Sunday, July 03, 2005

Kosovo leaders say blasts meant to block independence

By Shaban Buza

PRISTINA, Serbia and Montenegro (Reuters) - Three synchronised explosions in Kosovo's capital city were aimed at blocking the path to independence from Serbia, the province's ethnic Albanian president and prime minister said on Sunday.

The blasts rocked a triangle of central Pristina at 9.30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. British time) -- at the United Nations mission office, the headquarters of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Kosovo's parliament building.

No one was injured. But any violence could hurt Albanian hopes of a positive review by U.N. envoy Kai Eide, now beginning an assessment of whether Kosovo has achieved enough democratic stability since 1999 to begin negotiations on its future status.

"The aim of these dangerous acts is to destabilize our country. (They) came at time when positive assessment of the progress in Kosovo is expected, which will open the way for the recognition of independence," said President Ibrahim Rugova.

Police reopened the city centre on Sunday morning and three U.N. vehicles gutted by fire were removed for forensic analysis. A senior U.N. security source indicated at least one of the explosions was caused by a hand grenade.

Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi also linked the blasts to Eide's review process, expected to conclude by September.

"It seems there are forces that want to devalue the achievements that our institutions have made," he said. "But they cannot stop the path towards our goal."


Kosovo has seen a spate of bomb attacks and shootings, often aimed at U.N. property, since Kosumi's predecessor Ramush Haradinaj resigned in March and surrendered to the U.N. tribunal in The Hague to face charges of war crimes.

Kosovo Albanians view Haradinaj as a hero of the 1998-99 guerrilla insurgency which ended with Serb forces being driven from the province by three months of NATO bombing.

Analysts say the attacks are a taste of what could happen if the 90-percent Albanian majority is denied full independence.

The United Nations administrator of the province, Soren Jessen-Petersen, issued a statement saying such attacks "are not supported by the people of Kosovo".

"Violence will not divert us from our determination to support the (government) and citizens in their strong efforts to build a peaceful, democratic and multi-ethnic Kosovo," he said.

Western powers are said to be considering "conditional independence" for Kosovo under European Union supervision.

But they have already made clear Kosovo will not return to rule from Serbia and have vested the province with powers Serbia says should only be reserved for an independent state -- its own police force, customs service, currency and postal code.

"This is a really delicate time," a senior U.N. official who asked not to be named told Reuters. "Even among the extremists there's an understanding now is not the time to rock the boat."

Western diplomats say the most likely scenario for "status negotiations" is six to nine months of European-led shuttle diplomacy between Belgrade and Pristina.

Some elements within the Albanian majority say even this is conceding too much. They do not want Belgrade involved at all.


Anonymous said...

This form of Serb terrorism should be punished.

Anonymous said...

Most definitely an albanian did this just to try and get the world against the serbs again.

Chris Blaku said...

The Albanians are widely perceived to achieve independence you dimwit. Why would the Albanians screw up their own ambitions with a stupid bomb, it has the Serbian trademark all over it.

Anonymous said...

waske up and smell the coffee. We dont go around killing our own people. You guys are getting imaptient with the UN and are asking for someting you will not get, and that is independence. Deal with it!

Anonymous said...

>We dont go around killing our own people

Ehhh, actualy you do...last one was the prime minister, the one before that was Stambolic...ahhh but actualy you are right!

Serbs dont kill their own people, AS MUCH, as they rape and murder everything else.

Take my advice, go down to the store next door, get some ice cream, sit down relax, and start loving life, cause it's not our fault for all your misfortune, its actualy the train of thought you follow that makes you hate everything around. You see, we care, this is why we want independence. Once we have it, you will have it, and once you have it, you will start cleaning up the sceletons in your closet...

peace be with you fellow traveller...

Anonymous said...

Skeletons? Really, We are not the ones who have terrorist working for them such as the brother of Aq-Quida's second in command.

Peace be with you too.

Anonymous said...

Milosebiatch was Sadam's bed buddy.
Whatever a Serb fabricates for Albanians comes out as a lie when the USA talks about Kosovar the Albanians. Remember the bombed the Serbs for us.

