Dozens of Bosnian citizens have claimed that Croatia has revoked their working permits, deported them and labelled them as national security threats after they refused to work as spies and provide information on Muslims in Bosnia.

Their testimonies were published this month in Zurnal, an independent Bosnian news website.

Zurnal claimed that Croatian intelligence officials have been trying to recruit Bosnian collaborators, specifically members of the Muslim Salafi group, to plant weapons and explosives in mosques, according to documents provided by Bosnia’s security agency.

In one case, it is claimed that Croatian intelligence requested a Bosnian Salafi known as HC to transfer a bag full of weapons to a mosque in central Bosnia in April 2018.

Prior to that, a Croatian official had reportedly ordered him to create a fake Facebook profile praising ISIS, and use it to spy on Muslims in Bosnia.

Because he worked in Slovenia, he often travelled through Croatia, making him a target for blackmail and recruitment, HC told Zurnal.

Dragan Mektic, Bosnia’s security minister, told local media following the news that the “false flag” operation was intended to prove allegations made by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a “terrorism haven”.

He said that for the past two years, Croatian agencies have tried to exhort Bosnian citizens connected with Salafis to transport weapons to mosques in Bosnia, where they would later be “discovered”.

As reported by Croatian media, Grabar-Kitarovic said in 2017 that in Bosnia, there are “currently 5,000 Salafists, who along with their supporters make up 10,000 people with very radical rhetoric and intentions”.

Bosnian officials, including Mektic, denied the charges at the time, saying they were “politically motivated”.