Bosnian special force SIPA reported that 36-year-old Mirsad Kandic, detained in Grabovica in July, was extradited to the US on November 1.
Kandic was born in Kosovo. He lived legally in the US for some time. Since 2014 he has been wanted internationally. It is assumed Kandic have been in Bosnia and Herzegovina since January 2017. Before that he traveled around Europe using fake IDs.
Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dragan Mektic called Kandic a “an ISIS intelligence commander.” The officials say that Kandic was hiding out in the country, despite him having a lot of contacts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kandic is suspected of organizing delivering weapons and recruits across Turkey, and also of managing several Twitter propaganda accounts. He’s also suspected of organizing several terrorist attacks, including the March 11 Jake Bilardi’s self-detonation in Ramadi.
Bosnia, says the American Balkan expert and former NSA employee John Schindler, “is considered something of a ‘safehouse’ for radicals,” and now harbors a stable terrorist infrastructure. It is one that is not strictly hierarchical and is thus considered “off-message” within IS, but it nonetheless represents an existential threat to the fragmented republic.
According to findings by the Bosnian Ministry of Security, not only were munitions from Bosnia used in the January 2015 attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, but some of the weapons used in the November 13 Islamic State attack on Paris were also from former Yugoslav production.
It increasingly looks as though a new sanctuary for IS fighters, planners and recruiters has been established right in the middle of Europe. More fighters from Bosnia-Herzegovina have joined IS than from any other country in Europe, except for Belgium. Around 30 Bosnians have lost their lives in the Middle Eastern battlefields, with some 50 having returned home. And many more are slated to return following the collapse of ISIS, which will provide several security challenges for the region.