Major Italian Blitz on Terrorist Cell Reveals Bombing Plot against Vatican



Breitbart, by Thomas D. Williams, April 24, 2015:

ROME, Italy– Counterterrorism police conducted coordinated raids across Italy on Friday against an Islamist cell based in Sardinia and linked to al-Qaeda, arresting eight Pakistanis and an Afghan.

Of the nine arrested, three were taken in Olbia, two in Civitanova Marche and the others in Bergamo, Rome, Sora and Foggia. The terrorist organization was mainly active in Olbia and Lazio, according to police reports.

The ideological leader of the cell, a radical fundamentalist imam living in Bergamo, was among those arrested.

The alleged terrorists are being charged with various crimes ranging from the commission of terrorist acts abroad to abetting illegal immigration.

Two of those arrested have a history as supporters of Bin Laden, while others are wanted for numerous bloody acts of terrorism and sabotage in Pakistan, including the massacre at the market of Peshawar and the Meena Bazar in October of 2009, where more than one hundred people were killed.

Intercepted phone conversations revealed the presence in 2010 of two suicide bombers in Italy, whom investigators suspect were planning a bombing attack on the Vatican. The chief prosecutor of the Republic of Cagliari, Mauro Mura, who coordinated the investigation, stated that the alleged assault on the Vatican will not, however, be charged against those arrested.

Investigators reported that the suspects said they would launch a “big jihad in Italy” against a major leader, and that conversations suggested the target might be the Vatican.

“Get ready, the bombs will explode,” is a phrase that emerged from phone records reported Friday morning by investigators. But the organization apparently abandoned the plot, after the men drew the attention of law enforcement, and the two suicide bombers quickly moved on to Olbia and northern Italy, covering their tracks. During a search in Olbia, police found a sheet of paper with the “vow of martyrdom” of one of the terrorists.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi downplayed the threat, noting that the planned attack “dates back to 2010 and was not carried out.” Lombardi said the threat is no longer relevant “and is not cause for particular concern.”

The arrest warrants speak of a criminal organization “inspired by al-Qaeda and other groups of a radical matrix espousing armed conflict against the West and uprising against the current government in Pakistan.”

The cell had a stockpile of weapons as well as “many adherents willing to commit acts of terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan, after which to return to Italy.”

Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said the successful blitz “means that our system works” and “that ours is a great country able to dismantle these plots.”

The investigation revealed intercepted calls showing that two members of the organization were part of the protective group surrounding Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. In a wiretap one of those arrested asked a relative of Bin Laden “how is he doing?”

The cell also reportedly facilitated the illegal immigration of Pakistani and Afghani nationals into Italy. The police report states that the organization sought “to fuel the criminal network by allocating a portion of its resources to the phenomenon of the illegal introduction of Pakistanis or Afghans onto Italian soil, who in some cases were also destined to certain countries of northern Europe.”

According to the police, to evade the rules governing the entry or residence in the country of non-EU citizens, those arrested were using simple but tried-and-true methods. In some cases they “had recourse to labor contracts with compliant employers in order to obtain entry visas.” In other cases, the organization used “false documents and fraudulent claims to seek political asylum, passing off Islamists as victims of ethnic or religious persecution.”

The organization allegedly also provided financial and logistical support to illegal immigrants: ensuring their patronage at the competent immigration offices, furnishing instructions regarding the correct statements to be made ​​to get political asylum, and providing telephones, SIM cards and personal contacts.

The unidentified spiritual ringleader of the group was a leader of the pietistic movement Tabligh Eddawa (Society of Propaganda). Operating between Brescia and Bergamo, the man proving to be an effective fundraiser among the Pakistani-Afghan community in Italy, thanks to his religious authority as an imam and teacher of Koranic studies. In one case, police discovered the transfer of 55,268 euros via courier on a flight to Islamabad from Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

More often, the imam employed the money transfer system known as “hawala,” a mechanism for the hidden transfer of funds based on a bond of trust widespread in Muslim communities in Europe. Hawala operates parallel to the traditional banking system allowing for the transferal of a sum of money abroad by delivering it to a money broker, called a “hawaladar,” and providing him with a code or password. The broker in turn contacts another hawaladar in the receiving country authorizing the disbursal of the sum, which the beneficiary then obtains by furnishing the agreed-upon password.

