Prior to 1999, Republicans in the US Senate, calling attention to corrupt Democrat Bill Clinton's pro-Albanian-organized-crime Balkan foreign policy, had concluded in a 1997 United States Senate Republican Policy Committee Press Release the following regarding these Albanian cartels and their connections to Islamic extremist terrorists and to organized crime groups:
Not Just the Iranians
To understand how the Clinton green light would lead to this degree of Iranian influence, it is necessary to remember that the policy was adopted in the context of extensive and growing radical Islamic activity in Bosnia. That is, the Iranians and other Muslim militants had long been active in Bosnia; the American green light was an important political signal to both Sarajevo and the militants that the United States was unable or unwilling to present an obstacle to those activities -- and, to a certain extent, was willing to cooperate with them. In short, the Clinton Administration's policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an ongoing international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe. That network involves not only Iran but Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (a key ally of Iran), and Turkey, together with front groups supposedly pursuing humanitarian and cultural activities.
For example, one such group about which details have come to light is the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization which has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. ["How Bosnia's Muslims Dodged Arms Embargo: Relief Agency Brokered Aid From Nations, Radical Groups," Washington Post, 9/22/96; see also "Saudis Funded Weapons For Bosnia, Official Says: $300 Million Program Had U.S. 'Stealth Cooperation'," Washington Post, 2/2/96] TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Binladen, a wealthy Saudi emigre believed to bankroll numerous militant groups. [WP, 9/22/96] (Sheik Rahman, a native of Egypt, is currently in prison in the United States; letter bombs addressed to targets in Washington and London, apparently from Alexandria, Egypt, are believed connected with his case. Binladen was a resident in Khartoum, Sudan, until last year; he is now believed to be in Afghanistan, "where he has issued statements calling for attacks on U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf." [WP, 9/22/96])
The Mujahedin Threat
In addition to (and working closely with) the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and VEVAK intelligence are members of numerous radical groups known for their anti-Western orientation, along with thousands of volunteer mujahedin ("holy warriors") from across the Islamic world. From the beginning of the NATO-led deployment, the Clinton Administration has given insufficient weight to military concerns regarding the mujahedin presence in Bosnia as well as the danger they pose to American personnel. Many of the fighters are concentrated in the so-called "green triangle" (the color green symbolizes Islam) centered on the town of Zenica in the American IFOR/SFOR zone but are also found throughout the country.
Stepping-Stone to Europe
The intended targets of the mujahedin network in Bosnia are not limited to that country but extend to Western Europe. For example, in August 1995, the conservative Paris daily Le Figaro reported that French security services believe that "Islamic fundamentalists from Algeria have set up a security network across Europe with fighters trained in Afghan guerrilla camps and [in] southern France while some have been tested in Bosnia." [(London) Daily Telegraph, 8/17/95] Also, in April 1996, Belgian security arrested a number of Islamic militants, including two native Bosnians, smuggling weapons to Algerian guerrillas active in France. [Intelligence Newsletter, Paris, 5/9/96 (No. 287)] Finally, also in April 1996, a meeting of radicals aligned with HizbAllah ("Party of God"), a pro-Iran group based in Lebanon, set plans for stepping up attacks on U.S. assets on all continents; among those participating was an Egyptian, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who "runs the Islamist terrorist operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina from a special headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria. His forces are already deployed throughout Bosnia, ready to attack US and other I-FOR (NATO Implementation Force) targets." ["State-Sponsored Terrorism and The Rise of the HizbAllah International," Defense and Foreign Affairs and Strategic Policy, London, 8/31/96] Finally, in December 1996, French and Belgian security arrested several would-be terrorists trained at Iranian-run camps in Bosnia. ["Terrorism: The Bosnian Connection," (Paris) L'Express, 12/26/96]
Continuing now with Group tied to al-Qaida backs McCain for prez:
DioGuardi strongly disagrees with the conclusion.
"The Serbs and the Orthodox Christian church are fighting a medieval battle," DioGuardi said. "To them, anybody who is a Muslim is a problem."
DioGuardi delved into history, arguing the Albanians were also Christians until the Ottoman Turks occupied Albania.
"Albania is the only real friend the United States has in the Balkans," he said. "President Woodrow Wilson after World War I, in 1921, forced Yugoslavia to withdraw from Albania, thus saving Albania as an independent state. Today, Albania has about 600 troops fighting in Iraq with the United States, and Albania has offered to send more."
'Just another Serbian lie'
DioGuardi affirmed the AACL supported McCain in his 2000 presidential campaign and is supporting him in his current bid for the White House.
The Serbian Internet publication, Serbianna.com, ran a story Feb. 13, claiming that in the 2000 presidential campaign, McCain accepted contributions from the AACL totaling $1 million from an event at the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
This image that I reproduce is from that article:
DioGuardi said the $1 million figure "just another Serbian lie."
DioGuardi said the AACL had gotten some 1,000 Albanians to greet McCain's bus on Feb. 11, 2000, when the senator was coming to New York City to hold some fundraising events.
"We wanted to greet Sen. McCain and show him Albanians in New York were behind him in his race to be president," he argued. "We didn't raise $1 million for McCain at any fundraiser that day."
Mr. DioGuardi's comment may be technically correct. See The Heroin Lobby, Part 8 to see how Turkish organized crime launders money into the campaigns of politicians it supports; Albanian cartels can, of course, do the same.
The Serbianna.com story included a photograph showing McCain, DioGuardi and a group of Albanian supporters in the St. Regis lobby.
Another photo of the event was published on Justin Raimondo's website, Anti-war.com, showing McCain and DioGiardi again with a small group of Albanian supporters.
WND asked if DioGuardi or the Albanian community had raised as much as $1 million for McCain, regardless how many events were involved.
"Not yet," DioGuardi answered.
He admitted to being a top fundraiser for McCain in 2008 and he said he was pledged to raise as much as $100,000 this year for the presidential campaign.
"The Albanian American Civic League also has a PAC, and we have already given the maximum we can give to McCain," DioGuardi affirmed.
OpenSecrets.org documents the Albanian American PAC has contributed $5,000 to McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, while making no contributions to any Democratic Party presidential candidate.
"Whenever there is a McCain fundraiser in New York, we notify our members who can write a check and ask them to attend," DioGuardi also admitted.
While FEC records track the employment of campaign contributors, no questions are asked to determine a contributor's interest group affiliation, making it nearly impossible to determine the exact amount contributed by AACL members or loosely affiliated sympathizers.
The AACL's support for the KLA, however, is a matter of public record.
In 1998, the group issued a public declaration, "In Defense of the Albanian National Cause," announcing its support for the KLA.
Albanian.com, a website that bills itself as the "Home of Albanians Online," currently credits McCain as becoming nationally known in 1999 for advocating NATO bombing of Serbia and suggesting the U.S. should send American troops into Kosovo to support the KLA.
"We support any politician, Republican or Democrat, who understands the problems of the Balkans the way we do," DioGuardi said.
This is important information to keep in mind. Not only is Senator McCain affiliated with this particular organized crime front group, but, as we pointed out in The Heroin Lobby, Part 10, the Democrat candidate for Vice President, Senator Biden, is affiliated with them as well.
This will impact US foreign policy as the Balkans dissolve into further violence, with US forces supporting organized crime and Islamic extremists tied in with Sheikh bin Laden; we addressed this in The Next Two Balkan Wars, and will look more closely at Senator Biden's role in an Obama Administration as this series continues -- so stick around! :)