(continuazione di:
http://www.egroups.com/message/crj-mailinglist/253 )

Sunday Times (London)
August 13 2000

SAS soldier reveals how he helped arm Bosnians

A FORMER soldier in the SAS has described how Britain secretly armed
Croats and Muslims in the early stages of the break-up of Yugoslavia
with the help of a Middle Eastern arms dealer, writes Tom Walker.
The soldier, going by the pen name of "Tom Carew" and a veteran of more
than 20 years in the Hereford-based regiment, is planning a book on his
Balkan exploits, revealing that much of Britain's surplus of army
uniforms and other materials from the Gulf war was delivered to Croatia
and Bosnia.
He and a handful of colleagues also arranged arms shipments to the
fledgling Croatian and Bosnian forces, using a wealthy Syrian dealer
based in Marbella, Spain. At the time the Conservative government was
trying in vain to create a balance of power with Serbian forces.
Carew will describe how he first went to Croatia at the end of 1991,
after the Serbian-dominated Yugoslav National Army had laid siege to
Vukovar. The aim, he said, was to help the Croats, who were outgunned,
with surplus equipment from British bases in Germany. "We began to take
everything - Bedford trucks, Land Rovers, the lot." He said John Major,
the then prime minister, and Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany "sorted
everything out".
While the uniforms, boots, webbing, bulletproof jackets and other items
were brought down by lorry, often by off-duty drivers in the Royal Corps
of Transport, Carew said, the arms procurement was a much more secretive
The dealer used by the British, he said, was Monzar Al Kassar, an
extreme anti-Zionist whom the CIA had suspected of involvement in the
hijacking of the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985.
Carew said he delivered briefcases stuffed with cash to Al Kassar at his
Marbella residence, where there was a swimming pool in the shape of a
clover leaf. Al Kassar was cleared of all charges relating to the
Achille Lauro.
As the guns and equipment poured into Bosnia, Carew said, the plans to
create a balance of power went awry. "We'd be helping the Croats and the
Muslims, but then the Croats would team up with the Serbs against the
Muslims and then it would all change again. It was a witches' cauldron."
Carew is about to publish Jihad!, a book recounting his role in
clandestine operations in and around Afghanistan a decade earlier.

http://www.the-times.co.uk (World)

The Times (London)
August 8 2000 EUROPE

Serb jail threat to arrested British police


TWO British policemen and two Canadians being held by
the Yugoslav military are facing a long spell in Serb
custody after compromising evidence emerged linking
one of the four to Kosovo guerrillas.
One of the Canadians, a construction company owner
whose car was found to contain explosive equipment,
hasadmitted giving money to the brother of a Kosovo
Liberation Army leader to secure post-war building

A military prosecutor in the Montenegrin capital,
Podgorica, must decide today whether to launch a
formal investigation or release the men, who were
detained returning to Kosovo after a trip to
Montenegro last week.

The men's best hope is a 60-day jail sentence for
entering Yugoslavia without visas. At worst they could
be tried and convicted of "terrorist actions",
punishable by a life sentence. In any event, the
prosecutor is likely to open a criminal investigation
that could take six months to complete. And the
situation could be further complicated by next month's
Serbian elections as President Milosevic could use the
arrests to whip up nationalist support.

The policemen John Yore, 31, and Adrian Prangnell, 41,
had been helping to train Kosovan police cadets when
they took a weekend off to visit Montenegro with Shaun
Going, 45, and his nephew Liam Hall, 19. As they
returned to Kosovo they were stopped twice for routine
inspections by the Montenegrin police and then again
at a Yugoslav Army checkpoint.

"When they were stopped by Yugoslav border guards, one
of the men expressed frustration at having to stop so
many times," their lawyer, Vojislav Zecevic, said.
"One of the Yugoslavs understood English and then
searched the car."

The guards found the men did not have visas to enter
Yugoslavia - as most Westerners do not - and a search
of Mr Going's car revealed explosive materials used in
mining. The Serbs say the material, believed to be
detonators, could have been used in sabotage.

Mr Going admitted earlier this year that, in an
attempt to win contracts, he had paid £40,000 to Gani
Thaci, whose younger brother Hashim is a Kosovo
Liberation Army commander. Mr Going said that there
was no way of doing business in the area without
coming into contact with former KLA members.

Britain was last night intensifying diplomatic efforts
in London and Belgrade to win the release of the
detainees and trying to make a distinction between the
Canadians and the Britons.

Keith Vaz, the Foreign Office Minister, said that he
would be calling in Raida Drobac, the head of the
Yugoslav interests section in London, to protest about
the detentions. A similar message will be delivered in
Belgrade by Igor Khalavinsky, the UN representative,
and the Brazilian Ambassador, whose embassy represents
British interests.

"We have two policemen working for civil humanitarian
causes in Kosovo who went to Montenegro for a holiday
break. The next thing they know about this is they are
on Serbian television being branded as terrorists," Mr
Vaz said. "This is new depths of Serbian paranoia."

