Europe

Bosnia US embassy gunman Mevlid Jasarevic jailed for 18 years

  • 6 December 2012
  • From the section Europe
Man with Kalashnikov assault rifle photographed outside US embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia - 28 October 2011
Jasarevic was shot and arrested after a half-hour standoff with police

A man who fired at the US embassy in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo in October 2011 has been jailed for 18 years.

Mevlid Jasarevic had committed "a terrorist act", the judge said in sentencing him.

One policeman was injured when Jasarevic fired more than 100 bullets at the building before being shot by a police sniper and arrested.

Jasarevic is thought to have been a member of a group which follows the fundamentalist Wahhabi school of Islam.

Two men accused of helping Jasarevic in the attack, Emrah Fojnica and Munib Ahmetspahic, were acquitted.

All three have been living in the north-eastern village of Gornja Maoca, in a community of Islamists which has been raided several times by police in the recent years.

The US embassy said the building was locked down when the shooting started and no-one inside had been injured.

Judge Branko Peric said that Jasarevic's sentence was the harshest the court had ever pronounced for terrorism and should serve as a warning, the Associated Press reports.

He also expressed concern at the way Islamists in Gornja Maoca refused to recognise the authority of the Bosnian state.

"If there was no Gornja Maoca out of full state control, there probably would have not been Mevlid Jasarevic," he said.

Reports say Jasarevic was motivated by opposition to the impact of US policy on Muslims around the world.

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) member of the three-member Bosnian presidency, condemned the shooting at the time as a terrorist attack.

Bosnia's bitter 1992-95 conflict between Muslims, Serbs and Croats ended with the US-brokered Dayton accord.

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