Once magnet for foreign mujahedeen, Bosnia now exports them

A magnet for foreign jihadists during its 1990s war, Bosnia is now grappling with the threat from home-grown extremists wooed by the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

While most Bosnian Muslims are moderates, a few thousand have adopted the ultraconservative Salafist brand of Sunni Islam introduced by the fighters who flocked to Bosnia from North Africa, the Middle East and Asia during the 1992-1995 conflict between Serbs, Muslims and Croats.

Most of those foreign fighters, or “mujahedeen”, left Bosnia when the war ended.

But the seed had already been sown. Twenty years on, the radical preachers giving fiery sermons in “mesdzids”, or improvised prayer halls, are no longer foreigners.

Those taking up arms are also local men…