Suspected IS member arrested in Bosnia's Sarajevo Airport

The 19-year-old man had reportedly arrived at the Sarajevo Airport on Saturday in a flight from Istanbul. Photograph:( Getty )

AFP Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina Jul 25, 2016, 02.49 PM (IST)
A suspected member of the Islamic State (IS) has been arrested at Sarajevo airport, media and police said today.

The 19-year-old Bosnian, arrested on Saturday after arriving on a flight from Istanbul, was sought by Bosnian authorities for "terrorism" and "organising a terrorist group", border police said in a statement without elaborating.

Local media identified the man as Almir Dzimic and said he had joined IS in Syria in 2014.

He had previously lived in a village near the northern Bosnian town of Maglaj, known as a stronghold of radical Islam, reports said.

About 40 per cent of the Balkan country's 3.8 million people are Muslim. The rest are mainly Catholic or Orthodox Christian.

While the vast majority of Bosnian Muslims are moderates, radical Islam arrived during the country's inter-ethnic war in the 1990s via foreign fighters who flocked from North Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

According to a study published last month, the flow of Bosnian jihadists to Syria and Iraq has almost stopped -- although nearly 200 of them are still there, including 60 minors.

Since 2012, 330 Bosnians have gone to the region to join jihad. Of the 188 men among them, at least 50 have been killed and 47 have returned to Bosnia, said the report by the Sarajevo-based think-tank Atlantic Initiative.