The Kosovo Connection?

How should we react to the news that four of the plotters identified as "Islamic militants" who were preparing a terrorist attack on Fort Dix, New Jersey, were ethnic Albanians from the former Yugoslavia, three from a town on the Macedonian-Kosovo border and one who had served as a sharpshooter in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in its clashes with Serbian security forces during the 1990s?

Fearing the burst of negative publicity (even more so because Fort Dix housed ethnic Albanian refugees displaced as a result of the fighting from the 1999 U.S.-led NATO intervention over Kosovo), proponents of immediate independence for the province have been quick to stress the strong pro-American sentiments of the vast majority of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and Macedonia. Some in the region, in a time honored tradition throughout the greater Middle East, have even questioned whether those accused had anything to do with the plot at all; one cousin of the three brothers who are now imprisoned on terrorism charges  declared,"These are simple, ordinary people and they've got nothing to do with terrorism. I expect their release and I expect an apology." . . .

To read the rest of this post, click here or visit Nikolas Gvosdev's blog, The Washington Realist.