View Full Version : Germans spies arrested at site of EU HQ bombing in Kosovo

Magda Hassan
11-23-2008, 04:58 AM
Deutsche Presse-Agentur
November 22, 2008

Germans arrested in Kosovo were intelligence agents

Three Germans arrested in Kosovo in connection with a
bomb attack on the European Union (EU) headquarters
were intelligence service operatives, German media
reported Saturday, dpa reported.

Spiegel news magazine said the trio told Kosovo
anti-terrorism police they were inspecting the site of
the blast in Pristina but had nothing to do with the
attack, which damaged the building but caused no

On Friday, a German government spokesman declined to
be drawn on speculation about the possible involvement
of the foreign intelligence service BND in the case
and instead pointed to the ongoing investigations.

However, the spokesman said if it emerged any of the
three were BND employees, the matter would be referred
to the parliamentary committee responsible for
monitoring the secret services.

Kosovo police arrested the three Germans on Wednesday,
five days after an explosive device was hurled at the
office of the EU's Special Representative for the

One of the men was reportedly photographing the
damaged office from an adjacent empty building from
where the device is believed to have been thrown,
Spiegel said.

The newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said one of the men
told the investigators he was working for the BND.

The suspects were in Kosovo "in a private capacity"
and had no immunity from prosecution, Kosovo police
spokesman Veton Elshani told Deutsche Presse-Agentur

The BND did not comment on the case. An EU mission is
due to take over the oversight of law-enforcement in
Kosovo after more than eight years as a United Nations

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February
and Pristina, Belgrade, the UN and EU are currently
wrangling over the conditions for the deployment of
the EU mission, Eulex, comprising 2,000 police,
judicial and customs officials.

November 22, 2008

No comment from Germany on Kosovo spy report

PRISTINA - Germany declined to comment on Saturday on
reports that three Germans arrested on suspicion of
throwing explosives at an EU office in Kosovo were
intelligence officers.

The explosive charge was thrown on Nov. 14 at the
International Civilian Office (ICO), the office of EU
Special Representative Pieter Feith, who oversees
Kosovo's governance, but caused only minor damage.

The men were detained on Thursday.

A spokesman for the German foreign ministry in Berlin
confirmed that three Germans had been arrested, but
declined to make any further comment as an
investigation was under way.

A police source in Kosovo told Reuters: "They are
members of the BND", but gave no further details.

The German weekly Der Spiegel also said the men worked
for the German intelligence agency BND, and that they
had told investigators they had been examining the
scene of the explosion, but had not been involved in

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February
after nine years under U.N. stewardship and is
recognised by more than 50 countries, including

Four days before the bomb attack, its leaders rejected
a plan by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's for the
deployment of an EU police and justice mission, EULEX.

Der Spiegel said the BND agents had not been
officially registered with Kosovo authorities, which
would have secured them diplomatic immunity.

A judge in Pristina was due to decide on Saturday
whether to extend the men's detention or release them
on bail. (Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Writing by
Kerstin Gehmlich, Editing by Matthew Jones and Kevin

Magda Hassan
11-28-2008, 12:26 AM
Well, it looks like they've had to invent a new Albanian terrorist group to get the German's and their undercover spies off the hook. They never registered with the Albanian (sorry, I mean Kosovo, no actually NATO) authorities and there fore don't have diplomatic immunity. Hell, what's another nameless faceless group of Albanian terrorists?


Albanian paramilitary group claims responsibility for Pristina bombing
Pristina /27/11/ 12:32
A previously unknown Albanian group took credit Thursday for a bomb attack on a European Union office in Kosovo that took place two weeks ago.

"This attack marks the start of the armed battle against the EU mission in Kosovo EULEX that operates under conditions set by the Serbs, which is unacceptable for the Albanians," the obscure Army of the Republic of Kosovo (ARK) said in a statement.

The spokesman of Kosovo's Police, Veton Elshani, said that they are taking the threats very seriously.

Three Germans alleged to be working for the BND, Berlin's intelligence agency, who were arrested last week in connection with the bombing of the EU office, could be released from detention upon approval of the Kosovo Supreme Court.

