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Behind the Terror
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“My Party and I Lit the Fuse”
Parallels in Ethnic Warfare

Men in a camp

n the 1990s, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri directed the Balkan operations of al-Qaeda, although his brother, Muhammad, took over the reins at a certain point. As reported in The Wall Street Journal in November 2001, “Ayman al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade.”1

Pitted against them, ironically, were fighters indoctrinated by psychiatrists Jovan Raskovic and Radovan Karadzic. Raskovic, founder of the Serbian Democratic Party of Croatia, devoted years to the clever but ruthless masterminding of a campaign that denigrated Croats, Bosnians and other Balkan ethnicities in the minds of his fellow Serbs.

Slobodan Milosevic
Slobodan Milosevic

Radovan Karadzic
Radovan Karadzic

Jovan Raskovic
Jovan Raskovic

In January 1992, shortly before hostilities spilled from Croatia into Bosnia-Herzegovina, Raskovic uttered a chilling confession on Belgrade’s Yutel television: “I feel responsible because I made the preparations for this war.... If I hadn’t created this emotional strain in the Serbian people, nothing would have happened.

“My party and I lit the fuse of the Serbian nationalism not only in Croatia but everywhere else in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We have driven this people and we have given it an identity. I have repeated it again and again to this people that it comes from heaven, not earth.”

As previously covered in Freedom, Raskovic, Karadzic, and then Slobodan Milosevic—reportedly a patient of Karadzic’s—continually spread the idea that the Serbs were threatened by the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo.2

The ultimate cost: more than 225,000 killed, as many as 100,000 women gang-raped, and some 3 million people displaced.

The actions of Raskovic and Karadzic in igniting the fires of ethnic hatred in Bosnia and adjacent areas, and the devastating fruits of their work, were mirrored in al-Qaeda and the activities of Ayman al-Zawahiri and others. Parallels with al-Qaeda, with bin Laden as psychiatrist al-Zawahiri’s patient, are striking, including in the exploitation of language.

Other than the words themselves, there is little difference between al-Zawahiri’s “jihad” and its extermination of Afghan minorities, and Raskovic’s and Karadzic’s “ethnic cleansing,” as a euphemism for their all-out assault on Bosnians.

Tracing back similarities in the words and actions of psychiatrists al-Zawahiri and Raskovic, one finds, before them, those of Ernst Rudin, professor of psychiatry at Munich University and architect of the “racial hygiene” policies of the Nazis before and during World War II. Between 1933 and 1939, as a direct result of Rudin’s work, an estimated 375,000 forced sterilizations were carried out.3

Indeed, when one hears al-Zawahiri railing about the “arrogance and tyranny” of the Jewish people, it appears he burned the midnight oil studying the works of psychiatrist Rudin—the Nazis’ top ideologist and primary author of their racial hygiene program, who created “psychiatric genetics,” the pseudoscience that served as the ideological framework for the subsequent slaughter of millions.

1 Marcia Christoff Kurop, “Al Qaeda’s Balkan Links,” The Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001.

2 Patricia Forestier, “Psychiatric Genocide! ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ in Bosnia,” Freedom, Volume 25, Issue 1; Gail Armstrong and Patricia Forestier, “Ending the Balkan Nightmare,” Freedom, Volume 31, Issue 2.

3 Bruce Wiseman, “Psychiatry: The Ultimate Betrayal”, (Los Angeles: Freedom Publishing, 1995), page 63.

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