Part four of a five-part series excerpted from Chapter 15: Yugoslavia Bad, Greater Albania Good: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)
The Kosovo/Albania Golden Triangle
In 1996 the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) began training the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
The Bundesnachrichtendienst had been launched in 1956 to succeed the Nazi Gehlen organization. The idea of a Greater Albania was a vision of the Nazis during their WWII occupation of Yugoslavia. That vision was now shared by NATO. BND was headed by Hasjorg Geiger, who set up a huge BND regional station in Tirana, Albania in 1995. The CIA set up a large operation in Tirana a year earlier. President Sali Berisha had taken charge of the country of Albania earlier in the 1990’s. Darling of the IMF, he opened Albania’s economy to Western multinationals and banks and was rewarded with a huge IMF loan package.
In 1994, the same year the Company landed in Tirana, a bank pyramid scheme over which Berisha presided with his new IMF kitty suddenly collapsed, obliterating the life savings of thousands of Albanians.
The scheme fit into a pattern of earlier IMF/BCCI coordinated rip-offs of Third World debtor nations. Berisha was ousted from Tirana, but fled to northern Albania and took control of this increasingly lawless region, which became a major smuggling route for Golden Crescent heroin and arms.
With help from the Albanian secret police (SHIK), CIA and BND recruited potential KLA fighters from the ranks of these smugglers, many of whom the CIA had helped get into the smack business in Peshawar, Pakistan a decade earlier.
German Kommandos Spezialkrafte (KSS) wearing black uniforms trained the KLA and armed them with East German weapons. Later in neighboring Kosovo there were many reports of men wearing black uniforms terrorizing Kosovo peasants. While the US claimed these were Yugoslav Special Forces they were likely members of the German KSS who were leading KLA raids inside Kosovo.
The KLA took to wearing Bundeshehr combat jackets with German insignia. Germany was the first country to recognize Croatia in 1990, even before Croatian separatists had begun their revolt against Belgrade. The Germans spearheaded the campaign that encouraged Croatia to secede from Yugoslavia. When the new government was established in Zagreb, it adopted the flag and national anthem of Hitler’s puppet Utashe.
In 1998 the KLA had been a small terrorist cell with only 300 members. After a year of steady arms shipments and training from the US, Britain and Germany; the KLA became a major guerrilla army with 30,000 members. Osama bin Laden senior lieutenant Mohammed al-Zawahiri served as a KLA commander.