Bilal Bosnić

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Husein Bilal Bosnić
Husein Bosnić

1972 (age 45–46)
ReligionSalafi Islam
Senior posting
Based inBužim, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Husein Bilal Bosnić (born 1972) is one of the leaders of the Salafi movement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is known for recruiting jihadists from Europe.


He was born Husein Bosnić in Bužim, northwest Bosnia in 1972, he adopted Bilal as his nickname. As a youngster he moved with his parents to Germany, where he met with the Salafist movement and eventually adopted it. He returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war in 1992, and joined the jihadist El-Mudžahid detachment of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was a member of the Active Islamic Youth.[citation needed]

Salafist imam[edit]

After the war, he was a prominent member of the Salafist movement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with Jusuf Barčić who died in a car accident in 2011. After Barčić's death he was de facto a leader of the Bosnian Salafist movement

He began to attract attention from the media for making controversial statements at public appearances. In one of his songs written in July 2011, he wrote "with explosives on our chests we pave the way to paradise" and praised "beautiful Jihad that has risen over Bosnia", while wishing that "God willing, America will be destroyed to its foundations".[1]

He was known to the media for his controversial statements at khutbahs (Friday sermons). In one of them, made in May 2007, he supported Osama bin Laden, calling him a "shahid" (martyr), adding that "he will always remain alive as he died on the Allah's path".[2] In another khutbah made in February 2013, he called for Croats and Serbs to pay a religious tax.[3] In his various khutbas, he also advocated the "victory of Islam", promoting war and bloodshed. Moreover, in 2012 he called for other Muslims to join the Jihad and to defend Islam, for which he was briefly arrested and soon released.[4]

In April 2013, he came under investigation from the police for polygamy. Bosnić lived for years with his four wives in one house. Bosnić was subject to criticism from the non-governmental organizations specialized in protecting women's rights.[5] However, he wasn't prosecuted because he is in a marriage with only one of them.[4] In a sermon in September 2013, Bosnić claimed that everything "from Prijedor to the Sandžak" belongs to Muslims.[6]

Bosnić is known for recruiting European Muslims for the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). In one of his khutbas in August 2014, he called young men to join Jihad and to defend the ISIS. Even though his khutba was recorded and uploaded to YouTube, Bosnić denied he ever said that.[7]

Bosnić was involved in recruiting some 50 Italians, most of whom were young men from northern Italy, to join the Islamic State. For the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, he told that the American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by IS in August 2014, "was a spy" and called killing "justified". He also added that "[We] Muslims believe that one day the whole world will be an Islamic state. Our goal is to make sure that even the Vatican will be Muslim. Maybe I will not be able to see it, but that time will come". He was investigated in 2013 by the Italian police for involvement in the recruitments.[8][9] The ISIS official magazine, the Dabiq, also quoted Bosnić's words.[10]

Arrest and trial[edit]

For his calling of men to jihad and promoting terrorism, he was arrested by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) on 3 September 2014, along with his 15 associates in an action codnamed "Damask".[11] Prior to his arrest, Bosnić was on a tour across Scandinavia and received $100,000 from a certain Kuwaiti.[12] Bosnić was at first ordered a one-month custody,[13] which was prolonged for another two months on 3 October.[14] But then his custody was prolonged by two years because of possibility that he might influence witnesses. A day earlier, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed the charge against him in which he had been accused that during 2013 and 2014, as a member of the Salafi community, publicly incited other people to join terrorist organisations in number of towns. The charge also says that because of his inciting, a larger number of Bosnia and Herzegovina's citizens, who are members of the Salafi community, left the country and joined to the organisations of the Islamic State.[15] On 5 November 2015, Bosnić was sentenced to seven years in prison for public incitement to terrorist activities, recruitment of terrorists and organization of a terrorist group.[16]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Israeli 2013, p. 222.
  2. ^ "Vođa vehabijske zajednice u Bihaću veličao Osamu bin Ladena" (in Croatian). 17 May 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Vehabija: Hrvati i Srbi trebali bi plaćati 10 posto harača". Večernji list (in Croatian). 18 February 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b Sladojević, Dragan (18 February 2014). "Vehabijski vođa Bosnić »zvecka« sabljama!" (in Serbian). Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  5. ^ Sladojević, Dragan (24 April 2013). "Vehabijski vođa pod lupom zbog poligamije". Nezavisne novine (in Serbian). Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  6. ^ Bardos, Gordon (15 February 2014). "The Ideology of Militant Islamism in Southeastern Europe". American Center for Democracy. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  7. ^ "Vođa vehabija u BiH pozvao na džihad: "Pridružite se islamistima u Iraku i Siriji"". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 19 August 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  8. ^ Sanchez, Nick (29 August 2014). "Pope Francis ISIS Threat Denied by Vatican, But Security Tightens". Newsmax Media. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Bilal Bosnic, imam reclutatore dell'Isis: "Jihadisti italiani combattono per il Califfato. Conquisteremo il Vaticano"". The Huffington Post (in Italian). 28 August 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  10. ^ Steinbuch, Yaron (14 October 2014). "ISIS: 'The whole world will be an Islamic state'". The New York Post. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  11. ^ Jurilj, Zdenko (3 September 2014). "Uhićen vođa vehabija Bilal Bosnić i još 15 mudžahedina". Večernji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  12. ^ "Bosnić od Kuvajćanina dobio više od 100.000 KM". Dnevni avaz (in Bosnian). 7 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Jednomjesečni pritvor osumnjičenim u predmetu Bosnić i drugi". Dnevni avaz (in Bosnian). 8 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Bilalu Bosniću produžen pritvor za još dva mjeseca". Dnevni avaz (in Bosnian). 3 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Produžen pritvor Huseinu Bilalu Bosniću" (in Bosnian). Aljazeera Balkans. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Bosnia Jails Salafist Chief for Recruiting Fighters". BalkanInsight. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.


  • Israeli, Raphael (2013). From Arab Spring to Islamic Winter. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9781412852159.