ISLAMIC BALKAN CENTER – IBC
Zenica, 70 km northwest of Sarajevo in the Center of Bosnia and on the front line Between Muslims and Serbs was the region where thousands of Muslim volunteers where organized under an Arab volunteers Battalion and later as the 7 Mujahideen Brigade in the 3ird Bosnian Corp.
Already in 1993, in the middle of the Balkan war, a group of wealthy Kuwaitis, organized by the Kuwaiti citizen Fouad al-Rabiah, a future Guantanamo inmate, donated money to build and run an Islamic center in Zenica known as the “Islamic Balkan Center” –IBC. Soon the Islamic Balkan Center coordinated between the many Islamic charities operating in Bosnia. Adnan Pezo headed the “Active Islamic Youth” – AIY affiliated to the “Islamic Balkan Center” –IBC.
The center was headed by Abdullah Duhayman, a Saudi citizen and one of the main contacts and financiers of Ekrem Avdiu of Kosovska Mitrovica, a veteran of the Bosnian war and the founder of UCK’s mujahid’din unit “Abu Bakr Sadeq”. Some of IBC employees, such as Bensayah Belkacem, were suspected members of Al Qaeda.
After the Balkan war ended in 1996, the leader of the Arab volunteers Abdelkader Mokhtari, also known as Abu Maali, turned Zenica area, up to 1998, to an ungoverned area, actually a Radical Islamic enclave inside Bosnia (see also – Imad al-Hussein).
In 09/2001, following The 9/11, NATO peacekeepers in Bosnia raided the Sarajevo offices of the Saudi High Commission for Aid to Bosnia, which was behind the “Islamic Balkan Center” –IBC. NATO discovered a cache of Islamic terrorist-related material at the offices of one of Saudi Arabia’s leading aid agencies with links to the royal family (see also – Yassin al-Qadi).
The U.S. Department of Treasury discovered in 10/2002 that several charities operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) direct their funds to terrorist activities, specifically noting: Benevolence International Foundation -BIF-; Global Relief Foundation – GRF, cofounded by Rabih Haddad, and the Bosnian branch of the Al-Haramain Foundation– AHF (see -Pete Seda).