Magda Hassan
11-28-2008, 12:46 AM
The Sorcerer's Apprentice

(Own report) - The arrest in Kosovo of several agents of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) shines the spotlight once again on the political criminal happenings in this western protectorate. The three men, working for a front company of the German foreign espionage service, are charged with involvement in several bomb attacks against facilities of the EU and the UN. As a matter of fact, the BND had been implicated in criminal intrigues in Kosovo in the past. It assisted in setting up the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army - KLA) terror organization and maintained contact to organizers of the Kosovo-Albanian Pogroms that caused numerous deaths in March 2004. The objective in both cases was to have a decisive influence on political developments in the region. It remains to be seen if this is also the case now. Observers are not excluding the possibility that the arrests had been initiated by the Kosovan Mafia. On various occasions, the BND has reported on organized crime in Pristina. Several members of the "government" are from this milieu, such as the current "prime minister." Berlin is primarily responsible for the criminal conditions in Kosovo. With the collaboration of the BND, Germany prevailed in the formation of a Kosovan "state" under the leadership of suspected gangsters.

The obscure occurrences that led to last week's arrests of three suspected BND operatives in Pristina, exposes once again the political criminal character of what is taking place in that protectorate. The agents are charged with implication in the November 14, bombing attack on the Kosovo EU headquarters. The men had already been placed under surveillance in connection with other attacks carried out on institutions of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Kosovan Parliament. They will probably be also indicted for espionage for a foreign service, which carries up to a 20 year sentence, if found guilty. According to analogous reports from several intelligence sources, the three were employees of a BND front company, the "Logistics Coordination Assessment Services", which allegedly offers investment consultation to German companies in Kosovo. Pristina is obviously seeking to create a scandal around the BND activities. Whereas the German foreign ministry had hoped to clear up the matter without too much public attention - also by referring to the significant role played by Germany in Kosovo's secession - the Kosovan press has published not only the names, but also photos of the agents.

Controversy over EULEX
This scandal was preceded by complicated disputes concerning Pristina's secession. The press reports that, "for the first time, since the beginning of the Kosovo Crisis in the early 90s" not the Serbian, but the Albanian side has come under international pressure.[1] The bone of contention is EULEX - the 2,000 police and customs officers, jurists and administrative personnel that the EU, under the label of European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), wants to send into the South Serbian province. EULEX is supposed to transform the Kosovan authorities into a state apparatus, thereby making Pristina's secession irrevocable. According to Berlin and the EU's original plans, the EULEX was supposed, to primarily replace the UNMIK, literally placing Brussels in control of the Kosovan transformation. This has so far been unsuccessful due to resistance from within the United Nations, in spite of massive obstructions set up also by Berlin (german-foreign-policy.com reported [2]).

Protests in Pristina
Two members of the UN Security Council (Russia and China), as well as the majority of UN member nations, still refuse to recognize Pristina's illegal secession, which is why the transfer has not succeeded. To the surprise of the West, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has been supportive and has been refusing for months his accord for an implementation of the EU plans, if there are no concessions to Belgrade. Already a while ago, Ban tabled a proposition that took the Serbian minimal position into account. According to his proposition, EULEX was to be active in the Albanian-speaking areas of Kosovo, while UNMIK would maintain control over the police and justice in the Serb-speaking regions of the province. EULEX would also be formally obligated to remain "status neutral" and not promote Pristina's independence. Brussels has now agreed to Ban's concept, to avoid further delay and speed up the EULEX engagement. Pristina rejects this mediating proposal and protests, for the first time without western back-up. Last Wednesday, thousands of Kosovo Albanians demonstrated against Ban's plans and the EU's approval.

Political Objective
Observers initially supposed that the bomb attack on the EU headquarters in Pristina - just two days after Brussels made known its approval to the EULEX restrictions - was also in protest of the EU's concessions to Belgrade. If it is proven that the German intelligence agents were implicated in that attack, it would not be the first time. Already in March 2004, during the large scale pogroms against Serbs and Serbian institutions, a BND informer played a noteworthy role. The man was one of the organizers of the pogroms while serving as an informer of the German intelligence service.[3] Only two weeks before the pogroms began, the BND supposedly broke contact with their informer. "I suppose that the BND certainly must have informed the German government" said the intelligence service expert, Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, at the time and concluded that "the Albanian attacks on the Serbs were tolerated" by the German side.[4] Nineteen people were killed, approx. 4,000 driven from their homes, over two dozen monasteries were severely damaged during these pogroms. But the pogroms had a political effect: Berlin and Brussels demanded Kosovo's accelerated secession.[5]

With Criminal Means
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the BND has been pursuing political objectives in Kosovo with criminal means - through its support for the KLA terror troops. According to reports, the BND established contact to Kosovo Albanian militants in 1992 [6] and soon afterwards helped "in training and arming the rebels (...), to consolidate German influence in the Balkans."[7] These close ties were advantageous during the aggression against Yugoslavia, with the KLA replacing NATO ground forces and helping to vanquish the Serbian adversary. It soon became clear that Berlin and the rest of the West would not be able to shake off their deputy, a militia of criminals. Former KLA commanders have been able to prevail not only as bosses of the Kosovan Mafia but also in high political positions.

