the new islamic mafia
July 22, 2006 3:11 PM   Subscribe

The New Islamic Mafia - An introduction to Albanian organized crime
posted by thirteenkiller (31 comments total)
Wait, I thought it was the Russian mob which was muscling the Mafia aside?
posted by caddis at 3:16 PM on July 22, 2006

the displacement of La Cosa Nostra by ethnic Albanians may be a seminole event in the American criminal underworld history

Thank you, and good night.
posted by Gator at 3:20 PM on July 22, 2006

A Seminole event.
posted by interrobang at 3:28 PM on July 22, 2006

I have heard lots of unsavory things about the Albanian mafia and its prominence, but I think that if you're really interested in it you might find some more objective information from a site that isn't completely pro-Serb.
posted by Oobidaius at 3:28 PM on July 22, 2006

This doesn't seem to be much but ethnic hatred wrapped in a questionable veil of "research." Stay tuned to learn why you should be concerned about the growing Jewish underground in Russia, how officials now recognize that Koreans have effectively schemed to keep urban Blacks poor, and how the Indian community in East Africa is secretly behind the increase in shark-related attacks; all coming up on ethnic fearmongering at 11.
posted by allen.spaulding at 3:31 PM on July 22, 2006

Yuck. Semolina is icky.
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on July 22, 2006

Main victims in the disputed Racak massacre were members from the Jashari clan as is Hasim Taci, a youthful political spokesman for an Albanian para-military (KLA) group with suspicious criminal biography yet befriended by Clinton's foreign policy team, most notably Madeline Albright, Richard Holbrooke and Wesley Clark.

Crank goes the weasel.
posted by dhartung at 3:33 PM on July 22, 2006

Artw- try putting some in your next batch of ciabatta.
posted by rxrfrx at 4:01 PM on July 22, 2006

Pro Serb site
posted by hortense at 4:07 PM on July 22, 2006

Fucking pro-serb site

bad post
posted by zouhair at 4:23 PM on July 22, 2006

I found it interesting, thanks for the post, spell check not withstanding.
posted by hortense at 4:49 PM on July 22, 2006

Robert Young Pelton on Albaniacs

(might be out of date now, but still a fascinating read from a fascinating site)
posted by jcruelty at 4:54 PM on July 22, 2006

also, i would've thought mexican drug cartels would be at the top of the US organized crime totem pole... but i could be wrong.
posted by jcruelty at 4:55 PM on July 22, 2006

What Oobidaius and allen.spaulding said. Listening to a nationalist Serb vilify Albanians is like listening to ... well, let's just say it's an unproductive activity. This is very much Local News at 11, if your locality is the Balkans and your station is run by rabid nationalists (who feed semolina to Seminoles). Feh.
posted by languagehat at 5:09 PM on July 22, 2006

Oh, forgot to mention: even if the Albanian mob was the scariest thing to come down the pike since Tamerlane, calling it "the new Islamic mafia" is disgusting bigotry. (For one thing, many Albanians are Christians.) You might have thought about that before taking over the title of the linked article, thirteenkiller.
posted by languagehat at 5:11 PM on July 22, 2006

Well, in thirteenkiller's defense that does come straight out of the story. Albania is 70% Muslim, 30% Christian.
posted by caddis at 5:27 PM on July 22, 2006

In thirteenkiller's defense, that term comes straight from the article. (Albania is 70% MUslim, 30% Christian).

Of course, you must then look at the source of the story - "Serbiana." I am sure their viewpoint on Albanians is always without bias.
posted by caddis at 5:32 PM on July 22, 2006

MATT! What the H is going on with the post window? 1377909 was not there through several previews so I posted it into the next comment and then it appears? (and on preview of posting this comment neither of my last two appear - very strange)
posted by caddis at 5:34 PM on July 22, 2006

It's a fiendish plan, yo. Maybe you'll have better luck getting Matt's attention than I have lately... /pout
posted by Gator at 5:36 PM on July 22, 2006

in thirteenkiller's defense that does come straight out of the story

I didn't say he made it up, I said he should have thought twice before taking it over from the story. If we lived in a world where religion was a purely incidental fact and nobody cared particularly whether Albanians were one or the other, sure, it wouldn't be a terrible thing to use "Islamic" as shorthand for "part of a group that's 70% Islamic." But we don't; we live in a world where Americans and Europeans are largely ignorant and fearful where Islam is concerned and convinced that "Islamic" more or less = "terrorist." Albanian mobsters are Albanian and they're mobsters; their religion is irrelevant unless you want to add to the pile-on against Muslims.
posted by languagehat at 5:36 PM on July 22, 2006

thirteenkiller is very credulous.
posted by delmoi at 5:57 PM on July 22, 2006

thirteenkiller is a girl!
posted by 31d1 at 6:02 PM on July 22, 2006

Why, languagehat? Did I post this because I thought it was 100% true and fair?
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:04 PM on July 22, 2006

But are they TERRORIST mobsters? I think this is the sticking point here. Regular mobsters now, meh.
posted by IronLizard at 6:04 PM on July 22, 2006

Serbs & Albanians ain't exactly the best pals, and a Serb nationalist site is hardly objective.