Known terrorists received money from the collections or donations raised by the activity of the imam arrested in Bergamo. Along with al-Qaeda, the associations “Theerek and Taliban,” “Theerek and Enifaz” and “Sharia and Mihammadi” were beneficiaries of his efforts.

The police still have nine pending arrest warrants for members of the terrorist cell. Of the suspected terrorists still at large, three are considered to certainly still be in Italy, while others are thought to have fled the country.


Also see:

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott: the only way to save lives in the Mediterranean is to STOP THE BOATS

Refugee Resettlement, by Ann Corcoran on April 21, 2015:

I figured I didn’t need to say much about the latest drowning deaths in the Mediterranean since for once the mainstream media seems to have noticed.

In July 2013 the Pope went to Lampedusa to great the invaders from North Africa and the Middle East. And, lectured Italians to be more welcoming.

We have been writing about the ‘Invasion of Europe’ for what seems like years!

It goes on and on and European leaders don’t seem to get it.

The only way to save lives is to turn the boats back to the North African coast, and then let the UNHCR build some camps in Libya to house them and guard them.

It is either that or lose Europe completely as all of Africa and the Middle East want in!

And, by the way, this writer has no sympathy for the Pope (saying prayers as the news broke) since he helped encourage the invasion when he went to the Italian island of Lampedusa nearly two years ago and “welcomed” the invaders!

So here is the latest news from The Guardian about the sinking of yet one migrant vessel.

Italian police have arrested two suspected people traffickers among the survivors of the migrant boat that capsized on Sunday, as the United Nations confirmed that at least 800 people died in the sinking off the coast of Libya.

Prosecutors said they had detained a Tunisian man believed to be the captain of the vessel and a Syrian allegedly a member of the ship’s crew, taken from a group of 27 haggard survivors who arrived in the Sicilian port of Catania on Monday evening.

The two were charged with people trafficking and the captain was also charged with reckless multiple homicide in relation to the sinking.

The arrests came after an emergency meeting of EU interior and foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday made a decision to launch military operations against the networks of smugglers in Libya, as well as to bolster maritime patrols in the Mediterranean and give their modest naval mission a broader search-and-rescue mandate for saving lives.

Flavio Di Giacomo, spokesperson for IOM Italy, said those on board had come from Gambia, Ivory coast, Somalia, Eritrea, Mali, Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh and Syria.Reports said all those on board were male, several of them unaccompanied children.The Guardian tells us the average age of the migrants was 25-years-old.  And male!  Sounds like an army to me!

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has the only solution if the European Union wants to save lives AND save Europe. 

You will find this near the end of The Guardian’s story.  LOL! I think they call this burying the lead!

Tony Abbott: Stop the boats!

Tony Abbott: Stop the boats!

Australia’s prime minister has urged European leaders to adopt tougher border control measures. Tony Abbott, whose government implemented a strict policy of turning back asylum seekers’ boats in a bid to discourage them from trying to reach Australia, called the latest Mediterranean crisis a “terrible, terrible tragedy” and suggested Europe follow Australia’s lead to ensure it was not repeated.

“The only way you can stop the deaths is to stop the people smuggling trade. The only way you can stop the deaths is, in fact, to stop the boats,” Abbott told reporters in the nation’s capital, Canberra. “That’s why it is so urgent that the countries of Europe adopt very strong policies that will end the people smuggling trade across the Mediterranean.”

See our archive on recent Australian success in stopping boats filled with illegal migrants.  And, our whole ‘Invasion of Europe’ series is here.

ISIS attack on Italy coming

The Islamic State may be looking to turn more of Rome into ruins. (AP Photo)

The Islamic State may be looking to turn more of Rome into ruins. (AP Photo)

, March 25, 2015:

The Islamic State terrorist group likely will launch an attack on Italy within weeks, not months, according to a senior Libyan government official.