Get in the Way
For years, the BND - the organization that, with its support for the KLA in the 90s, made its rise possible in the first place - has been regularly warning against the Mafiosi structures in Pristina. The BND had reported back in 2005, in a paper destined for the public, that Hashim Thaci - today's "prime minister" - had earlier been a boss of the Kosovan Mafia. Two years later, another study, whose authors seem also to have had access to BND sources, says that "at the international level" Thaci has access to wide-ranging "criminal networks."[8] Also other Kosovan politicians are seen as criminals by the BND. The intelligence service expert Udo Ulfkotte, explains that an important task of the "Logistics Coordination Assessment Services" front company of the BND, was to gather information on money laundering, drug trafficking and sexual slavery in Kosovo. Ulfkotte sees the current arrests in Pristina as a counter-attack by the Mafia: "The BND men got in somebody's way."[9]

In Both Cases
If Ulfkotte proves to be right, the current scandal will be the hardest counter-strike delivered to date by the criminal structures put into power in Pristina by Berlin and the West. The only thing left to acknowledge - also if the BND agents' involvement is proven: Berlin can no longer rid itself of the criminal forces, it called into being in the 90s, to end Serbian control over Kosovo.

Further information on German cooperation with criminal structures in Kosovo can be found here: Political Friendships (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56126?PHPSESSID=5di4mqe427v2ph6rgngs4hitq3), "Thank You Germany!" (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56134?PHPSESSID=5di4mqe427v2ph6rgngs4hitq3), Arbitrariness in Power (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56189?PHPSESSID=5di4mqe427v2ph6rgngs4hitq3) and In Accordance With NATO Standards (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56198?PHPSESSID=5di4mqe427v2ph6rgngs4hitq3).

[1] EU gibt Serbien bei Kosovo-Mission nach; Der Standard 12.11.2008
[2] see also Pure Chaos (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56166?PHPSESSID=5di4mqe427v2ph6rgngs4hitq3)
[3] Was wusste der Bundesnachrichtendienst?; www.tagesschau.de 19.11.2004
[4] Kosovo-Unruhen: Wer wusste was?; Telepolis 22.11.2004
[5] see also Konsequenz des Krieges (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/42054?PHPSESSID=5di4mqe427v2ph6rgngs4hitq3), Model (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/42052?PHPSESSID=5di4mqe427v2ph6rgngs4hitq3), Kolonialherren (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/46180?PHPSESSID=5di4mqe427v2ph6rgngs4hitq3) and "A Piece of Land with no Status" (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/50876?PHPSESSID=5di4mqe427v2ph6rgngs4hitq3)
[6] Erich Schmidt-Eenboom: Kosovo-Krieg und Interesse; www.geheimdienste.info
[7] Matthias Küntzel: Der Weg in den Krieg. Deutschland, die Nato und das Kosovo, Berlin 2000
[8] see also "Thank You Germany!" (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56134?PHPSESSID=5di4mqe427v2ph6rgngs4hitq3)
[9] Agenten-Thriller auf dem Balkan; Abendzeitung 23.11.2008


Magda Hassan
12-20-2008, 02:16 PM
The End of the Affair? The BND, CIA and Kosovo's Deep State (http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2008/12/end-of-affair-bnd-cia-and-kosovos-deep.html)

When three officers of Germany's foreign intelligence service the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), were arrested in Pristina November 19, it exposed that country's extensive covert operations in the heart of the Balkans.

On November 14, a bomb planted at the office of the European Union Special Representative was detonated in downtown Pristina. While damage was light and there were no injuries, U.N. "peacekeepers" detained one of the BND officers hours after the blast when he was observed taking photos of the damaged building. Two of his colleagues waited in a car and acted as lookouts. The officer named these two colleagues as witnesses that he was in his office at the time of the attack.

