ISIS set up stronghold in the heart of Europe as terrorists secretly buy land near an isolated village
Security services think the area in Bosnia is used for ISIS training camps and could be a base for devastating terror attacks on the West.
ISIS stronghold: An entrance to the Bosnian village of Gornja Maoca
Islamic State have established a stronghold in mainland Europe, a Sunday Mirror investigation reveals.
Terrorists are secretly buying land in an isolated village, surrounded by deep woodland.
Crucially, the location gives IS a key strategic position due to its proximity to the Mediterranean which is used by extremists from Syria, Iraq and North Africa.
At least 12 ISIS fighters trained in the village of Osve have left for Syria in recent months and five are reported to be dead.
“The chosen location of some of the properties is on a hill, where there is no possibility to approach without being seen. It is clear that the source of the terrorist threat is right there. It is a major threat.
“There is no one there who isn’t ready to respond to the summons to jihad.”
We visited the hilltop village 60 miles from Sarajevo and six miles from the town of Maglaj afternoon.
It is not mapped by GPS and is only accessible by steep and winding roads barely wide enough for cars to pass.
A number of houses there appear to have been abandoned or only half built and it is not overlooked by any other settlement.
A number of villagers wore Islamic-style clothing, including two women wearing burkas.
Our guide – our driver and translator – said we were being watched and it was too dangerous to photograph them.
Clearly worried, the dad-of-one said: “We should leave now – our presence here is beginning to cause suspicion. This is a beautiful place but is incredibly dangerous.
“You cannot underestimate the possible threat here. If they see the camera all hell will break loose.”
It is understood that notorious ISIS supporter Harun Mehicevic is among fanatics who bought land in the area. He has purchased two hectares.
Mehicevic fled Bosnia during the 1990s Balkan wars and settled in Melbourne, Australia, where he is considered one of the country’s most dangerous men.
In one ranting sermon, he reportedly told an audience of potential recruits: “Allah will help the mujahideen (holy warriors) establish an Islamic State where Muslims can live with dignity and honour.”
Other known terrorists believed to have bought land in the village include Jasin Rizvic and Osman Kekic, who are both now fighting with ISIS in Syria.
Muslim leader Izet Hadzic – arrested by Bosnia’ and Herzegovina’s security service Sipa in a raid – is also understood to have property in the village, as have many others who have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq.
One villager told our investigators that locals fear the area is a “nest for terrorists”.
The man, who does not want to be named, said: “We regularly hear gunshots coming from the woods up there for long periods at a time. It happens every week.
“I don’t know what they are doing, whether it is target practice or something like that, but it happens regularly.
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