The Bosniak Muslim member of Bosnia’s three-man presidency called on Monday for an investigation into Islamic State death threats to leaders of Bosnia’s Islamic community.
The latest Bosnian edition of the militants’ magazine Rumiyah published photos of top Bosnian clerics and described them as Islamic outcasts, saying killing them was more desirable than the killing of infidels.
“I call on the relevant state institutions … not to underestimate these threats, to investigate them thoroughly and support religious leaders,” Bakir Izetbegovic told reporters.
Bosnian Muslims generally practice a moderate form of Islam but some have adopted radical Salafi Islam from foreign fighters who came to the country during its 1992-95 war to fight alongside Muslims against Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats.
Some joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and threatened Bosnian Islamic clerics after they condemned killings and other crimes conducted by the hardline group.
Police estimate 188 Bosnian Muslims have left for Syria and Iraq over the past four years, with almost 50 returning.
But departures from Bosnia and returns from Syria had almost completely stopped by early 2016 because Bosnian authorities were prosecuting both aspiring fighters and those who returned.
Security Minister Dragan Mektic said the threats would be investigated.
He said the Bosnian intelligence agency OBA, in cooperation with other security agencies, last month halted two attempted attacks, but gave no further detail.
“We are making a risk assessment, updating information, following a number of persons,” Mektic told reporters on Monday.