Natürlich wusste die NATO Offiziere, die Geheimdienst, die Fakten, über die Terroristische Organisation UCK – KLA, wie es in einem Bericht des US Sonder Gesandten Robert Gelbard, ebenso steht, wie in OSCE Berichten.
In view of such tactics, the Clinton Administration’s then-special envoy for Kosovo, Robert Gelbard, had little difficulty in condemning the KLA (also known by its Albanian initials, UCK) in terms comparable to those he used for Serbian police repression:
” ‘The violence we have seen growing is incredibly dangerous,’ Gelbard said. He criticized violence ‘promulgated by the (Serb) police’ and condemned the actions of an ethnic Albanian underground group Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Serb targets. ‘We condemn very strongly terrorist actions in Kosovo. The UCK is, without any questions, a terrorist group,’ Gelbard said.” [Agence France Presse, 2/23/98]
Mit Wissen der USA: UÇK betrieb hochprofitable Geschäfte mit Heroin und Prostitution in ganz Europa
Während die Medien besessen waren von Flecken auf Monica Lewinskys berüchtigtem blauen Kleid, war jenseits des Atlantiks die Zerstückelung Jugoslawiens in vollem Gange. Die engen Verbündeten Amerikas und Deutschlands, die sezessionistische bosnische Regierung unter Alija Izetbegovic – einem Liebling der westlichen «humanitären Intervenionisten», ein islamistischer Betrüger, der seine Sympathien für die [in Kroatien agierende] 13. Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS-«Handschar» während des Krieges bekundete, was ihm einen Platz in einem jugoslawischen Gefängnis einbrachte – verschaffte Tausenden von Veteranen des afghanisch-arabischen Krieges Pässe und Gewehre, um bei der «Befreiung» Bosniens zu helfen.
So, wie bei den gegenwärtigen «Regime-change»-Operationen der Nato in Libyen und Syrien, strömten salafistische Dschihadisten im Verbund mit einer CIA-Schattenarmee, die sich zu Al-Kaida (der «Datenbank») verwandelte, in die Region ein.
Während Usama bin Ladins Lakaien in Bosnien Chaos und Verwüstung anrichteten und fröhlich Juden, Roma und Serben abschlachteten und derweil von den Saudis finanzierte wahhabitische Wohltätigkeiten einrichteten, erhielten sie am Ende des Jahrzehnts Zugang zum Kosovo und schlossen sich den neuesten «besten Freunden für immer», der Kosovarischen Befreiungsarmee, an. Von Gangstern wie Hashim Thaçi, Agim Çeku und Ramush Haradinaj mit eiserner Faust beherrscht, verbündete sich die UÇK mit italienischen Mafiosi und türkischen Gangsterbossen und betrieb hochprofitable verbrecherische Geschäfte mit Heroin und Prostitution in ganz Europa.
1999 veröffentlichte «The Montreal Gazette» einen Enthüllungsbericht, der zeigte, dass «kosovarisch albanische Rebellen von 1994 mit Drogen in Verbindung gebracht wurden, während US-Behörden 1996 warnten, dass Kosovaren grosse Mengen an Waffen und Drogen schmuggelten. In verschiedenen westlichen Ländern stellte die Polizei ebenfalls einen steigenden Anteil an Heroin fest, der über den Balkan in ihre Länder befördert wurde, sowie die Zunahme an Kriminalität und Todesfällen aufgrund einer Überdosis, die mit den Drogen einhergehen.»12
Michael Levine, erfahrener DEA-Mitarbeiter und Whistleblower, der 25 Jahre bei der DEA tätig war und heute The Expert Witness Radio Show13 mitmoderiert, sagte gegenüber der «Montreal Gazette», es sei «keine Frage», dass die amerikanischen Geheimbehörden über die Drogenverbindungen der UÇK Bescheid wussten.
- Drogen, Gewehre und Atombomben: Iran als neue «Drogendealer-Firma»?
- von Tom Burghardt
- Der Berufs Verbrecher Azem Syla, kassierte 426.000 Franken Invaliden Rente im Kosovo
- Kosovo Mafia verpulvert 1 Million $, für unsinnige Reklame bei CNN, mit einem 15 sec Spot
- Analyse, über die Zerstörung des Balkan, aus lauter Profit Gier, krimineller Lobbyisten
The Montreal Gazette investigates the criminal connections of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the Albanian rebel group defended and entrenched in power by NATO’s campaign in Yugoslavia. The report exposes the KLA’s links to heroin and prostitution rings that have flourished throughout Europe and North America largely through its help and contends that the group’s profit from crime has continued since the war.
