The KLA and the Origins of Organ Harvesting in the Balkans
Open source investigator George Webb has linked organ harvesting activities to regions where the US government contractor DynCorp has been operating. These countries include Haiti, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan among others. DynCorp's involvement in human trafficking in the Balkans has been well documented and the origins of organ harvesting also have roots in the region.
Origins of Organ Trafficking: the Kosovo Timeline
In order to better comprehend the atrocities that were committed in Kosovo it will be helpful go over a brief timeline of events leading up to the bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO, the actions of the KLA and the rise of an independent Kosovo.
• 1993 – A group of Kosovo Albanians and other Albanians from former Yugoslavia form the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, aiming to wrest independence of the province from Serbia.
• March 1998 – Serbian security forces kill 52 members of the family of Adem Jashari, a KLA guerrilla fighter from the central Drenica region. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• Spring 1998-Spring 1999 - KLA guerrillas and Serbian security forces engage in skirmishes, which results in a violent clampdown by Serbian forces and provokes a humanitarian crisis. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• March-June 1999 - After failed Western-mediated talks between Serbian authorities and Kosovo Albanian representatives in France, NATO bombs former Yugoslavia to force Serbia to yield control of Kosovo. After Serbian forces withdraw, Kosovo is handed to the United Nations to administer until future negotiations resolve the final status of the territory. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• Autumn 2003 - Journalists from US public radio investigative documentary maker American Radio Works first hear allegations that ethnic Serbs from Kosovo were taken to Albania between 1999 and 2000 and probably had organs removed and harvested. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• February 2004 - A joint team of investigators from the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, ICTY, and the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, visit a farmhouse near the Albanian town of Burrel, known as “the Yellow House”, where it was alleged that ethnic Serbs were taken for organ harvesting. The team finds medical equipment, including syringes, intravenous drip bags, and stomach tranquilizers. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• November, 2007. Frans Timmerman, then Dutch State Secretary for European Affairs, tells US officials in the Hague that “Kosovo is run by criminals.” http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/dutch-minister-kosovo-is-run-by-criminals
• Spring 2008 - Carla del Ponte, outgoing Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY, makes the first public mention of suspicions concerning the abduction, killing and removal of organs of some ethnic Serbs in “the Yellow House” in her memoir The Hunt. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• Autumn 2008 - The EU rule of law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, arrests several doctors and an aide in the Kosovo Ministry of Health after a Turkish national claims he had gone there to have his kidney removed for trafficking. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• March 2009 - Balkan Insight, the BBC, and the US-based Center for Investigative Journalism publish stories concerning allegations of torture and murder of mostly Kosovo Albanian civilians in Albania during the 1999 war. Wartime makeshift detention centres are uncovered in the towns of Kukes and Durres in Albania. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• May 2010 - Three former KLA commanders, Sabit Geci, Sadri Aliaj were arrested in Kosovo and Xhemsit Krasniqi issued an arrest warrant, to face charges of torture and murder of Kosovo inhabitants in detention centres in Kukes, Cahan, and Durres in Albania during the 1999 war. Krasniqi was believed to be in Albania. But EULEX told Balkan Insight that it had uncovered no evidence to back up claims that the so-called Yellow House had been used for organ trafficking. November 2010 - EULEX brings indictments against the operators of a private medical clinic in Prishtina, Kosovo, where prosecutors say operations took place to remove kidneys destined for organ trafficking and illegal transplants. Media reports connect the group to an infamous international organ trafficking network linked to Turkish surgeon Yusuf Sonmez. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• December 2010 - Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty says in a report that evidence was mounting that groups including senior Kosovo Albanian guerrillas had been part of an organ harvesting and trafficking network operating in a villa in the town of Fushe Kruje, Albania, which was part of an established network. Some ethnic Serbs and Albanians were killed there, the report adds, after which their kidneys were removed. The report details other human rights abuses by elements connected to the former KLA, as well as “a nexus” between KLA elements and organized crime. The claims are strongly rejected by those accused. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• January 2011 – Turkish Doctor Yusuf Somnez is detained in Istanbul but released on bail. He admits to having worked in Kosovo at the Medicus clinic but denies links to the KLA allegations. EULEX holds a meeting with Albanian prosecutors to discuss an investigation into the trafficking case. Council of Europe's assembly prepares to vote on whether to adopt Marty’s report on January 26. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/timeline-kosovo-organ-harvesting
• Monday 24 January 2011. The Guardian leaks information based on KFOR documents from 2004, identifying Kosovo’s PM Hashim Thaci, ruling PDK party member Xhavit Haliti and other former KLA members and Kosovar politicians as having ties with Kosovo’s underworld. Haliti is accused with having ties to the Albanian mafia, and exerting pressure and influence over Thaci.
European Council Report on the KLA
The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) has been accused of organ harvesting during the period of 1998-1999. Dick Marty published a 2010 report for the European Council on organ harvesting and trafficking in Kosovo and Albania. The report specifically names Kosovo president Hashim Thaci, then leader of the KLA, as being involved in organ harvesting.
This 2010 Wikileaks document describes the reports findings:
In the wake of the armed conflict, before international forces had time to
re-establish law and order there, "organs were removed from some prisoners
at a clinic in Albanian territory, near Fushe-Kruje..." he added.
Those organs were then "shipped out of Albania and sold to private
overseas clinics as part of the international 'black market' of
organ-trafficking for transplantation."
This was carried out by KLA leaders linked to organised crime, and "has
continued, albeit in other forms, until today..." he wrote.
Marty specifically named Thaci, one of the KLA leaders during the conflict
with Serb security forces in 1998-1999, in his report.