However, Mr Drobac said that the Serb authorities were
acting within their rights, just as much as British
police would respond if "terrrorist suspects" were
detained in Sussex.

"These men were detained without visas on Yugoslav
territory in possession of compromising material," he
said. "It is only natural for the authorities to

In the meantime the men are likely to remain at a
military base outside Podgorica, where, their lawyer
said yesterday, they were being well-treated. "They
are in good health and are satisfied given the
situation." They were not confined in a jail cell and
wear their own clothes.

Mr Zecevic said military authorities have little
evidence against the four men, but there is enough to
launch an investigation. He is optimistic that it will
not last long or lead to formal charges.

The men had told him that they had wanted to take a
different road back to Kosovo after their weekend
break at the resort town of Sveti Stefan. They drove
through the Lim River valley, a notoriously
pro-Milosevic region, then took a small village road
at Murino, up the Mount Cakor pass.


The Independent (UK)

We have the heart for battle, says Montenegrin trained by SAS
By Phil Rees in Podgorica
30 July 2000

An officer from Montenegro's Special Police, the Spezijalni, has
described the role of the SAS in training the force. Tensions between
Montenegro and Serbia – the last republics remaining in the Yugoslav
federation – are likely to be stretched even nearer to breaking point
by the revelations.
The 15,000-strong force will be the front line of defence if the
Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, attempts to oust the separatist
Montenegrin president, Milo Djukanovic, and replace him with a leader
loyal to the union with Serbia.
The presence in Montenegro of the Seventh Battalion of the Yugoslav
army, which has been busy recruiting there, raises the prospect of a
bitter fratricidal war on Montenegrin soil between the pro- and
anti-Milosevic camps.
Sparked by Mr Djukanovic's increasing threats to break away, the Seventh
Battalion keeps an ever-watchful eye on its Montenegrin counterparts.
But British involvement in the republic, in the shape of the SAS, may
have escaped the gaze of the black-bereted recruits to the Yugoslav
The revelation comes amid an increasing sense of doom in Montenegro,
following the announcement by Mr Milosevic that he will seek re-election
as Yugoslav president in polls in late September. An internal EU
analysis recently predicted that Mr Milosevic would most probably win at
least another four years in office.
In the grounds of the Hotel Zlatica, now converted into a barracks on
the outskirts of Montenegro's capital, Podgorica, Velibor, 23, an
experienced officer in the Spezijalni, spoke of his time with the
British unit: "It was great. We learnt a lot. Some of the techniques
they use are different to ours."
The threat from fellow countrymen in the Seventh Battalion is treated
very seriously: "If somebody wants to harm our country, you have to
shoot him. It doesn't matter if it's your friend or your father or your
brother. My best friend – or he used to be, he joined the army and I
joined the police – told me 'brother, it's better for me to shoot you
because then you can't shoot me'."
Velibor stands well over 6ft tall, as do most of the officers in the
élite unit of the Special Police – seemingly in contrast to their
SAS tutors. "They told us 'You have very big guys here... we are all
small guys and we like to run, and you all like to lift weights.' We
were very strange to them."
The Special Police has a fierce reputation in Montenegro – its gung-ho
approach seemingly unsettling the SAS. "They thought we were crazy. When
two of us banged into a house and started shooting into walls, bullets
were flying around and they said 'Oh, it's a real gun, real bullets?
You're crazy guys, you don't have protection'. But we have a heart, we
don't have protection but we have a heart. A big heart."
The role of the SAS in Montenegro is highly sensitive, with the Special
Police seen as a challenge from inside Yugoslavia to Mr Milosevic. His
supporters have regularly claimed that "foreign forces" are arming and
training the Spezijalni. Montenegro's government officially denies any
involvement by foreign nations in the training or arming of the police.
The SAS training includes hostage rescue. A key scenario played out by
the anti-terrorist unit of the Spezijalni is how to react to an
attempted coup by forces loyal to Mr Milosevic.
The Seventh Battalion, all Montenegrin, whose largest contingent is
based near the northern town of Bijelo Polje, has been recruiting in
numbers for the past six months.
Ivan, a softly spoken man in his late thirties, fought for the Yugoslav
army during the wars that ripped Yugoslavia apart in the 1990s. He was
under the orders of Mr Milosevic then and would continue to follow his
orders now.
"If Djukanovic calls for a referendum or moves in any other violent way
towards independence, the Seventh Battalion will follow the orders of
the president. If there is a situation where weapons will decide the
outcome, we are ready. We are training for that."
Mr Djukanovic describes the Seventh Battalion as a "paramilitary force".
"Mr Milosevic has always formed groups with the aim of provoking
internal conflicts," he says.

Phil Rees presents 'Crossing Continents' on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 3
August at 11am, and 'Correspondent' on BBC2 next Saturday at 6.50pm

e-mail: crj@... - URL: http://marx2001.org/crj