How States Carry Out Acts of Terror: Wars, Strategies and Tactics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo

  • MA. Astrit Lleshi University of Salford, Manchester, United Kingdom
Keywords: War Crimes, Terrorism, Ethnic Cleansing, Political Violence, UNICTY, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo,


Terrorism is a notoriously difficult concept that defies single universal definition. Terrorists intentionally employ violence in order to instill fear in their victims and the wider public. Terrorist movements aim to achieve their political, social and/or religious goals through use of violent acts. (Hoffman, 1998: 43) In most cases terrorism is perpetrated by non-state actors and is "bottom up" challenge to the existing political order. However this article argues that the nature of the crime and not the perpetrator should determine whether some criminal act constitutes terrorism and acts of terror can also be committed by states and/or state actors. In this article, the author will examine the overall strategy and tactics used by the Milosevic and Karadzic regimes in BiH and Kosovo to fulfil their wartime ambitions of maintaining and consolidating control over Serb and Serb-occupied territory, relying primarily upon the indictments and judgments of the ICTY in which they and members of their armed forces acting under their authority have been charged and/or convicted of war crimes and terror, along with reports from international organizations such as the United Nations and other sources. Through an analysis of these tactics against leading definitions of terrorism, it will be demonstrated that rather than fighting against terrorists and insurgents, the Milosevic and Karadzic regimes carried out acts of terror during the wars in Kosovo and BiH, respectively, and furthermore Milosevic was sponsoring state-terrorism in BiH (Blakely, 2012: 3-4). 


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