Anonymous said...

so does that make Schroeder, and Chirac Sadams bed buddy too? Quite an orgy.

DOes it make half of the worlds population wrong when they disagreed with the Bombing?

Grow up and get a grip of reality.

The only way this works is by elimination the radicals on both sides, and quit with the preaching of inflamitory propoganda.

Milosevic will get his, but probably not at the Hague. DelPonte couldnt catch a cold, let alone convict him with the case she has put up.

Do some reading, other than a biased web-site, then form your own opinion, not the one you heard, from a friend, who heard it from a friend.....

Chris Blaku said...

Schroeder and Chirac are not bed-buddies with Saddam on the level that Milosevic was. Obviously, backdoor German, Russian and French oil deals with the Iraqi's during the International embargo raise eyebrows, yet were nowhere near the extent of the cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic.

Disagreeing with the bombing of Yugoslavia is an opinion, which cannot be deemed wrong or right. I highly doubt your assertion that "half the world's population disagreed with the bombing." Even so, a large portion of the world's population disagrees with such basic accepted principles such as the existence of the state of Israel, and the American War on Terror.

Albanian radicals operate on a tiny scale in comparison to the Serbian radicals. Milosevic's political party controls the majority of seats in Serbian Parliament, and radicals in Serbia continue to exert considerable influence in daily policy and decision making. The progressive government of Ibrahim Rugova, and the LDK, and it being elected in free and fair elections, is indicative of the Kosovar's will to dodge radical elements and nationalism, present more in the PDK and Thaci, who was a KLA commander.

I've done reading, but it is clear you haven't. And what is the nonsense about Al-Qaeda's second in command working for the Albanians. Who is this supposed individual? This is a website where your propaganda will be answered and investigated, so tread lightly.

Anonymous said...

First, India, Russia and China make up approximately half the Worlds Population and were against the Bombing.

Second, the KLA's director of elite services was Al Qaeda's top
operative in the Balkans, Mohammed al-Zawahiri, brother of Osama bin Laden's military chief of staff Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to Interpol and bin Laden's biographer Yossef Bodansky, director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.

There is your proof, do your research.

Research this: Recovered at an Afghanistan al Qaeda training camp was an Albanian Kosovar’s application reading, “I have Kosovo Liberation Army combat experience against Serb and American forces. ...I recommend (suicide) operations against (amusement) parks like Disney.”

Or this : The first Western leader to appear at the trial of Milosevic was Lord Paddy Ashdown, former head of England’s Liberal Democrat Party and current UN High Representative in Bosnia. Ashdown was also the first witness to admit that the KLA fighters were a terrorist organization which Yugoslavia was fighting.

Good Luck , apparently you have some more reading to do.

Chris Blaku said...

It seems you are the same poster that I answered in another blog. What you are saying is a clear-cut LIE. Interpol never made the claim that Mohammed al-Zawahiri was the "KLA's director of elite services," a sector of the KLA which was invented. As for Yossef Bodansky, he is informed and quite intelligent, yes. However, his books are plagued with lack of references, and his claims are hardly regarded as truth by decision makers and serious politicians. For instance, he also claimed to have intricate knowledge, in his book on Iraq, with regards to the locations of bunkers storing weapons of mass destruction, which have not been found. He also claimed that Saddam Hussein was in possession of these weapons but did not use them on American soldiers for one reason or another. Maybe Saddam was an American fan, because he sure didn't mind gassing the Kurds in 1985.

With regard to your first article on the Al-Qaeda training camp with the Albanian Kosovar's application, it appears that you are the one that has to do the reading, my ignorant friend. That story was written by Jack Kelley, the infamous USA Today reporter, and his story can be found here:

You may also read the subsequent USA Today article on Jack Kelley himself, which I have posted below for your ease of use.

Ex-USA TODAY reporter faked major stories
By Blake Morrison,USA TODAY

Seven weeks into an examination of former USA TODAY reporter Jack Kelley’s work, a team of journalists has found strong evidence that Kelley fabricated substantial portions of at least eight major stories, lifted nearly two dozen quotes or other material from competing publications, lied in speeches he gave for the newspaper and conspired to mislead those investigating his work.

