Serbia arrests 17 after US embassy attack

2011-10-29 20:32
Belgrade - Serbian police on Saturday said they had arrested 17 people in the south-western Muslim-dominated district of Sandzak, on suspicion of links to an Islamic extremist who opened fire on the US embassy in Sarajevo.

"Police detained 17 persons suspected of being members of the radical Wahhabi movement and having close links with Mevlid Jasarevic," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Wahhabism is a strict and ultra-conservative branch of Islam which is dominant in Saudi Arabia.

The suspected radical Islamist Jasarevic, a Serbian national from Novi Pazar, was wounded and arrested after opening fire on Friday on the US embassy in Sarajevo. A police guard was wounded in the attack.

Among those arrested, 12 were from three towns in Sandzak with large Muslim communities. One was a Bosnian citizen.

Police searched some 18 locations and seized as many computers, 1 800 CDs, about 50 SMS cards, a video camera, audio and video tapes as well as books and other literature advocating ideas of the movement, the statement said.

According to Serbian police chief Milorad Veljovic, "police will determine whether there is a need to detain more people".

In Bosnia, police and prosecutor also launched a search, the Minister of Security Sadik Ahmetovic told reporters.

"Today [Saturday] and in the coming days searches will be conducted at all locations believed to have some links with this event," Ahmetovic said.

Bosnia's public prosecutor Dubravko Campara said the probe would be conducted in co-operation with Serbian authorities and US embassy in Sarajevo.

Jasarevic, hospitalised after being shot by police, will be detained once he is released from Sarajevo hospital, "in a day or two", Campara said.

Bosnia is home to a small minority of followers of Wahhabism.
Read more on:    serbia  |  security
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