January 24, 1996 in Nation/World

Nato Facilities On Alert

Associated Press

The headquarters of U.S. troops in Bosnia and other NATO installations went on alert Tuesday for an American linked to extremists who was a “possible security threat.”

A NATO statement released in Sarajevo said a leaflet was distributed to guards and security officers in Tuzla and other NATO areas alerting them about a man identified as Kevin Holt.

The statement described Holt as a civilian in his 30s who had “expressed sympathies for extremist causes.” It called him a “possible security threat” against NATO-led troops, which began arriving in Bosnia last month to oversee a U.S.-brokered peace agreement.

The statement did not specify any extremist cause. But NATO officials have been fearful of the possibility of terror attacks by Islamic militants in retaliation for the sentencing last week of 10 Muslim extremists for plotting to bomb the United Nations and other installations.

NATO officials in Zagreb, Croatia, have said that the United States was particularly anxious to ensure that Islamic warriors - or mujahedeen - had left Bosnia.

A senior NATO official said the alert was raised Tuesday after Holt tried to enter a NATO compound in Bosnia in the previous 24 hours. The compound was not identified.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the incident with Holt was considered minor, but that the Americans were particularly sensitive about the mujahedeens.

The Islamic fighters began arriving in Bosnia with the start of the war in April 1992 to help the outgunned Muslim-led government army. Estimated to have numbered about 800 at one time, the mujahedeen fought ethnic Serbs and Croats.

Under the peace agreement, the mujahedeen were required to leave Bosnia by last week. Most are gone, but about 80 were waiting to depart from northwestern Bosnia.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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