Pubdate: Wed, 15 Dec 1999
Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
The Kosovo Connection
The shooting has stopped, but the Kosovo Liberation Army isn’t resting. It is still a major player in the international heroin trade.
Five months after the shooting stopped in Kosovo, the first war in the history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is slowly turning into a debacle.
NATO-led peacekeepers have proven virtually powerless to stop the violence, which in a complete turnaround is now being waged by Albanians against Serbs, Roma gypsies and political dissidents. They’ve had just as little success arresting a wave of organized crime that has swamped Kosovo’s cities.
More questions are emerging about how many Albanians died at the hands of repressive Serb forces before and during NATO’s 11-week air assault, the heaviest bombing campaign since World War II. At the height of the war, United States officials said up to 100,000 were killed and called the Serb violence a „genocide.“ Now, UN investigators have found the actual death toll is likely less than 5 per cent of that.
And then there is the Kosovo Liberation Army, the mysterious band of ethnic Albanian rebels who have emerged from their mountain hideouts and, under NATO’s auspices, proclaimed themselves the „provisional government“ of Kosovo.
The KLA has taken control of all city administrations, and the UN has integrated the bulk of the 10,000 rebels into the Kosovo Provisional Corps, a militia with official policing powers and a mandate to ensure inter-ethnic stability. But far from promoting ethnic harmony, the KLA itself stands accused of instigating much of the anti-minority violence. Its popularity among Kosovars has dropped sharply.
There is another question that continues to dog the KLA, and raises still more doubts about the legacy of the war – the question of drugs.
A mass of evidence over the years has suggested the KLA got much of its funding from sales of heroin, and enjoyed intimate links with the Italian Mafia and Albanian heroin barons.
The involvement was so great that the KLA played a part in feeding the heroin craze that has raged across Western Europe and North America during the 1990s.
Now, months after the armed conflict ended, narcotics experts say members of the former KLA haven’t severed their ties to the drug world. Instead of buying arms with the profits, they’re financing the province’s rebuilding efforts.
Kosovar Albanian rebels were linked to drugs by narcotics experts in Europe as early as 1994, while U.S. authorities warned in 1996 that Kosovars were smuggling large amounts of weapons and drugs. Police in various Western nations also noted the rising proportion of heroin being shipped to their countries through the Balkans, and the rise in crime and overdose deaths that accompanied the drug.
Yet, when it came time to back a faction in Kosovo, Western governments went with the KLA.
The war on drugs, experts say, takes a back seat to political wars. In fact, they say the war in Kosovo actually left drug traffickers with a stronger hand.
„The KLA was a participant in heroin trafficking going way back,“ said Alfred McCoy, a historian at the University of Wisconsin and author of The Politics of Heroin, a 1972 classic study of the world heroin trade. „It’s part of a long pattern. The drug war loses out to the demands of the post-Cold War era.“
„It’s an old story. It’s been documented a million times,“ McGill University economist Tom Naylor said of the KLA ties to drug trafficking.
„Drugs were startup money for some KLA cadres. You can’t say the KLA itself runs drugs. It’s sort of a tactical alliance,“ said Naylor, who studies drug and arms smuggling, and consults with the United Nations.
A U.S. Defense Department consultant who spoke on condition of anonymity agreed.
„There is a synergy between guns and drugs. Are the Albanians involved in this? You betcha. You can’t work in a restaurant and earn enough tips to buy an anti-aircraft missile. Name a place where there’s conflict and you’ll see a linkage between drugs and guns,“ he said.
The official, who is involved in Balkans policy-making, said former KLA members haven’t cut their ties to the drug trade, even though Kosovo is free of Serb repression and many of the rebels are now supposed to be upholding the law as members of the Kosovo Provisional Corps.
„Once you make a lot of money from drugs, it’s hard to get off it. I doubt very much if we’re going to be able to turn this back. It’s going to be much more like Colombia ,“ he said.
Heroin was the drug of the ’90s. It defined the decade like crack and junk bonds defined the ’80s. It inspired the undead „heroin chic“ look on fashion catwalks and claimed the lives of a long list of celebrities, including actor River Phoenix and Smashing Pumpkins keyboardist Jonathan Melvion.
Heroin was brought into the mainstream by a dramatic improvement in the drug’s purity from 6 per cent in 1987 to 60 per cent today. Instead of having to inject it, a turn-off for many potential users, junk could now be smoked. At the same time, a glut sent wholesale prices crashing – by 70 per cent in North America since the beginning of the decade – which again increased the drug’s attraction.
In 1997, Canadian and American police seized four times more heroin than in 1984, according to the UN Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention.
