there were approximately 18 attacks on public or UN facilities, such as explosive devices damaging vehicles, shots fired at UNMIK vehicles, and grenades or Molotov cocktails thrown near UN vehicles or UNMIK headquarters. There were no fatalities, although approximately five persons were injured as a result of these attacks.