MACEDONIA’S DIRTY BOMB? Nuclear weapons?
by Sasha Uzunov
Wednesday 29 August 2018
The United States yesterday donated two mobile radioactive/nuclear detection units - equipped Mercedes Benz vans - to Macedonia - in order to stop the illegal trade in radioactive/nuclear material.
The units would be located at border checkpoints or any other place in Macedonia where there was a need for them.
There was a brief signing ceremony between the US Ambassador Jess Baily and Macedonia’s Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski at the Interior Ministry Headquarter complex in Skopje, the Macedonian capital but no media questions after the event. see link here
RING OF NATO STEEL
It is also unusual why land locked Macedonia would be used as a smuggling route when it is probably easier to use others. Macedonia and neighbouring Serbia, both non NATO members, are ringed by NATO member states - Montenegro, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. Kosovo remains a de facto US protectorate with a large US military base at Bondsteel.
But what is alarming is why does Macedonia need such mobile units? The most probable answer is the fear of terrorists, and the reality being ethnic Albanian Islamists who have fought in Iraq and Syria for ISIS, getting their hands on “dirty bombs” - conventional explosive device with radioactive material. The material could also be illegally sold to a state or non state player to make a full scale nuclear bomb. The focus no doubt would turn on “rogue states” such as Iraq or others, even though Iraq has its own well established nuclear program, just short of a weapons making.
TEAM UZUNOV Blog’s British diplomatic source has revealed that both the British externally based intelligence service (MI6) and its German counterpart (BND) have their main “stations” in Belgrade, Serbia, with one task, amongst many others, to closely monitor the legacy of ex-Yugoslavia’s nuclear program, which for all intents and purposes is dormant, if not dead (see below). Both these intelligence services run their operations in Macedonia from Belgrade. The BND also has a major station in Tirana, the Albanian capital.
In Macedonia any discussion of Albanian extremism - whether it be the secular nationalist variety of Ali Ahmeti which builds World War II Albanian Nazi statues is deliberately ignored and the percentage of Jihadist terrorists, well over 90% of ethnic Albanians, is not given much emphasis. Instead the blame to some extent is placed upon “evil Slav” Macedonians who have allegedly discriminated against muslim Albanians who have then turned to radical jihadism. It’s a nonsense claim, easily dismissed. You can see this propaganda of blaming “evil Slav” Macedonians in a Kosovo “strategic think tank” paper at this link
Have you ever heard of “human rights activists” build statues or invoking World War II Nazi collaborators or fascists as heroes to begin with? You will find that in Macedonia’s Albanian political scene - both secular nationalist and islamist - happily embrace the likes of Nazi collaborator Xhem Hasa.
Not all muslims are extreme, and this has to be emphasised. Muslims in the Balkans - Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia and Bosnia are the most moderate of all but there has been an alarming rise in the spread of Saudi style Wahhabism, including Salafism, something alien to Balkan Islam.
In comparison there have been no reported cases of “radicalised” native ethnic Macedonian Orthodox Christians fighting for “Mother Russia” in The Ukraine.
The bottom line is the Albanian political factor in Macedonia remains a staunch US ally. Any criticism of the Albanian factor is a criticism of US foreign policy in Macedonia.
Albanian extremism - both the secular nationalist one and the Jihadist one - pose serious security concerns for Macedonia and Macedonians. Yet it is an imported American problem in Macedonia - the 2001 war being a prime example. - see link here - and this is something that cannot be overlooked or covered up with alibis such as the US/EU brokered Ohrid Framework Agreement signed in 2001 between Albanian “insurgents” (in reality terrorists) and the Macedonian state to end the “conflict” which was kick-started by the US to begin with.
TAKE 7 - MACEDONIA: JIHADIST DUMPING GROUND FOR THE US? The Times of London story:
The Balkan state of Macedonia has taken back seven Islamic State fighters captured in Syria, the first significant public repatriation by a European state.
The decision by Macedonia, after a request by the United States, will put more pressure on Britain to rethink its refusal to accept the return of El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, accused of being two of the so-called “Beatles” who held and beheaded western hostages.
Their fate is subject to a complex diplomatic struggle between the British and American governments, and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish-led, western-backed militia holding them. link here
PRESPA AGREEMENT - NAME CHANGE FOR MACEDONIA FOR US STRATEGIC NEEDS ? The United States’s stranglehold on Macedonia since its independence, and especially after the 2001 war when it installed Albanian political clients, such as the local variant of the Kosovo Liberation Army led by Ali Ahmeti, is super tight, if not suffocating.