British Columbia reported 371 drug-overdose deaths in 1998, most of them heroin-related. It was the highest number in six years. Toronto saw close to 300 last year, said Det. Sgt. Dave Brownell, head of the Metro Toronto police drug squad. „(It’s) a number which was unheard of five years ago,“ he said.
Canada now has a record 25,000 to 50,000 heroin addicts, while the U.S. addict population has shot up from 360,000 in 1991 to nearly 1 million today.
Society is paying a heavy toll for heroin, which is more addictive and harmful than marijuana or cocaine, said Brownell. He said junkies are responsible for 70 per cent of bank robberies in Toronto . Vancouver police estimate the average heroin addict commits $500 to $1,000 in theft each day to support his or her habit.
Where did all the heroin come from? Part of the answer lies thousands of kilometres away, at ground zero of the heroin explosion – the Balkans.
The fall of the Iron Curtain and a decade of wars in the Balkans reactivated the region’s ancient smuggling routes for guns, oil, refugees, contraband cigarettes, Lebanese hash, Colombian cocaine and every other commodity under the sun.
Heroin – worth 12 times its weight in gold – was by far the most profitable commodity of them all.
Through the Balkans pass most of the opium and derived products – morphine base and heroin – of the infamous Golden Crescent . This is the area made up of Afghanistan and Pakistan ’s North West Frontier Province that accounts for 57 per cent of the world’s opium production. The opium is smuggled into Turkey , where it is refined into heroin.
From there, the drugs are moved up the Balkan route into Western Europe and off to North America . Albania , just a short speedboat trip away from Italy across the Adriatic Sea , is one of the most convenient transit points to the West.
In the decade since the Iron Curtain fell, the Balkan route has become one of the world’s greatest heroin highways, the conduit for 80 per cent of Europe ’s heroin supply, according to police figures cited in a report last June from the UN Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention.
In the U.S. , nearly 20 per cent of heroin seized in 1996 came from the Golden Crescent , Drug Enforcement Agency chief Donnie Marshall told Congress last year. The portion had doubled in four years.
And in Canada , 20 to 30 per cent of heroin comes from the Golden Crescent , estimated Det. Sgt. Brownell. That number climbs to 50 per cent in Montreal and Toronto , according to Cpl. Joe Tomeo, of the RCMP drug squad in Montreal .
„The end of the Cold War had a fundamental impact on heroin trafficking,“ said historian McCoy. „It used to skirt around the Iron Curtain and go through the Mediterranean . Now, it’s opened up with a vengeance in the Balkans. It’s essentially drugs moving westward and guns moving eastward.“
The hub of the smuggling frenzy lay in Albania and the troubled corner of Serbia called Kosovo, 90-per-cent populated by Albanians. Drug trafficking came to dominate this area so much that, in 1995, Jane’s Intelligence Review dubbed Albania and Kosovo the Medellin of the Balkans.
By 1995, tensions in Kosovo were at a boiling point between Albanians and Yugoslav forces. The autonomy Kosovo had enjoyed in Yugloslavia for decades had been revoked in 1989, and after years of brutal repression by the Serb regime – including mass arrests, torture and killings – some Albanians were ready to turn to armed rebellion.
On Feb. 11, 1996 , the Kosovo Liberation Army came out of hiding by setting off bombs at five Serb refugee camps in Kosovo. The KLA needed arms and ammunition to fight for its goal of an independent Kosovo, and it turned to the same Albanian smuggling networks that already ran heroin and other underground goods.
But war is expensive business, and the KLA also needed money – lots of it.
Western governments, as much as they may have wanted to help, couldn’t officially support armed separatists in a European country who assassinated police officers and civilians deemed to be traitors. So the KLA also turned to heroin itself, according to narcotics experts in North America and Europe .
After all, the trade already passed through the rebel group’s own backyard. And there wasn’t a better money-maker around. A kilogram of heroin that costs $1,000 in Thailand wholesales for $110,000 in Montreal , and has a street value of $800,000. By contrast, a kilo of cocaine purchased for $1,000 in Latin America fetches a wholesale price of only $36,000 to $38,000 in Montreal and a street value of $80,000.
Some of the KLA’s funding did come from legitimate sources. Donations poured in from the large and far-flung ethnic Albanian diaspora in Italy , Germany and Switzerland , each home to some 200,000 emigres from Albania and Kosovo, not to mention the 500,000 in the United States and 10,000 in Canada .
Kosovar emigres were politely solicited for donations and, if that didn’t work, KLA men „maybe used a little encouragement,“ as the U.S. Defense Department source put it.
„It was not necessary to threaten violence,“ said Naylor, the McGill economist. „The threat of social or economic ostracization was enough.
