Aimen Dean is a founder member of al-Qaeda, who changed tack in 1998 and became a spy for Britain’s security and intelligence services, MI5 and MI6. He spoke to the BBC: By the end of the Bosnian conflict I started to notice something else within my comrades. Those who survived started to adopt a rather more anti-Western, anti-globalisation feeling that the global community were conspiring against the Muslims in Bosnia because they were turning the tide of the war in their favour – so they wanted to end the war there and then before they score any more victories.
At least that’s the perception. And with that perception, I think they started to feel that the West is fighting Islam as a religion… and that led to further radicalisation that made it easy for them to make the transformation from being mujahideen into being jihad operatives.
Bosnia was a school in which many talented leaders of al-Qaeda were born. Khalid Sheikh Mohamed [accused of being the architect of the 9/11 attacks] was one of those people who were in Bosnia.
The impression I had at that time, was that he was there in Bosnia in order to spot talent, let’s put it this way, in order to you know scout for talents who will be useful for the later struggle.
I remember that one of the things he said, and it was in a wedding where we were seated next to each other basically, and one of the things he said, he said, “Well, the Bosnian war seems to be ending here, that you know the end is in sight but what will happen after the war? The question is are we going to roam the globe from one hopeless battle to another trying to save a Muslim population until someone else, and then someone else come and reap the reward?”
In other words, there will be a government that is secular and doesn’t rule by the rules of Sharia. He says that this cycle need to end and that we have to think about another front where we can serve Islam and basically resurrect the spirit of jihad within the Muslim world. I think that little speech was the first indication that things are moving from jihad being an instrument to defend Muslim populations on the frontiers to an instrument to bring down regimes and to fight a terror war… against the US interests in the region. [Continue reading…]