Aref Ali Nayed, Libya’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, said in an interview that one likely method of attack would be to use stolen Libyan airliners now believed to be in the hands of Islamists in Libya.

“The horrific video showing 21 Coptic Christians beheaded in Libya contained a direct threat from ISIS to Rome,” said Mr. Nayed, using an acronym for the terrorist group. “The threat of ISIS to Italy could become a reality in a matter of weeks rather than months.”

The Islamic State could use two attack methods, the ambassador said. The first would be for Libya-based terrorists to infiltrate Italy by using one of the many boats carrying undocumented Libyans to Italy. Once in Italy, the terrorists could regroup and carry out an attack.

“Second, ISIS could weaponize a civilian airliner or small military aircraft in Libya, loading it with explosives and/or chemical weapons.” Mr. Nayed said. “Rome is one hour from the ISIS-controlled airport in Sirte.”

U.S. intelligence agencies warned in September that Islamist militias in Libya have taken control of nearly a dozen commercial jetliners that remain unaccounted for.

Intelligence reports circulated in late August included warnings that one or more of the aircraft could be used in a regional suicide attack coinciding with the Sept. 11 anniversary. No attacks using hijacked airliners took place last year.

A U.S. official familiar with the reports in September said “there are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing” and that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks showed what could be done with hijacked planes.

Mr. Nayed said the recent attack in Tunisia that was claimed by the Islamic State shows that the group is capable of conducting coordinated and effective attacks with speed and precision from Libya.

“Their attacks are increasing in both frequency and scope, and we must take their threat against Italy and Southern Europe very seriously,” the ambassador said.

Mr. Nayed, a senior adviser to Libya’s prime minister for national security, also said the terrorist group appears to be part of a continuum of ever-more radical Islamists ravaging the oil-rich North African country since the ouster of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Libya is in very real danger of becoming an ISIS garrison and an ATM for ISIS operations in Syria and Iraq,” he said in a December speech. “There is a good chance that Libya’s oil wealth was siphoned off by Islamists and provided oxygen for the growth of ISIS during the recent Islamist regime. It certainly has not been used to make our country a better place for Libyans.”

Two key Libyan cities appear to be in the Islamic State’s hands, including the coastal cities of Derna, long an outpost of Islamist terrorists, and Sirte.

Mr. Nayed, considered a top candidate to lead Libya’s next interim government, has been visiting Washington this week to lobby for Western support in the battle against the Islamic State and to warn about the danger of terrorist attacks.

An Islamic scholar who received his early education in Iowa and Toronto, Mr. Nayed has denounced the Islamic State for its perversion of the Muslim religion.

“What we are witnessing is pure fascism using the vocabulary and trappings of Islam but without a scintilla of the profound knowledge and spirit of Islam,” he said in the speech.

“Our faith teaches us not to kill others; these people glorify killing,” Mr. Nayed said. “Our faith teaches us not to hate; these people promote hatred. Our faith teaches us to respect women; these people debase women. Our faith teaches us to help one another; these people oppress others. ISIS is the antithesis of Islam. It is the enemy of Islam in the guise of Islam.”


Security analysts say disturbing signs are emerging that Saudi Arabia’s new king, Salman bin Abdulaziz, is moving ahead with plans for creating a nuclear deterrent against Iran in anticipation that the nuclear deal being negotiated in Switzerland will not prevent Tehran from building atomic weapons.

The signs included visits this month to Riyadh by regional leaders, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and several Persian Gulf potentates.

However, the visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif garnered the closest attention from U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Unlike the arrivals of the other leaders, King Salman personally greeted Mr. Sharif at Riyadh airport March 4 in a sign of the closeness between the two states.

The recent visits by regional heads of state is fueling new concerns about a Sunni-Shiite conflict led by the Saudis against Iranians.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the agency’s concerns about a nuclear-armed Saudi Arabia.

Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia remains vehemently opposed to regional power Shiite-led Iran, which is backing Yemen’s Houthi rebels who recently took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

“Don’t forget that the Saudis put up most of the funds that enabled Pakistan to build the bomb,” said former CIA veteran Duane “Dewy” Clarridge, who maintains close ties to intelligence sources in the region.

