Official Dutch report says that Pentagon broke UN embargo
US intelligence agencies secretly broke a UN arms embargo during the 1991-1995 war in Croatia by channelling arms through Islamist jihad groups that Washington is now hunting down across Europe and Asia, according to evidence from the Netherlands. The evidence surfaced in a hitherto unnoticed section of the official Dutch report into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre that led to the fall of the Dutch government and the resignation last week of its army chief.
The Dutch report reveals how the Pentagon formed a secret alliance with Islamist groups in an Iran-Contra-style operation.
US, Turkish and Iranian intelligence groups worked with the Islamists in what the Dutch report calls the "Croatian pipeline". Arms bought by Iran and Turkey and financed by Saudi Arabia were flown into Croatia initially by the official Iranian airline, Iran Air, and later in a fleet of black C-130 Hercules aircraft.
The report says that mojahedin fighters were also flown in, and that the US was "very closely involved" in the operation which was in flagrant breach of the embargo. British secret services obtained documents proving that Iran also arranged deliveries of arms directly to Bosnia, it says.
The operation was promoted by the Pentagon, rather than the CIA, which was cautious about using Islamist groups as a conduit for arms, and about breaching the embargo. When the CIA tried to place its own people on the ground in Bosnia, the agents were threatened by the mojahedin fighters and the Iranians who were training them.
The UN relied on American intelligence to monitor the embargo, a dependency which allowed Washington to manipulate it at will.
Last month, the US seized a number of Muslims in Bosnia whom it claimed had links with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network. They were arrested in defiance of the Bosnian courts.
The contents of the section of the Dutch report entitled Intelligence and the War in Bosnia, 1992-1995, are revealed in an article in today's Guardian by Richard Aldrich, professor of politics at the university of Nottingham and a leading expert on intelligence operations.
He also reveals that the secret services of Ukraine, Greece and Israel were busy arming the Bosnian Serbs. Mossad, Israel's secret service, was particularly active, concluding a substantial arms deal with the Bosnian Serbs at Pale in return for the safe passage of the Jewish population of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, Prof Aldrich says.
"Subsequently, the remaining population who could not escape was perplexed to find that unexploded mortar bombs landing in Sarajevo sometimes had markings in Hebrew," he writes.
Both the UN and the Dutch government distanced themselves from the secret services, depriving them of a crucial tool during the peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.
The operation also raises the increasingly urgent issue of how to monitor intelligence agencies, Prof Aldrich says.
"While oversight and accountability is developing on a national basis, this is not remotely matched by international cooperation [between the agencies]."
Copyright © Richard Norton-Taylor 2002. Reprinted for fair use only
The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/NOR204A.html
CRG's Global Outlook, premiere issue on "Stop the War" provides detailed documentation on the war and the "Post- September 11 Crisis."
Order/subscribe. Consult Table of Contents