December 16, 2008 (The date of publication in Russian)

Mikhail Yambaev


The US Special Services squeeze their German colleagues out of Kosovo with the help of Albanian Mafiosi

On November 14 in Pristina an explosive device was thrown at the International Civilian Office, led by the EU’s special representative to Kosovo (Pieter Feith). Actually the explosion wasn't too big – no one was injured and the whole damage did not go beyond a few smashed window glasses. However the diplomatic consequences of the "act of terrorism" in the center of self-proclaimed "state" turned to be bigger and louder than the very explosion.

Three Germans were arrested and accused of setting off the bomb: Robert Zoller, Andreas Brunken and Andreas Jackel. They all turned out to be members of BND (the foreign intelligence agency of the German government), but had no special documents, but ordinary passports. What's interesting, a week passed from the day of the explosion to the time when Germans were arrested. It means that if they really committed any crime, they would have a lot of time to disappear from Kosovo.

And Kosovar Special Services turned to have been following the three Germans for a long time. They had videos from outdoor cameras, where one of Germans was noticed to enter an empty building next to the EU headquarters. Right from there "the bomb" (actually 200g of explosives) was thrown to Peter Feith's office.

BND members justified themselves, as if they came to the place of the terrorist act to have their own investigation. Germans stated they were members of "Logistic Assessments" firm, which prepared recommendations for German investors in Kosovo, and at the same time served as "a cover" for BND agents. Suddenly it was found out that "the Security Service of Kosovo" had been keeping an eye on the firm and three arrested Germans for a year and a half.

Fatmir Sejdiu, the President of Kosovo, and Hashim Thaci, the Prime Minister, convened an emergency press-conference an hour after the explosion and hurried to state, that "the perpetrators of this act are the enemies of Kosovo". Thaci also emphasized, that "such an ugly crime cannot affect Kosovo's pro-Western policy".

The explosion happened right at the time, when the negotiations on the so-called "UN six-point plan", which touched upon the reassessment of some conditions of deployment of the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) in the region, took place in Pristina. The official Belgrade agreed to accept these changes, and what is more – insisted on realizing them, but Pristina vise versa stood against the plan.

During few days after the explosion Germany and BND had to prove their innocence telling their citizens can't be connected with terrorism. Meanwhile Kosovo couldn't give any serious proofs to the three Germans being involved in organizing the explosion. In the end BND members were let go, whereupon they urgently left to Germany.

Serbian mass media mostly gave two versions of what had happened. Some said those three Germans worked for radical wing of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), others perceived the provocation of the US Special Services in that. The fact that those were not the first Germans to plan, prepare and realize a terrorist act makes the first version credible. As in June 2001 German citizen Roland Bartecko was arrested on suspicion of the preparation of attempt to murder the Serbian Police colonel. Later it was found out that he was also guilty of blowing up Serbian passenger bus near the village of Livadice. 12 people died that time.

Though the problem is that after a few days Bartecko spent in the UN prison… he was conveyed to American Camp Bondsteel, where he easily escaped judgment. This fact definitely evidences that Bartecko was employed not by Alban radicals, but directly by the US Services.

And now CIA has many reasons to pay BND members back. We'll remind that from the beginning this region was under the influence of German Special Services, which actively took part in the creation of Alban guerilla units. And the USA from its side only examined KLA closely, and till the autumn of 1998 stamped it as a "terrorist organization" through the words of Robert Gelbard, the American ambassador in the Balkans.

However, then everything changed and KLA leaders redirected to the USA. It didn't take long for Germans to answer back: BND began to hunt up the info about Hashim Thaci. In 2005 this department issued a secret report, in which Hashim Thaci and his company were characterized as "heads of Albanian mafia gangs". Last years BDN was working actively with the disclosing of criminal structures inside Kosovar administration. Furthermore, BND was the one to provide Mass Media with the info about Alban Mafia's bribes to Martti Ahtisaari in exchange for "pushing" the project of the independence of Kosovo.

German mass media say that today's actions of Pristina are nothing but revenge to Germany for the activity on the territory of Kosovo. It was BND who labeled Hashim Thaci, Ramush Haradinaj and others as "deeply involved into criminal". But who could sanction a provocation of that kind, which Germany now is totally blamed for – pointedly and with a special purpose in mind?

Erich Schmidt, German expert in Special Services work, suspects that Pristina should have beforehand got a support and approval of the USA to arrest German intelligence officers. Though, he also admits the version of Hashim Thaci's revenge to German Special Services.

Schmidt emphasizes, that CIA drove BND out of Kosovo already 10 years ago. According to his interview to Belgrade Politics newspaper, Washington can't stand when someone meddles with their business in Kosovo, and someone doesn't coordinate its actions with the US military in Camp Bondsteel.

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