Blogs of War

Hizballah Cavalcade

Internet Haganah



Kremlin Trolls

Making Sense of Jihad

Selected Wisdom

Views from the Occident


American Terrorists

Anwar Awlaki

Al Qaeda


American Al Qaeda Members

Inspire Magazine

Revolution Muslim


News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Origin of 'Bojinka'?

Detail-oriented students of terrorism have often contemplated a minor mystery concerning "Operation Bojinka," a 1994-1995 plot to bomb a dozen U.S.-bound airlines by Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. The mystery: What does the name mean?

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed told U.S. interrogators that he had heard the word "Bojinka" while serving on or near the front lines in Bosnia and said it came from the Serbo-Croatian language (spoken by all three Bosnian peoples).

The problem is -- no one in Bosnia has ever heard of it.

However, I noticed a interesting possible explanation when I was in Bosnia this month doing interviews and research for "Sarajevo Richochet," a forthcoming documentary about the Bosnian mujahideen and their relationship to both al Qaeda and the U.S. intelligence community.

The Serbo-Croatian word for soldiers is vojnika (voy-nee-kah). Not particularly similar, of course. But if it's rendered in Cyrillic type (used by the Serbs), it looks like this:

KSM or some of his peers could easily have seen the word "soldiers" rendered in Cyrillic -- on a transport, document, barracks, etc. -- and simply read it off as it one might sound it out from its Latin-looking characters.

All this is highly speculative, of course. I haven't had it confirmed by a source ... yet. But it's the best explanation I've seen so far -- which isn't saying all that much, I grant you.

"Sarajevo Ricochet" is expected to be released in spring 2009.

Labels: , ,

Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



Tweets referencing this post:



", granular analysis..."

ISIS: The State of Terror
"Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post

More on ISIS: The State of Terror

"...a timely warning..."

Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times

More on Jihad Joe


INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


Newest posts!

D.C. Madam Investigative Files

Wagdy Ghoneim Arrested

Al Qaeda's Palestinian Problem

LET At Last...

Todd Beamer's Cell Phone

Todd Beamer's Cell Phone

Suicide bombing in Khost

J.M. Berger on Al Jazeera

A Hidden Face in a Hidden War

9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents, Chronologic...


New York Pipe Bomb Suspect Linked to Revolution Muslim

The Utility of Lone Wolves

Interview with Online Jihadist Abu Suleiman Al Nasser

A Way Forward for CVE: The Five Ds

How Terrorists Use The Internet: Just Like You

PATCON: The FBI's Secret War on the Militia Movement

Interview About Jihad With Controversial Cleric Bilal Philips

Forgeries on the Jihadist Forums

U.S. Gave Millions To Charity Linked To Al Qaeda, Anwar Awlaki

State Department Secretly Met With Followers of Blind Sheikh

State Department Put 'Political Pressure' On FBI To Deport Brother-in-Law Of Osama Bin Laden In 1995

FBI Records Reveal Details Of Nixon-Era Racial Profiling Program Targeting Arabs

Gaza Flotilla Official Was Foreign Fighter in Bosnia War

U.S. Had 'High Confidence' Of UBL Attack In June 2001

Behind the Handshake: The Rumsfeld-Saddam Meeting