Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 11/2014

Islamism and Security in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Leslie S. Lebl

May 2014

The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College


U.S. experts fear violence could once again break out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and some even want the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to mount another military mission there. Yet few of these experts focus on the danger of gradually expanding Islamism. In Bosnia, it appears to have made slow but steady progress, despite resistance from Bosnia’s moderate Muslims. Senior Bosniak (Muslim) leaders retain their long-standing Islamist ties, and their calls to impose traditional Islamic law, or sharia, and develop closer ties with the Islamic world only aggravate Bosnian Croat and Serb separatism.