German Intelligence Agency (BND) is concerned about the Islamist ideology increasing its influence in the Balkan region, German newspapers report. The main focus of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency is the Muslim-majority country of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The agency has been alarmed by massive investments being made by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries in the religious and Islamist infrastructure of the country.

The investments made by Arab patrons are paying off handsomely. Bosnia-Herzegovina has the highest percentage of ISIS recruits compared to any other European country, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung confirmed. An estimated 200 Bosnians have left the country to fight for the Islamic State, a German broadcaster reported.  In recent months, Bosnian Police have made several arrests and recovered large amounts of explosives and military hardware in raids across the country.

Carved out of the Communist Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992, the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina became the first Muslim-majority state of the modern Europe. Nearly 16 years later, Kosovo would declare independence from Serbia, emerging as Europe’s second Muslim-majority state. Unsurprisingly, both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo are today hotbeds for Jihadi recruitment. In early 1990s, hundreds of ‘mujahedeen’ fighters came from abroad to bolster the ranks of Bosnian Muslims forces battling the Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats. Today, Bosnian Muslims are returning the favor by exporting Jihad abroad.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

German Intelligence Agency (BND) is increasingly turning its attention towards the Balkans, especially towards Bosnia-Herzegovina. The BND is cooperating with other intelligence agencies in this regard, the newspaper Berlin Zeitung reported citing sources within the national security circles. The primary reason behind this is the growth of Islamist movement in the region.

Like most of the erstwhile Yugoslav states, Bosnia-Herzegovina is regarded as a highly volatile entity. Besides, Arabian Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia, have invested heavily in order to replacing the existing moderate variety of Islam with the so-called Wahhabi kind. From no other European state — in proportion to its population — did so many fighters join Jihadists group than from Bosnia.

Furthermore, the Balkans remain a transit route for the refugees that arrive through Turkey and Greece and move towards Central Europe — despite the EU-Turkey Deal halting that flow. [Translation by the author]

Formerly part of the Christian Byzantine Empire, the Islamization of the Balkans began with the Ottoman conquest in the fourteenth century. The rise of the European nationalism led to several revolutions and uprisings but failed to create stable nation-states in the region.

After the Second World War, the region was consolidated under the communist dictatorship of Josip Broz Tito into the unified and multi-ethnic Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. The collapse of the Eastern Block in the early 1990s reignited the dormant ethnic nationalism in the region, fueling a decade-long war which led to the creation of 6 new countries on ethnic and historical lines: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. Serbia’s Muslim-majority provinces of Kosovo was the latest addition to the Balkan states, declaring Independence in 2008.

The European security apparatus, however, has a bigger problem at hand than a bunch radicalized Muslims somewhere in the Balkans. If the trend in Muslim-majority Balkan states is any indicator, Europe’s biggest challenge is rearing its head in its heartland.

According to the projections released by the Pew Research Center, the Muslim population in major European countries is expected to triple by 2050. The Muslim population of Germany is predicted to grow from 6 percent in 2016 to nearly 20 percent in next three decades. As the left-wing British newspaper The Guardian points out, “Even if all current 28 EU members, plus Norway and Switzerland, closed their borders to migrants, the Muslim population share in the west would continue to grow owing to a younger age profile and higher fertility rates, but remain very low in the east.”

Even if we go by the admission of European politicians, who keep on reminding everyone how Radical Islam holds sway over just a tiny minority within the immigrant Muslim population, Europe is moving deeper and deeper into the Jihadist quagmire. Mathematically speaking, as the proportion of Muslim population grows in Europe, the Islamist threat grows as well.

[Cover image via YouTube]