Bosnia and Herzegovina's Justice Minister Josip Grubesa on Tuesday warned that people convicted of terrorism who are serving prison sentences, continue to be a security threat because they recruit new terrorists while in jail.
Participating at a Council of Europe Regional Conference on deradicalisation, management and rehabilitation of prisoners in the Western Balkans, Grubesa said that one of the problems is that those people returning to the region continue to advocate terrorism even in jail and attempt to attract new recruits for their violent ideologies.
The second problem is the possible return of their families.
He warned that the return of families of Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens from Syria and Iraq could seriously threaten the country’s security and push the country to the top of the list of countries that favour terrorism.
“The current issue for us now is their accommodation and we are faced with different opinions in the country. A stable and secure environment requires equal security conditions in Bosnia which naturally comprehends resolving the problem in combatting terrorism and other forms of crime in that regard. That is one of the fundamental conditions for Bosnia to access the European Union and NATO. With institutional and legislative reforms and active fight against terrorism at the national and international level, Bosnia and Herzegovina has proved its determination in the fight against all forms of violence,” the Minister said.
Grubesa recalls Bosnia and Herzegovina has amended its criminal code to treat as a criminal offence acts of forming and associating with foreign para-military or para-police forces, which carry penalties of between five and eight years in prison.
Due to the growing challenges facing European countries with their citizens returning from the battlefields and defeated terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, the Council of Europe organised the conference in Sarajevo in an effort to support countries in the Western Balkans in managing that problem.