That office, identified by the press as the "private security firm" Logistics-Coordination & Assessment Service or LCAS, in reality was a front company for BND operations. Its premises were searched three days later and the trio were subsequently arrested and accused by Kosovan authorities of responsibility for bombing the EU building. As a result of the arrests, the BND was forced to admit the real identities of their agents and the true nature of LCAS.

A scandal erupted leading to a diplomatic row between Berlin and Pristina. The German government labeled the accusations "absurd" and threatened a cut-off of funds to the Kosovo government. A circus atmosphere prevailed as photos of the trio were shown on Kosovan TV and splashed across the front pages of the press. Rumors and dark tales abounded, based on leaks believed by observers to have emanated from the office of Kosovo's Prime Minister, the "former" warlord Hashim Thaci, nominal leader of the statelet's organized crime-tainted government.

When seized by authorities one of the BND officers, Andreas J., demonstrated very poor tradecraft indeed. Among the items recovered by police, the operative's passport along with a notebook containing confidential and highly incriminating information on the situation in Kosovo were examined. According to media reports, the notebook contained the names of well-placed BND informants in the Prime Minister's entourage. According to this reading, the arrests were an act of revenge by Thaci meant to embarrass the German government.

But things aren't always as they seem.

On November 29, the trio--Robert Z., Andreas J. and Andreas D.--departed Kosovo on a special flight bound for Berlin where they "will face a committee of German parliamentarians who have taken an interest in their case," according to an account (http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,593713,00.html) in Spiegel Online.

More curious than a violent attack on the streets of Pristina, a city wracked by gangland killings, car hijackings, kidnappings and assaults is the provenance of the bomb itself. In other words, why would German intelligence agents attack their own? But before attempting to answer this question, a grim backstory to the affair rears its ugly head.

An Agency Mired in Scandal

This latest scandal comes as yet another blow to the BND considering August's revelations by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks (http://www.wikileaks.org/) that Germany's external intelligence agency had extensively spied on journalists. Like their counterparts at the CIA, the BND is forbidden by law from carrying out domestic operations.

According to Wikileaks documents (http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/How_German_intelligence_infiltrated_Focus_magazine ), journalists working for Focus Magazine (http://www.focus.de/) and Der Spiegel were collaborators in a scheme by the agency to learn their sources as well as obtaining information on left-wing politicians, including Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) leaders Gregor Gysi and Andreas Lederer.

Indeed Focus Magazine journalist Josef Hufelschulte, code name 'Jerez, wrote articles based on reports provided by the BND "intended to produce favorable coverage." Wikileaks correspondent Daniel Schmitt and investigations editor Julian Assange comment that, "The document in general shows the extent to which the collaboration of journalists with intelligence agencies has become common and to what dimensions consent is manufactured in the interests of those involved."

In November, Wikileaks (http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/German_Secret_Intelligence_Service_%28BND%29_T-Systems_network_assignments%2C_13_Nov_2008) published a subsequent document (http://www.wikileaks.org/leak/bnd-networks.pdf) obtained from the telecommunications giant T-Systems. In addition to revealing two dozen secret IP addresses used by the BND for surveillance operations, the document provides "Evidence of a secret out of control BND robot scanning selected web-sites. In 2006 system administrators had to ban the "BVOE" IP addresses to prevent servers from being destroyed." Additionally, Wikileaks revealed the "activity on a Berlin prostitution service website--evidence that intelligence seductions, the famed cold-war 'honeytrap', is alive and well?"

While the document does not spell out who was running the sex-for-hire website, one can't help but wonder whether Balkan-linked organized crime syndicates, including Kosovan and Albanian sex traffickers are working in tandem with the BND in return for that agency turning a blind eye to the sordid trade in kidnapped women.

Kosovo: A European Narco State

When Kosovo proclaimed its "independence" in February, the Western media hailed the provocative dismemberment of Serbia, a move that completed the destruction of Yugoslavia by the United States, the European Union and NATO, as an exemplary means to bring "peace and stability" to the region.

If by "peace" one means impunity for rampaging crime syndicates or by "stability," the freedom of action with no questions asked by U.S. and NATO military and intelligence agencies, not to mention economic looting on a grand scale by freewheeling multinational corporations, then Kosovo has it all!

From its inception, the breakaway Serb province has served as a militarized outpost for Western capitalist powers intent on spreading their tentacles East, encircling Russia and penetrating the former spheres of influence of the ex-Soviet Union. As a template for contemporary CIA destabilization operations in Georgia and Ukraine, prospective EU members and NATO "partners," Kosovo should serve as a warning for those foolish enough to believe American clichés about "freedom" or the dubious benefits of "globalization."