„In the tightly knit Albanian communities, not contributing means a business gets economically ostracized. You’d lose all your business. Children would get ostracized at school.“
Faced with a withering Serb spring offensive this year, the embattled KLA called on Albanians living in Switzerland each to donate 2,000 deutschmarks a month (about $1,600 Cdn), according to a Le Monde Diplomatique report. In France , Albanian immigrants were obliged to „donate“ 50 per cent of their earnings.
But such contributions were only part of the KLA’s funding. The German newspaper Berliner Zeitung, citing Western intelligence sources, reported last March that half of the $700 million raised by the KLA until that point had come from drug sales.
The Criminal Underworld
In the early 1990s, thousands of young Kosovars left their homes, fleeing the economic and political troubles of the Balkans by heading west. The vast majority of the immigrants were law-abiding. Many were young men who found unskilled jobs and struggled to send savings back to their families in Europe ’s poorest region. Virtually every family in the Kosovo capital Pristina came to depend on these so-called „Swiss funds.“
But discrimination in the West and crackdowns on immigration prevented many from earning an honest living. A small minority of Albanian emigres went underground.
They hooked up with the Italian Mafia and Turkish crime bosses – known as „babas“ – to run heroin and prostitution rackets. The emigre Albanians kept up warm relations with Albanian smuggling tycoons back in Kosovo and Albania , who were slowly taking over the Balkan route from Turks.
One of those who left Pristina in 1992 was Agim Gashi. He settled in the northern Italian city of Milan , best known as the country’s financial capital and Europe ’s fashion mecca.
To police, Milan also has the dubious distinction of being the nerve centre for the world’s $400-billion heroin trade and headquarters to the Italian Mafia’s financial operations. From here, heroin shipments flow out to the rest of Europe and North America , and narco-dollars flow back in, to be laundered through the city’s many financial institutions and construction companies.
Gashi quickly married an Italian woman and was soon living in high style. He bought a luxurious villa in Milan ’s suburbs and came to own a chain of beauty parlors and perfume shops in London . On the side, Gashi was described by police as the boss of the city’s lucrative heroin and prostitution rackets.
When Italian police arrested him in the fall of 1998 – along with 124 other drug traffickers – they said Gashi, then 35, had used some of his crime proceeds to buy Kalashnikov rifles, bazookas and hand grenades for the KLA.
The KLA’s alleged drug connection in Milan apparently hadn’t escaped the notice of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. In a March 15 report about Gashi in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the DEA’s Rome office was quoted saying, „Turkish (drug) trafficking groups are using Albanians, Yugoslavs and elements of criminal groups from Kosovo to sell and distribute their heroin. These groups are believed to be a part of the financial arm of the (KLA’s) war against Serbia .
„These Kosovars are financing their war through drug-trafficking activities, weapons trafficking and the trafficking of other illegal goods as well as contributions of their countrymen working abroad,“ the DEA told the newspaper.
The DEA office in Rome refused a request for an interview for this article.
With one foot planted in Western Europe and the other in the Balkans, Albanian crime bosses shot up the ladder of Europe ’s criminal underworld.
Naylor, the McGill economist, shed light on the Albanian underworld in his recent book Patriots and Profiteers: On Economic Warfare, Embargo Busting and State-Sponsored Crime.
„With their close family trust, underground financial institutions and language beyond the comprehension of law-enforcement agencies, the Kosovars were ideally placed to run heroin,“ Naylor wrote.
Strengthened by their Mafia ties and the revival of the Balkan route, Albanian emigres emerged as the most powerful drug traffickers in Western Europe by the mid-1990s.
So far, European police haven’t had much luck reining in the Albanian underworld.
Not long after the mass arrests in Milan last fall, the city was stunned by nine murders tied to Albanian organized crime in the first nine days of January this year. The Italian government deployed an extra 800 police and 90 patrol cars to crack down on Albanian crime networks, but that wasn’t enough to prevent yet another rise in cross-Adriatic smuggling after hostilities ended in Kosovo this summer.
The Kosovo Liberations Army: Does Clinton Policy Support Grouop with Terror, Drug Ties?
Serbian church destroyed from KLA terrorists, thanks to KFOR who protects all these places and catches all the criminals
- Serb church destroyed in southeast Kosovo blast
- ANOTHER SERB ORTHODOX CHURCH DESTROYED IN KOSOVO
- HISTORY DESTROYED UNDER NATO SUPERVISION
- The United Arab Emirates defence minister has offered to build 50 mosques in Kosovo at his own expense while KFOR FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ALLOWED ALBANIAN TERRORISTS TO DESTROY AN ORTHODOX CHURCH!