The 21st Century Phenomenon



Anwar  Shaaban was a senior leader of the EGYPTIAN Jamaa Islamiya, a close friend of Talaat Fouad Qassem, and had been in regular contact with Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, Al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman Al Zawahiri and other high-ranking Islamic militants.  Anwar  Shaaban was a veteran who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan and had obtained political asylum in Italy in 1991. In Italy Anwar  Shaaban founded and ran the Islamic Cultural Center in Milan (see – Houssaine Kherchtou). The center was financed by wealthy donors from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates (see – Golden Chain ).

When the civil war breached out in Former Yugoslavia in mid 1991,  according to documents obtained by ISN Security Watch from Bosnian military and civilian intelligence and reports from Western intelligence agencies, Anwar  Shaaban was in charge of recruiting, financing and transporting fighters and weapons to Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Shaaban’s group in Bosnia called itself “El-Mujahid” (the Holy Warrior). He was recognized as the Amir (commander-Commissioner) of El-Mujahid although the acting commander was Abdelkader Mokhtari, “El-Mujahid” battalion became later the 7 Mujahideen Brigade in the Bosnian army. 

CIA report also alleged that Anwar Shaaban ran a training camp some 50 kilometers outside of Milan where fighters heading to Bosnia. In 02/1995 Anwar  Shaaban had obtained Bosnian citizenship in 02/1995. 

On 07/09/2005, in a mission codenamed “Operation Sphinx” Italian anti-terror police arrested 11 suspected members of the EGYPTIAN Jamaa Islamiya and carried out formal searches of 72 addresses across northern Italy, including Milan (see – Milan Swoop ).

Inside the Milan Islamic Cultural Center and the Mosque police found dozens of combat reports from El-Mujahid unit in Bosnia along with combat video footage recorded by El-Mujahid members while fighting.

Anwar  Shaaban’s career ended, on 12/14/1995, the same day the peace accord was signed ending the Bosnian war, Anwar  Shaaban was killed at a Bosnian Croat road block. Everyone in the convoy of El-Mujahid commanders – including Emir Abdul-Harith al-Liby aka Abu Haris, sheik Anwar  Shaaban and three others high-ranking officials – were killed by Croatian Special Forces.


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