But the Albanian mafia is big, crafty and has made the most of the chaos created by the Kosovo war ... which was, in fact, kicked off by the Albanian mafia (in Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania proper).

And the Islamic element was never a defining trait. Half of Albania was Christian just a decade ago. But the Islamic element was whipped up by (reportedly) none other than Osama bin Laden, who arrived to give a pep rally or two and define the ethnic conflict as a religious one.

(I was there in the run-up to the war, and it was weird & tense. Can't find anything online except for this crappy thing I did for Mother Jones in '99, after the fact.)
posted by kenlayne at 6:44 PM on July 22, 2006

Let me just add to languagehat's comments that all in all Albanians are for the most part most definitely secular. Also that the Kanun was and is particularly strong in the Catholic North of Albania. But similar unwritten codes are common all over the Balkans (and the Mediterranean actually).

So yes, you have a pretty rough Mob (the majority of their victims being Albanians BTW) but, no, to label it "Islamic" is ridiculous (note how one of the mobsters is described as a drunkard - pretty fundamentalist eh?)
posted by talos at 6:48 PM on July 22, 2006

Interesting post.

My amicable ex is from Montenegro, which used to be part of Serbian Yugoslavia. He's half Albanian, half Macedonian, a Muslim refugee of the war in Yugoslavia. Over the 14 years we've known each other he's told me a lot about the Albanian Mafia and community here in NYC and in Europe. He's explained how the Ottoman Empire left the Balkans in a religious mess, coupled with it not being acceptable under Communist Socialism to practise any religion. Being a Muslim or a gypsy are reviled in Serbia and Albania, culturally scapegoated for quite some time, which has diminished to the North in Croatia and Slovenia (former provinces of Yugoslavia).

There is an Italian part of the Bronx, Arthur Avenue, that is now mostly Albanian. Shootings and serious violence are routine in the Albanian clubs there. Apparently the jewelry store heists in NYC are typically committed by Albanians. Many of the building supers in NYC are Yugoslavian and Albanian and provide an underground of hideouts for Albanian criminals.
Albanian Organised Crime.
Articles on KLA-Kosovo-Drugs-Mafia and Fundraising. "These articles demonstrate the widely understood connection between the Kosovo Albanians, their heroin Mafia and the KLA insurrection in Kosovo of 1997-99."

Another take on the original post. " The New Islamic Mafia / Albanian Mafia: Information Summary".

Links between Organized Crime and "Traditional" Terrorist Groups with a focus on Albania.

An Israeli take on Albania/Kosovo.

Islam in Albania.

Wikipedia on the Albanian Mafia.
posted by nickyskye at 8:13 PM on July 22, 2006

As mentioned above, this is a pro-Serb site. as Serbian nationalism was responsible for a brutal policy of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo in the late nineties one has to have a strong stomach to read this author with his anti-Albanian, Muslim-demonising diatribe.

posted by channel-1- at 9:22 AM on July 23, 2006

channel-1-, I agree with you completely that Serbian nationalism's brutality and ethnic cleansing are sickening. The massacres and atrocities committed under Milosevic were truly horrific.

The columnist, M. Bozinovich, who wrote that article does seem to be anti-Albanian and Muslim demonising.

From the research I've done about Albanian Mafia and it's connection with Al-Qaeda, what was said in that article seems to be verifiable from other sites on the web that are not pro-Serb.

A little about the Albanian Boys Incorporated.

That said, to quote Sam Vaknin, a contributor to Serbianna:
There isn't a single country in the Balkan - Serbia included - whose political elite, past and present, is not thoroughly criminalized. Crime, business, and politics are inextricable in this part of the world. Kosovo is no different. But people's past lives are less important than their future actions. The early histories of many nations - perhaps all nations - are studded with rogues, terrorists, criminals, slave traders, eccentrics, and worse. Robber barons, gunslingers, outcasts, slavers, and criminals established both the United States and Australia, for instance.
posted by nickyskye at 10:28 AM on July 23, 2006

yay, the albanian mafia is on myspace! so have you found bin laden's profile yet?
posted by mr.marx at 10:41 AM on July 23, 2006

thirteenkiller is a girl!

Oops, sorry—I guess I assumed a "killer" was more likely to be a guy. Of course, it would be helpful if the profile didn't say "Gender: pew."
posted by languagehat at 2:01 PM on July 23, 2006

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