Tuesday 23 January 2018

Lone gunman in terror attack on US embassy

Sabina Niksic in Sarajevo

A man opened fire with an automatic weapon yesterday in an attack on the US Embassy in Bosnia.

A policeman and the gunman were wounded, but the embassy said none of its employees was hurt.

Sarajevo mayor Alija Behmen said the gunman "got off a tram with a Kalashnikov and started shooting at the American embassy".

Witnesses told Bosnian television that the man urged pedestrians to move away, saying he was targeting only the embassy.

He wore a beard and was dressed in an outfit with ankle-revealing short pants -- typical for followers of the conservative Wahhabi branch of Islam.

One police officer guarding the building was wounded before police surrounded the gunman.

It is understood the assailant suffered a wound to his leg during a 30-minute standoff.

Bosnian TV identified the shooter as Mevlid Jasarevic, from Novi Pazar, Serbia. It said he is a Wahhabi follower.

The Wahhabis are an extremely conservative branch which is rooted in Saudi Arabia and linked to religious militants in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Western intelligence reports have alleged that the tense, impoverished area in Serbia along with Muslim-dominated regions in Bosnia is a rich ground for recruiting so-called 'white al-Qa'ida' -- Muslims with Western features who could easily blend into European or US cities and carry out attacks.

Irish Independent

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