Virginia man among immigrants accused of suspected war crimes in former Yugoslavia

Posted at 11:06 AM, Mar 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-03 11:06:50-05

Washington, D.C.- Immigration officials are pushing to deport at least 150 Bosnians who are currently living in the United States that are suspected of taking part in war crimes and “ethnic cleansing” during the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia, according to a report from the New York Times.

There are overall 300 immigrants living in America who are thought to have kept their involvement in the atrocities of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, and participation in mass executions in Srebrenica a secret. The 1995 genocide in Srebrenica ended in the deaths of over 8,000 unarmed Muslim boys and men.

Many of the accused immigrants were soldiers from Bosnia, and one of the included suspects is a soccer coach in Virginia.

As immigration officials dig more into documents, they believe the suspects could eventually top 600. The suspected persons came to the United States in the wave of Bosnian war refugees who were fleeing the violence there.

With around 120,00 Bosnian refugees applying for American visas in the mid-1990s, the system mainly relied on the honesty of applicants to report their military service or other allegiances that would show their involvement in wartime atrocities, and there was little evidence at the time to verify their statements.

The fate of the accused is not officially known, but as more documents come to light, the future of the suspects looks dim.

-Meghan Puryear