Camp Bondsteel, located on rolling hills and farmland near the city of Ferizaj/Urosevac, is the largest U.S. military installation on the European continent. Visible from space (http://www.satellite-sightseer.com/id/4937), in addition to serving as an NSA listening post pointed at Russia and as the CIA's operational hub in the Balkans and beyond, some observers believe that Andreas J.'s notebook may have contained information that Camp Bondsteel continues to serve as a CIA "black site." One motive for rolling up the BND intelligence operation may have been U.S. fears that this toxic information would become public, putting paid U.S. claims that it no longer kidnaps and tortures suspected "terrorists."

When NATO partners Germany and the U.S. decided to drive a stake through Yugoslavia's heart in the early 1990s during the heady days of post-Cold War triumphalism, their geopolitical strategy could not have achieved "success" without the connivance, indeed active partnership amongst Yugoslavia's nationalist rivals. As investigative journalist Misha Glenny documented,

Most shocking of all, however, is how the gangsters and politicians fueling war between their peoples were in private cooperating as friends and close business partners. The Croat, Bosnian, Albanian, Macedonian, and Serb moneymen and mobsters were truly thick as thieves. They bought, sold, and exchanged all manner of commodities, knowing that the high levels of personal trust between them were much stronger than the transitory bonds of hysterical nationalism. They fomented this ideology among ordinary folk in essence to mask their own venality. As one commentator described it, the new republics were ruled by "a parastate Cartel which had emerged from political institutions, the ruling Communist Party and its satellites, the military, a variety of police forces, the Mafia, court intellectuals and with the president of the Republic at the center of the spider web...Tribal nationalism was indispensable for the cartel as a means to pacify its subordinates and as a cover for the uninterrupted privatization of the state apparatus. (McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008, p. 27)
Glenny's description of the 1990s convergence of political, economic and security elites with organized crime syndicates in Western intelligence operations is the quintessential definition of the capitalist deep state.

In Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott describes how the deep state can be characterized by "the symbiosis between governments (and in particular their intelligence agencies) and criminal associations, particularly drug traffickers, in the stabilization of right-wing terror in Vietnam, Italy, Bolivia, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and other parts of the world." Indeed, "revelations in the 1970s and 1980s about the 'strategy of tension,' whereby government intelligence agencies, working in international conjunction, strengthened the case for their survival by actually fomenting violence, recurringly in alliance with drug-trafficking elements."

Scott's analysis is perhaps even more relevant today as "failed states" such as Kosovo, characterized by economic looting on an industrial scale, the absence of the rule of law, reliance on far-right terrorists (of both the "religious" and "secular" varieties) to achieve policy goals, organized crime syndicates, as both assets and executors of Western policy, and comprador elites are Washington's preferred international partners.

For the ruling elites of the former Yugoslavia and their Western allies, Kosovo is a veritable goldmine. Situated in the heart of the Balkans, Kosovo's government is deeply tied to organized crime structures: narcotrafficking, arms smuggling, car theft rings and human trafficking that feeds the sex slave "industry." These operations are intimately linked to American destabilization campaigns and their cosy ties to on-again, off-again intelligence assets that include al-Qaeda and other far-right terror gangs. As investigative journalist Peter Klebnikov documented (http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2000/01/heroin.html) in 2000,

The Kosovar traffickers ship heroin exclusively from Asia's Golden Crescent. It's an apparently inexhaustible source. At one end of the crescent lies Afghanistan, which in 1999 surpassed Burma as the world's largest producer of opium poppies. From there, the heroin base passes through Iran to Turkey, where it is refined, and then into the hands of the 15 Families, which operate out of the lawless border towns linking Macedonia, Albania, and Serbia. Not surprisingly, the KLA has also flourished there. According to the State Department, four to six tons of heroin move through Turkey every month. "Not very much is stopped," says one official. "We get just a fraction of the total." ("Heroin Heroes," Mother Jones, January-February 2000)
Not much has changed since then. Indeed, the CIA's intelligence model for covert destabilization operations is a continuing formula for "success." Beginning in the 1940s, when the Corsican Mafia was pegged by the Agency to smash the French Communist Party, down to today's bloody headlines coming out of Afghanistan and Pakistan, global drug lords and intelligence operators go hand in hand. It is hardly surprising then, that according to a report by the Berlin Institute for European Policy, organized crime is the only profitable sector of the Kosovan economy. Nearly a quarter of the country's economic output, some €550 million, is derived from criminal activities.

