Seeds of Jihad Planted in the Balkans

In September 1993, a battalion of foreign Islamic fighters overran a village near the Croat-held town of Vitez in central Bosnia-Herzegovina. They rounded up the prisoners and the wounded and summarily killed them all. Even in a war infamous for its carnage, it was a particularly gruesome moment.

These mujahedeen, fresh from the Afghan-Russian war, began streaming into Bosnia the year before. They hoped to carry out a broader jihad in a war that started with the breakup of Yugoslavia and had descended into pitting Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Muslims against each other.