WORLD

A secret war?

November 28 1994
WORLD

A secret war?

November 28 1994

A secret war?

Are CIA agents operating in war-torn Bosnia? Pentagon spokesman Lt.-Col. Michael Wood categorically denies it. But a respected London newspaper, The European, reported that small teams of plainclothes personnel working for the Central Intelligence Agency are in Bosnia training Muslims in tactical operations, providing satellite intelligence and controlling air traffic. “They are teaching the Bosnian Muslims how to fight the Bosnian Serbs,” an unnamed European defence source was quoted as telling the newspaper. “We are talking about the Americans taking sides. They have in fact joined the war.”

The newspaper published the story one week after the United States decided unilaterally to stop enforcing a UN arms embargo against Bosnia’s Muslim-led government, which has lost two-thirds of the country to the better-armed Bosnian Serbs. Quoting an unnamed Western source, The European said the Americans are masterminding the construction of a secret airfield in an isolated valley in central Bosnia. ‘The assistance of U.S. teams has been vital in recent Bosnian army

successes,” said the newspaper.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Wood dismissed the report. “We don’t have anyone over there doing any kind of training,” he said, adding cryptically, “we are doing humanitarian aid.”