The last name Dabić aroused no particular suspicion until the 21st of July 2008, when _____ was arrested after living under that name for several years. It ‘aroused no particular suspicion’ in a very precise way: the existing Dragan Dabić, whose identity was hijacked by _____, lead a remarkably ordinary life. He didn't traveled. He had no criminal record. He had no phone number. He had few friends and had never worked for the government.
While _____did not try to imitate the real Dabić– he did not assume his profession, live in his house, or try to match his physical appearance – he reaped the legal benefits of a clean name. This new identity allowed _____ to publicly disassociate his old identity from his physical person, and to avoid prosecution.
Under his assumed name, _____ appeared publicly, wrote newspaper articles, practiced pseudo-scientific "healing", and traveled. His papers were not counterfeited, they were legitimately government-issued.
Those who interacted with the impostor later claimed they had thought to have recognized him to be _____ (the eyes, the hair) —yet the power of his 'legitimate' papers trumped their own perception and judgement.
Following the broad and sensational press coverage of the arrest, the name "Dabić" became irrevocably associated with the identity and actions of the impostor. Attention paid to the arrest, and to the identity which delayed it for years, has permanently intertwined that name with the the Balkan conflict, making "Dabić" a synecdoche, a collective Dabić identity.