From USA Today:

“As an institution, we failed our readers by not recognizing Jack Kelley’s problems. For that I apologize,” USA TODAY publisher Craig Moon said. “In the future, we will make certain that an environment is created in which abuses will never again occur.”

Here is Blake Morrison of USA Today, in a response to the aforementioned article you mention:

Terror camp visit likely concocted
By Blake Morrison, USA TODAY
A Nov. 26, 2001, story on terrorist training camps run by Osama bin Laden helped make Jack Kelley a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. But the story wasn't Kelley's work. Rather, he apparently cobbled it together, haphazardly at that, from stories in at least three other newspapers: the Times of London, The Guardian and The Washington Post.
Kelley also appears to have concocted the story's most explosive passage — a quote from what Kelley called an "entry application." Kelley wrote that the application came from a man named Damir Bajrami and suggested targeting Disney amusement parks. USA TODAY found no evidence besides Kelley's account that shows the application or the man is real.

In the story, Kelley purports to have visited two camps near the Afghan city of Jalalabad between Nov. 18 and Nov. 23, 2001. Both had been bombed by U.S. forces and deserted by bin Laden's followers in the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The camps exist, but USA TODAY found no evidence that Kelley visited them. To cross the border, Kelley would have needed a government pass issued by the Pakistan Home Secretary office in Peshawar. A file retrieved from Kelley's USA TODAY-issued computer shows he knew about the requirement.

Imtiaz Hussain, a researcher hired by USA TODAY in Peshawar, reviewed border-crossing passes from November 2001 and found no passes issued to Kelley.

The newspaper did, however, find evidence that shows Kelley lifted information from other publications and described items that either did not exist in the form he described them, or had been removed from the camp before he visited:

• At one camp in Darunta, Kelley wrote that he saw a document that, in reality, had been taken from the camp by another journalist days earlier. In his story, Kelley wrote that he found a "photocopy of a money transfer requesting that a London branch of Pakistan's Habib Bank AG Zurich credit the account of Moazzam Begg in Karachi." A reporter at the Times of London, Stephen Farrell, also described seeing the photocopied document at the camp in a story published nine days before Kelley's. But Farrell, who visited the camp on Nov. 16 — at least two days before the earliest Kelley could have been there — didn't leave the document behind. "We paid the guard and took it away," said Farrell, contacted in Baghdad this month. "I'm absolutely certain that we did, yes. I come from the good old tradition of British newspapering where, if you see something you can use, you take it."

• Kelley also lifted information and managed to mischaracterize some of it, from a story in The Washington Post published days before his. In Kelley's story, he described finding "dozens of copies of a 26-page booklet, Jihad Against America" in a camp outside Jalalabad. The Post reporter found the jihad booklet in a safe house in Kabul. But the booklet contains 108 pages, not 26, as Kelley wrote. Kelley appears to have confused the jihad booklet with a different booklet mentioned in the Post story: "One al-Qaeda booklet, 26 thin pages …" "That's a different book," said Post reporter Keith Richburg, who still has both booklets and counted the pages of the jihad book for USA TODAY.

• The quotes Kelley uses from the jihad booklet are identical to those in Richburg's story. But to get those quotes from the booklet, Richburg said he had to have its contents translated twice — first from Arabic to Pashtu, and then from Pashtu to English. Even then, Richburg said, he took the "broken English" of the final translator and "cleaned it up." The odds would be infinitesimal that Kelley's translators would come up with the word-for-word translation that Richburg's did.

• Kelley stole from the Post but misconstrued the source of a passage about the effects of an atomic explosion. In the Post story, Richburg wrote about a spiral notebook he found in Kabul that contained this handwritten note: "One atomic explosion can produce the equivalent of 200 metric tons of TNT. The atomic explosion causes intense heat, pressure and other side effects. Up to 50 kilometers away, it can cause blindness in people." Again, the passage had to be translated from Arabic to Pashtu to English. In a first draft of his story that Kelley submitted, he referred to a "manual" — not a handwritten notebook — that he found in a drawer at one of the camps near Jalalabad. It contained the identical passage: "One atomic explosion can produce the equivalent of 200 metric tons of TNT. The atomic explosion causes intense heat, pressure and other side effects. Up to 50 kilometers away, it can cause blindness in people." It is unclear why the quotation was cut from Kelley's story before it was published in the newspaper.