The whole agenda of getting Macedonia to change its name in order to appease Greek nationalist demands and give up its history in order to get Bulgaria onside is being driven by Washington. Both Greece and Bulgaria are NATO and EU members and staunch US allies. There are four US bases in Bulgaria and a large Naval facilities, used by the US, on the Greek island of Crete in the strategic Mediterranean Sea. It stands to reason that it would be easier to arm twist or bribe Macedonia to give up its identity and get it into both NATO and the EU than trying to convince Athens and Sofia to accommodate Macedonia. The path of least resistance. more at this link here
The EU propaganda road show (see below) continues in Macedonia in the lead up to the controversial NATO and Macedonia name change referendum to be held on 30 September 2018. see here and here for more
Macedonia was one of six republics within Yugoslavia from 1944 to 1991 when it, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina left the socialist federation because of Serbian nationalism, leaving a rump Serbia and Montenegro to carry the Yugoslavia name until both split up in 2006. In 2008 the predominately Albanian Kosovo province of Serbia declared its independence after a US inspired NATO intervention in 1999 kicked out the Serbs. That conflict had the knock on effect upon Macedonia in 2001 with the Kosovo Liberation Army, an Albanian nationalist militia which fought the Serbs in Kosovo in 1999, took the opportunity to grab territory in Macedonia. In order to cover this up, the fantasy of “human rights” was invoked. see link here
From 1944 until his death in 1980, Marshal Josip Broz Tito, a half Croat, half Slovene, ruled Yugoslavia. After his split from the Soviet Union’s sphere in 1949 and moving closer to the West, he initiated a weapons manufacturing industry and exported to the third world hardware of its own or acting as middleman for sought after Western technology in exchange for hard currency
SERBIA’S NUCLEAR LGEACY - In 2010 the US and Russia cooperated to remove Serbia’s nuclear fuel, which if it fell into the wrong hands, would have disastrous consequences not to mention environmental concerns for the Balkans region. see link here
Interestingly, the US did not donate any mobile testing units to Macedonia at that time.
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) intermittently pursued both a nuclear energy and weapons program throughout the Tito regime. However, none of Yugoslavia's successor states currently has an active nuclear weapons program.
Historically, the Former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) produced chemical weapons, and pursued both nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
- Intermittently pursued a nuclear weapons program from the 1940s to 1987
- Produced significant quantities of blister and nerve agents before the 1990s
- Cooperated with Iraq in the production of short-range rockets and ballistic missiles prior to Operation Desert Storm (1990-91).
In 2002, more than two and a half bombs’ worth of highly enriched uranium (HEU) was stored in a civilian research reactor with inadequate security in Vinca, Serbia, near Belgrade, vulnerable to theft by terrorists. U.S. officials wanted the material protected and turned to NTI for help.
NTI worked closely with the U.S. Department of State, the IAEA, Russia and Serbia to facilitate the transfer of more than 100 pounds of weapons-usable nuclear material in the form of fresh reactor fuel to more secure storage in Russia for elimination through blend down. NTI’s contribution of $5 million also supported the repackaging and removal of 2.4 tons of highly radioactive spent reactor fuel for ultimate transport and disposition in Russia. The decommissioning of the reactor also was achieved through the project. link here
In 1958 a horrific accident occurred at the reactor in Vinica.
During the 1970s and 80s, Yugoslavia became a major supplier of arms to Saddam Hussein's Iraq and even to Iran during the infamous Iraq-Iran War (1980-88) in return for hard currency, cheap oil.
Yugoslav leader Tito was close with Saddam via the Non Aligned Movement...
Ex Macedonian Politician Stojan Andov was in 1975 running the Federal Yugoslav Committee for Economic Cooperation with Developing Countries - meaning Africa, Asia, the Middle East. From 1986 to 1990 he was Yugoslavia's Ambassador to Iraq. It stands to reason he would have played a large role in keeping weapons flowing to the Saddam regime in Baghdad. He would have also helped to arm the Ayatollah Khomeini’s islamist regime in Iraq as well as other despots in that part of the world.
The various CIA reports about Yugoslav arms exports here, here, here & here
Wikileaks cables about Andov and the Non Aligned Movement states here and here
Stojan Andov went on to become Parliamentary Speaker when Macedonia became independent from Yugoslavia in September 1991.