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Bosnia Arrests 12 Linked to Islamic State

Bosnian Serb police escort a man suspected of links with Islamic extremists to court in the town of Banja Luka, Bosnia, May 8, 2015.

Authorities in Bosnia have leveled terror charges against 12 people suspected of fighting for the Islamic State militant group.

A statement Friday from the prosecutor’s office said that suspects had done stints in Syria and Iraq in 2013 and 2014.

Arrests followed raids across the country over the past eight months, during which bombs, weapons, ammunition, and military equipment were seized.

Government authorities in Bosnia estimate at least 150 Bosnians have left the country to fight for the Islamic State in the Middle East, with fifty others believed to have returned to Bosnia.

Radical Islamists were rare in Bosnia before the three-year war in the region that ended in 1995, which drew hardline Muslim fighters from other areas to aid in Muslim Bosnians' fight against Serbs and Croats. Those fighters are blamed for the spread of their radical ideology to the more moderate Bosnians.