• At least 10 passages in Kelley's story mirror those printed days earlier in the Times of London, The Guardian, The Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune. Among the passages was this quote, in a story published Nov. 18 in The Guardian and attributed to "Nasir Mohammad, 35": "But everyone was afraid of him. … One day he was making something and there was a big explosion … then we protested and he limited his work." In Kelley's story Nov. 26, a quote attributed to "Shah Ahmadi, 35": "Everyone was afraid of him. One day, he was making something and there was a big explosion. … We protested and he limited his work."

The articles that dispute the Jack Kelley articles are available here:

On Lord Paddy Ashdown: Not that the remarks or opinions of one politician can form public opinion, but since you bring up the subject, let us review some other things Lord Paddy Ashdown has said.

"The refugees complained that attacks on villages and expulsions of Albanians were followed by large trucks with trailers to ferry away looted Albanian property,"

Ashdown said he told Milosevic the forces were not engaged in anti-terrorist action. In the courtroom, he ran a videotape of houses on fire in the western Kosovo town of Junik and interviews with refugees.

"I told Milosevic that what I had seen in Kosovo had convinced me that the Yugoslav army´s actions could only be described as punitive and indiscriminate, that excessive force was being used for the purpose of terrorizing and expelling the civilian population, and that the tactic used was that of ´scorched earth,´" Ashdown said.

"I warned him that continuation of such actions would compel the international community to react and that he would be accused of war crimes at the Hague tribunal."

“I said to you that if you took those steps and went on doing this you would end up in this court. And here you are.”

Whilst admitting that Yugoslav forces were engaged in a counterinsurgency operation, Ashdown’s indictment of Milosevic was that the response to the KLA was an overreaction. The Yugoslav Army went in to “shoot cattle, burn houses, break the stoves in those houses, urinate on those houses,” he said, comparing this to an “indiscriminate scorched earth policy of a kind not seen since the days of the German occupation”.

As for the opinion that India, Russia and China make up approximately half the World's population and disagree with the bombing. The specific populations did not agree with the bombing, the governments representing them did, due to geopolitical and ethnic reasons. NATO, which represents the collective will of the strongest countries in the world, bombed Yugoslavia. The US, UK and France participated, which would be three out of five voices on the UN Security Council.

A large portion of the world's population disagrees with the state of Israel and the War on Terror, do you agree with them? The population of China is against democracy, how does this bode for their sense of reason? The Russian Government, with the corrupted and toppled Boris Yeltsin at its head, was only decades prior for the worst massacres and oppression the world had ever seen under the Iron Curtain. They were also responsible for near-nuclear war various times during the Cold War due to their aggressive pursuit of smaller democratic nations under the cloak of their communist will. India is only recently joining the world stage, and their opinion on a matter which does not concern them, frankly means squat, to put it lightly. The ideas and opinions of backwater nations are not to be taken seriously.

Seems like you're the one that has the work to do, quoting articles that have proven by its parent publication to be falsified. I doubt you will even respond, but I sure do wish you would.

Good luck.

Chris Blaku said...

By the way, the US State Department removed the KLA from its list of terrorist organizations upon investigation of the claim by Yugoslavia. So weigh the opinion of Lord Paddy Ashdown versus the State Department of the United States.

Appropriately worthy of note, no Albanians appear on the US list of terrorists, but about two dozen Serbians do. Explain that one.

Hit the books boy.

Chris Blaku said...

Still no comment from the Serb? As usual, they use false arguments to flat out lies to prove a point to hopefully ignorant listeners.

Anonymous said...

Did this Serbian guy mention anything about his government hostin UBL and selling him weapons, if anyone can submitt any name on this issue please contact