Why did CIA Deputy Director visit Sarajevo?

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Politicians, journalists and analysts who claim that the Western Balkans are no longer in the focus of US government interest and the intelligence services of that country are wrong. The importance of that region was seen before the Easter holidays, when the second man in the CIA hierarchy, Von Bishop arrived in an official visit to Sarajevo. The Deputy Director of the most powerful intelligence service in the world spent two days in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina (on 25th April and 26th April) and during that time he talked with the Director of the Intelligence and Security Agency (OSA) BiH – Osman Mehmedagic and with the leaders of all Bosnian- Herzegovinian agencies, security agencies and the police.

“It was a brief but very constructive and good discussion. We have made certain views of all our agencies on the common functioning and work, cooperation, information exchange and everything that is relevant to the challenges in BiH on the issue of the migrant crisis, the fight against terrorism, which are also the priority issues.”, explained Minister of the Interlan Affairs of Republika Srpska – Dragan Lukač

A possible answer to the question which topic was the “priority over priorities” during these talks is overseen by Lukac’s statement that they spoke about returnees from foreign battlefields. He said that special attention should be paid to preventing any possible terrorist attacks that could carry out. Therefore, according to Lukac, returnees from foreign battlefields must be under the absolute control of all security services in BiH. Additionally, this is a second visit by the leaders of the “CIA” to Sarajevo in a short time. Beofre Von, the capital of BiH was visited by former director of the leading US intelligence service John Brennan in 2016. It is surprising that Von Bishop did not visit Kosovo, given the fact that the region is the first in Europe by the number of those who went to war in Syria. It seems that at the top of the US intelligence community, it is estimated that the returnees from that battlefield who are returning, or will only return to Bosnia and Herzegovina, are much more dangerous now. Ivan Kolman, an expert on international terrorism, told for Radio Free Europe that Bosnia and Herzegovina still has humanitarian organizations through which a lot of money is spent that is not used exclusively for charity purposes. According to him, the problem is that in Bosnia there are many mujahedins who participated in the war, but also of new, radicalized individuals among whom are dominate young people who are technically educated.

“They are indoctrinated by anti-Western philosophy that is appealing to many, since they are outraged by the conduct of the United States and its allies in the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan,” added Kolman. He added that anti-American sentiment in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not as strong as in Saudi Arabia, Iran or Iraq, but there are groups and individuals that are problematic for the national security of the United States.

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