Thaci, he said, was "the boss" of the Drenica Group, a "small but
inestimably powerful group of KLA personalities" who took control of organised crime in the region from at least 1998.
The diplomatic and political support the United States and other western
powers gave him during the talks following the Kosovo conflict "bestowed
upon Thaci, not least in his own mind, a sense of being 'untouchable'," he
The current President of Kosovo and former KLA leader, Hashim Thaci, has been described by the Guardian newspaper of running a ‘Mafia-like’ network. Echoing Dick Marty’s report, the Guardian writes of Thaci and the KLA;
It finds the KLA did hold mostly Serb captives in a secret network of six detention facilities in northern Albania, and that Thaçi's Drenica group "bear the greatest responsibility" for prisons and the fate of those held in them.
They include a "handful" of prisoners said to have been transferred to a makeshift prison just north of Tirana, where they were killed for their kidneys.
The report states: "As and when the transplant surgeons were confirmed to be in position and ready to operate, the captives were brought out of the 'safe house' individually, summarily executed by a KLA gunman, and their corpses transported swiftly to the operating clinic.''
It would appear that the United States and NATO preferred to overlook Thaci’s involvement in war crimes in order to maintain stability in the region.
As recently as 2011 and despite the allegations of organ harvesting, Thaci was invited to take part in the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting. According to thedailycaller.com, after receiving approval from the State Department Thaci also attended the 2012 and 2013 CGI meetings.
KLA Trained by Al-Queda Trained by CIA
Before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, militant Afghan Arabs entered Kosovo to support KLA terrorist attacks against Serbian forces. The US trained Afghan Arabs, otherwise known as al-Queda, also received support from the United States in the neighboring conflict zones of Bosnia. Aside from receiving tens of millions in financial support from ethnic Albanians and Kosovars throughout Europe, the KLA was also “substantially” financed by none other than Osama bin Laden’s Mujahideen / al-Queda network. Militants also arrived from other countries such as; Saudi Arabia and Yemen. When the US commenced the bombing campaign in March of 1999, they quickly allied themselves with the KLA who in return supplied the US with bombing coordinates.
It’s no secret that the Afghan Mujahideen themselves received weapons, training and enthusiastic support from the CIA and Us government in their efforts to expel Soviet Russia from Afghanistan.
In Kosovo, CIA trained al-Queda militants fought side-by-side with the KLA but also provided the KLA with training back in Afghanistan.
The interconnections between the Clinton administration, the CIA, al-Queda and the KLA make for strange bedfellows, as Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper neatly summarized:
Some members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which has financed its war effort through the sale of heroin, were trained in terrorist camps run by international fugitive Osama bin Laden, who is wanted in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 persons, including twelve Americans … The KLA members, embraced by the Clinton administration in NATO’s bombing campaign to bring Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to the bargaining table, were trained in secret camps in Afghanistan… and elsewhere, according to newly obtained intelligence reports. … The reports also show that the KLA has enlisted Islamic terrorists, members of the Mujahideen, as soldiers in its ongoing conflict against Serbia, and that many already have been smuggled into Kosovo to join the fight. … The reports said bin Laden’s organization, known as al-Qaeda, has both trained and financially supported the KLA.
Clinton and the Mad Bomber of Yugoslavia, General Wesley Clark—who the “liberal” Michael Moore wanted to be president—worked hand-in-glove with the KLA, and thus al-Qaeda. “The Washington Post published a long article about bin Laden’s worldwide activities, noting his presence in places like NATO- and U.N.-occupied Bosnia and Kosovo, but failed to point out that this has occurred under the watchful eye of the Clinton administration,” write Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid for Accuracy in Media. “The Post would rather not bring up that subject.” Of course not—and they also “failed” to mention the well-documented connection between “Islamic terrorism” and United States foreign policy in the latest article citing the CIA lab report portraying Iraq as a terrorist incubator.
Over a decade later, Kosovo is a struggling nation coping with high unemployment, crime, corruption, political violence and bouts of terrorism. It’s still not fully recognized as an independent state and remains dependent on more than 4000 NATO troops to maintain stability.
In a startling twist of fate, we find ethnic Albanians and KLA militants now providing support and assistance to ‘rebel’ (some would say terrorist) forces in multiple conflict zones throughout the Middle East; Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.
The Podesta Group and Kosovo
As well as having close ties to the Clintons, Hashim Thaci can be linked to the lobbying firm the Podesta Group. Under the Thaci government, the Podesta Group was hired by the Ministry Economic Development for their services. The Podesta group was paid $50,000 a month after signing a contract in March 2012.
The Department of Justice issued a statement regarding the Podesta Group’s objectives in Kosovo:
“Research and analyze issues of concern to the principal [Kosovo]”.
As well as,
“counsel the principal on US policies of concern, activities in Congress and the Executive branch and developments on the US political scene generally; and maintain contact, as necessary, with Members of Congress and their staff, Executive branch officials, members of the press, and nongovernmental organizations”.
US lobbyists have been utilized in various capacities by the Kosovan government over the years, some with previous connections to the region during, and in the years following, the Balkan War.
For more on US lobbyist activities in Kosovo, follow the link below –
The Clintons and their inner circle have historical connections to the KLA and continued relations with the former head of the KLA, Hasim Thaci, despite substantial evidence that the miltant group participated in organ harvesting, heroine trafficking and other criminal, 'mafia-like', activities. Meanwhile, the CIA supported and funded islamic terrorists in Afghanistan, who later supported the KLA in Kosovo and together allied with the US/NATO bombing campaign in the region. The Clinton administration seemed to have no problem working with al-Queda and the KLA as long as they achieved US objectives.