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October 20, 2004
Is Kerry Supported By Kosovo Terrorists?

The Australian blog House of Wheels believes it has discovered fundraising links between the John Kerry campaign and the Kosovo Liberation Army, an organization that the Department of Homeland Security appears to label as a terrorist organization. Leigh from HoW links to a heavily-footnoted essay by Andy Wilcoxson at a website defending Slobodan Milosevic, not exactly a source that fills me with a sense of confidence about the material. However, some of the connections Leigh makes appear to point to sloppiness among Kerry's campaign staff, at the least:

The leader of the KLA is a man named Hashim Thaci. Thaci, who goes under the nom de guerre "Snake," attended the Democratic Partys convention in Boston earlier this year. Upon returning from the convention, Thaci told the Albanian-Language KosovaLive agency, "It was a very successful visit at the Democratic Convention, where the PDK [Thachi's political party] had been invited as a guest. It was confirmed once again that the Democratic authorities would recognize and respect the will of the people of Kosova for self-determination".

In addition to the KLA leader's attendance at the Democratic Convention was the presence of KLA members at a John Kerry fundraiser in New York.

In September, the Dutch Television station VPRO produced a documentary entitled "De Brooklyn Connectie." This documentary follows a KLA terrorist named Florin Kraniqi as he attends a John Kerry fundraiser, and then smuggles weapons into Kosovo for a war that is being planned against American and other UN Peacekeepers there. ...

At the 11:08 mark of the video, he goes to a John Kerry fundraiser together with a group of KLA members. They are shown writing checks to the Kerry campaign for thousands of dollars each.

While at the fundraiser, they openly identify themselves as the KLA. Kraniqi is seen introducing himself and his brothers-in-arms to Wesley Clark (Commander of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and former Democratic presidential candidate). Kraniqi says, "Mr. Clark. This is your group, your KLA." Clark then praises the group saying, "They fought against tremendous odds."

Then, Richard Holbrooke (Kerry's Sr. Foreign Policy Adviser), who apparently knows one of the terrorists, comes over and jokingly says, "He almost got me killed." To which Kraniqi quips, "He would not let his Kalashnikov go. He will keep his Kalashnikov." Then Holbrooke, Clark, and this group of KLA terrorists all have a good laugh.

Krasniqi, at least, shows up on Kerry's donor list as reported by Fundrace. Does that mean that Kerry actively seeks the support of terrorists and their cash? I highly doubt it, although if true the Kosovars' access to Kerry shows a complete lack of vetting by his foreign-policy staff. Richard Holbrooke should know better than to be taking money from people connected to organizations designated as possible terror groups by the DHS.

Based on the research done by Wilcoxson and the information in the Dutch documentary, this deserves a closer look regardless of the publication source. If radical Kosovars are plying either campaign with cash, it needs to stop and those responsible held to account.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 20, 2004 6:23 AM

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