Though the role of the United States and their NATO partners are central to the drama unfolding today, the BND affair also reveals that beneath the carefully-constructed façade of Western "unity" in "Freedom Land," deep inter-imperialist rivalries simmer. As the socialist journalist Peter Schwarz reports (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/dec2008/koso-d01.shtml),

Speculation has since been rife about the background to the case, but it is doubtful whether it will ever be clarified. Kosovo is a jungle of rival secret services. In this regard, it resembles Berlin before the fall of the Wall. The US, Germany, Britain, Italy and France all have considerable intelligence operations in the country, which work both with and against one another. Moreover, in this country of just 2.1 million inhabitants, some 15,000 NATO soldiers and 1,500 UN police officers are stationed, as well as 400 judges, police officers and security officers belonging to the UN's EULEX mission. (Peter Schwarz, "Kosovo's Dirty Secret: The Background to Germany's Secret Service Affair," World Socialist Web Site, December 1, 2008)
Into this jungle of conflicting loyalties and interests, international crime syndicates in close proximity--and fleeting alliance--with this or that security service rule the roost. It is all the more ironic that the Thaci government has targeted the BND considering, as Balkan analyst Christopher Deliso revealed:

In 1996, Germany's BND established a major station in Tirana...and another in Rome to select and train future KLA fighters. According to Le Monde Diplomatique, "special forces in Berlin provided the operational training and supplied arms and transmission equipment from ex-East German Stasi stocks as well as Black uniforms." The Italian headquarters recruited Albanian immigrants passing through ports such as Brindisi and Trieste, while German military intelligence, the Militaramschirmdienst, and the Kommando Spezialkräfte Special Forces (KSK), offered military training and provisions to the KLA in the remote Mirdita Mountains of northern Albania controlled by the deposed president, Sali Berisha. (The Coming Balkan Caliphate, Westport: Praeger Security International, 2007, p. 37)
But as Schwarz observed, why would the Thaci government risk alienating the German state, given the fact that after the U.S., Germany "is the second largest financial backer of Kosovo and ranks among the most important advocates of its independence." Why indeed?

According to Balkan Analysis (http://www.balkanalysis.com/security-intelligence-briefs/01012007-kosovo%E2%80%99s-future-army-gets-communications-center/), the International Crisis Group (ICG (http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm)) funded by billionaire George Soros' Open Society Institute (OSI (http://www.soros.org/)) and closely aligned with "liberal interventionists" in the United States, were instrumental in arguing that the United States and Germany, should guarantee "future stability," by building up the Kosovo Protection Corps (TMK), the KLA's successor organization, into a well-equipped army. Towards this end, the U.S. and Germany, in addition to arming the organized crime-linked statelet, have provided funds and equipment for a sophisticated military communications center in the capital.

Speculation is rife and conflicting accounts proliferate like mushrooms after a warm rain. One theory has it that senior Kosovan politicians were angered by BND criticisms linking KLA functionaries, including personal associates of Thaci and the Prime Minister himself, with organized crime. Tellingly, Schwarz reports, this "is contrary to the position taken by the CIA."

Is the affair then, merely a falling-out among thieves on how the spoils will be divided?

The CIA: Drugs & Thugs International

As noted above, U.S. destabilization programs and covert operations rely on far-flung networks of far-right provocateurs and drug lords (often interchangeable players) to facilitate the dirty work for U.S. policy elites and American multinational corporations. Throughout its Balkan adventure the CIA made liberal use of these preexisting narcotics networks to arm the KLA and provide them with targets. In their public pronouncements and analyses however, nary a harsh word is spoken.

According to the CIA (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kv.html), by any standard Kosovo's economy is a disaster, but that doesn't prevent the Agency from seeing "significant progress"!

