Attack on US Bosnia Embassy Not Seen as a Major Security Concern, Despite Precedents and International Links - Bosnia
The striking spectacle of a heavily-armed gunman stalking the US Embassy gates in Sarajevo for almost a half-hour on October 28, 2011 is unlikely to result in major security or policy changes, balkanalysis.com can report.
A generally low threat estimate, larger diplomatic goals and concern for managing political legacies will minimize greater vigilance- despite concerns that the botched attack strongly resembles similar ones attempted or planned by Balkan-related extremists in the recent past, and despite concerns that it might by a dry run for future, more large-scale attacks.
Nevertheless, even as demonstrable links between radical groups in the Balkans and diaspora ones in places like Austria continue to emerge, the October 28 incident is not likely to result in any kind of decisive action. The spiraling complexity of larger political, security and economic events now gripping the world - from the uncertain future of the Euro, to North Africa in transition and a potential showdown with Iran - also indicates that the Balkans will remain largely ignored, with security continuing to be provided on an ad hoc and reactive basis rather than a robust and preventive one.
The present balkanalysis.com special report is the result of a comprehensive survey of present and former intelligence, diplomatic and law enforcement officials from the US, UK, and several EU and Balkan states, with further input from informed analysts, scholars and media sources. The report thus provides a clearer picture of the significance of an admittedly hazy event, within the larger context of different policy issues affecting decision making in both the US and Europe.
At around 3:30pm on October 28, 2011, a heavily armed 23 year-old man originally from Novi Pazar, Mevlid Jašarević, marched on the US Embassy in Sarajevo, proclaiming an Islamic ideology. He reportedly did not kill anyone specifically because he sought to kill or be killed by Americans/non-Muslims; not finding any, he did not wish to shoot the Bosniak policemen guarding the place, on account of their shared religion, and these police apparently did not want to shoot him either.