Witness Tells Bosnian Court How ‘Islamic State’ Grew from al-Qaida

15. June 2020.11:38
Prosecution witness Mario Janecek of the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina told the trial of Jasmin Keserovic at the state court how Jasmin Keserovic, who is accused of fighting in Syria as a member of a terrorist organisation, was identified.

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Jasmin Keserovic. Izvor: Sud BiH
Jasmin Keserovic. Photo: State court 

Mario Janecek said that so-called Islamic State developed as a dissident group of al-Qaida.

He said that the UN declared Islamic State a terrorist organisation on May 30, 2013. From then on, all UN member countries have been obliged to apply restrictive measures towards Islamic State and bring its members to justice.

Keserovic’s defence lawyer Senad Dupovac told the court that the defendant left for Syria in January 2013 during the ‘Arab spring’, and at that time Islamic State had still not been declared a terrorist organisation.

Janecek said he did not fully agree with the thesis that it meant that Keserovic had not gone there to join a terrorist organisation.

“It is clear for the United Nations that all terrorist organisations emerged from al-Qaida, which was recognised [as a terrorist organisation] about 20 years ago. Islamic State was recognised in 2013. It does not mean it had not existed before, but it had been considered a part of al-Qaida,” the witness said.

He agreed with the defence that there were conflicts between al-Qaida and Islamic State.

“Even al-Qaida renounced it. They said it was too cruel,” Janecek said.

He agreed that there were other militant groups as well as Islamic State, but he said he was not involved in operational work so he did not know whether someone had gone to Syria to carry out other activities and not only to fight.

Keserovic is charged with having gone to Syria in January 2013 and participated, as a member of so-called Islamic State, in terrorist activities. He has also been accused of publicly inciting terrorist activities.

The date of the next hearing will be set at a later stage.

Marija Taušan

This post is also available in: Bosnian