Over the past few years Kosovo's economy has shown significant progress in transitioning to a market-based system, but it is still highly dependent on the international community and the diaspora for financial and technical assistance. Remittances from the diaspora--located mainly in Germany and Switzerland--account for about 30% of GDP. Kosovo's citizens are the poorest in Europe with an average annual per capita income of only $1800--about one-third the level of neighboring Albania. Unemployment--at more than 40% of the population--is a severe problem that encourages outward migration. (Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, November 20, 2008)
Needless to say, one unmentionable "fact" disappeared from the CIA's country profile is the statelet's overwhelming dependence on the black economy. I suppose this is what the Agency means when it lauds Kosovo's transition to a "market-based system"! But as former DEA investigator and whistleblower Michael Levine, author of The Big White Lie, told B92 (http://www.b92.net/eng/news/crimes-article.php?yyyy=2008&mm=03&dd=26&nav_id=48825), one of the wings of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was "linked with every known narco-cartel in the Middle East and the Far East", and that almost every European intelligence service and police has files on "connections between ethnic Albanian rebels and drug trafficking". And dare I say by extension, the CIA itself.

One bone of contention which could have led Thaci and his henchmen to seek revenge against his erstwhile German allies was a 67-page BND analysis about organized crime in Kosovo. As Schwarz noted the dossier, produced in February 2005 and subsequently leaked to the press, "accuses Ramush Haradinaj (head of government from December 2004 to March 2005), Hashim Thaci (prime minister since January 2008) and Xhavit Haliti, who sits in the parliament presidium, of being deeply implicated in the drugs trade."

According to the BND report, "Regarding the key players (e.g., Haliti, Thaci, Haradinaj), there exists the closest ties between politics, business and internationally operating OC [organized crime] structures in Kosovo. The criminal networks behind this are encouraging political instability. They have no interest in building a functioning state, which could impair their flourishing trade." (WSWS, op. cit.)
Haradinaj, an American protégé, became Prime Minister in 2004. However, he was forced to resign his post in March 2005 when the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicted him for crimes against humanity. Among other things, Haradinaj was accused of abducting civilians, unlawful detention, torture, murder and rape. Schwarz notes he was acquitted in April 2008 "for lack of evidence, after nine out of ten prosecution witnesses died violently and the tenth withdrew his statement after narrowly escaping an assassination attempt." Talk about friends in high places!

Mirroring evidence uncovered by journalists and investigators regarding the control of the drugs trade by 15 Albanian crime families, the Berlin Institute for European Policy laid similar charges against Thaci, stating that real power in Kosovo is wielded by 15 to 20 family clans who control "almost all substantial key social positions" and are "closely linked to prominent political decision makers."

According to Spiegel, when the BND operation was run to ground with the possible connivance of the CIA, its secret network of informants, instrumental to gaining insight into the interconnections amongst state actors and organized crime were compromised. The BND's Department Five, responsible for organized crime wrote a confidential report linking Thaci as "a key figure in a Kosovar-Albanian mafia network."

Department Two, according to Spiegel, was responsible for telecommunications surveillance. In 1999, the BND launched operation "Mofa99," a wiretap intercept program that targeted high-ranking members of the KLA--and exposed their links to dodgy criminal syndicates and Islamist allies, al-Qaeda. The program was so successful according to Spiegel that since then, "the BND has maintained an extensive network of informants among high-ranking functionaries of the KLA and the Kosovar administration."

Functionaries in possession of many dangerous secrets and inconvenient truths!

As researcher and analyst Michel Chossudovsky wrote (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=367) back in 2001, among the "inconvenient truths" unexplored by Western media is the close proximity of far-right Islamist terror gangs and planetary U.S. destabilization operations.

Since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin ("holy warriors") to fight covert wars on Washington's behest has become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress has revealed how the US administration--under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake--had "helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base" leading to the recruitment through the so-called "Militant Islamic Network," of thousands of Mujahedin from the Muslim world.

The "Bosnian pattern" has since been replicated in Kosovo, Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Among the foreign mercenaries now fighting with the KLA-NLA are Mujahedin from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union as well as "soldiers of fortune" from several NATO countries including Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian Muslim Army. (Michel Chossudovsky, "Washington Behind Terrorist Assaults in Macedonia," Global Research, September 10, 2001)
Fast forward seven years and one can hypothesize that the BND, stepping on the CIA's toes and that agency's cosy intelligence "understanding" with Mafia-linked KLA fighters and al-Qaeda assets, would have every reason to sabotage the BND's organized crime operations--not that the German military intelligence service's hands are any cleaner!

While we may never know all the facts surrounding this curious affair, one thing is certain: the role played by powerful Mafia gangs as a source for black funds, intelligence assets and CIA "agents of influence" will continue. Administrations come and go, but like motherhood and apple pie the shadowy workings of America's deep state is an eternal verity you can count on!