“There are individuals in both governments that know that, and as a result, the Saudis have dibs on three to four nuclear bombs,” he said.

China has deployed intermediate-range Chinese DF-3 missiles that were paraded for the first time in May. News reports also disclosed last year that the Saudis have purchased medium-range DF-21 missiles, with a range of some 600 miles.

Mr. Clarridge said “the Saudis don’t need Chinese missiles” to hit key targets in Iran, namely oil and water facilities along the coast.

Fred Fleitz, a former CIA specialist on arms proliferation, said the Obama administration’s push for a nuclear deal with Iran will fuel an arms race in the region.

“Iran has continued to pursue nuclear weapons during the talks and will continue to do so with or with a nuclear agreement,” Mr. Fleitz said. “The weak agreement that the Obama administration is pushing will create a more dangerous situation by legitimizing Iran’s nuclear program and allowing it in as little as 10 years to pursue dual use nuclear technologies with no restrictions.”

The current talks with Iran and the deal being pursued “will be deeply destabilizing and could lead to war in Middle East,” he added.


A brochure from a Chinese state-run company reveals new details about one of Beijing’s attack drones — called the Cai Hong-3 (CH-3), or Rainbow-3 — being offered for sale to foreign customers.

A catalog obtained by the U.S. government from China Aerospace Long-March International reveals details of the CH-3 and a missile-firing variant called the CH-3A.

The catalog provides a rare inside look at China’s drone arsenal. The CH-3 is one of nine drones being offered for sale around the world, ranging in size from very small to large-scale unmanned aerial vehicles. Several drones appear to be knockoffs of U.S.-designed remotely piloted aircraft, including the Predator strike drone and Global Hawk long-range spy drone.

“Featuring high reconnaissance effectiveness, high anti-jamming capability, diversified payloads, integrated reconnaissance/attack, easy operation and simple maintenance, the UAVs can be used for such military operations as battlefield reconnaissance intelligence collection, anti-terrorism combat, no-fly zone patrol, firing calibration, data relay and electronic warfare,” the catalog states.

The drone has been sold to Pakistan and Nigeria, where an armed CH-3A was photographed after it crashed during a mission to hit Boko Haram terrorists.

The CH-3 appears to be a copy of the Jetcruzer small civil aircraft that was built by U.S. company Advanced Aerodynamics and Structures Inc., which sold 30 Jetcruzer 500s to China in 2000.

The Chinese company also is selling two types of missiles to be fired from what it calls an “advanced medium-range UAV system.” The package includes three aircraft and a vehicle-mounted ground control system. The drone can take off and land via a remote pilot and has a retractable nose landing gear.

“The advantages of this UAV system are high reliability, high efficiency and low cost,” the catalog states. “It can be used for various flight missions such as battle zone reconnaissance, artillery fire adjustment, data-link relay, intelligence collection and electronic warfare, etc.

“CH-3A UAV can be equipped with precision guided weapons to complete reconnaissance and strike missions.”

The unarmed version has a range of 1,500 miles and can fly for 12 hours. The missile-equipped variant can fly 621 miles, has a flight time of six hours and can carry up to 400 pounds of bombs.

Among the payloads for use on the CH-3 are a four-lens electro-optical reconnaissance camera, a synthetic aperture radar capable of seeing through clouds and some structures and an airborne electronic warfare system.

The missiles that can be fired from the CH-3A include the company’s AR-1 air-to-ground armor-piercing missile that is laser-guided for precision attacks against tanks, vehicles and fixed structures. It has a range of 3 to 5 miles, with an extended range version up to 10 miles.

Additionally, the drone can carry the FT-1 precision-guided bomb.

Contact Bill Gertz on Twitter at @BillGertz

Islamic State Threatens Italy

One of many rescues by the Italian government.  What will Italy, Malta and other European countries do with the migrants? None of these mostly young men will be sent back!

One of many rescues by the Italian government. What will Italy, Malta and other European countries do with the migrants? None of these mostly young men will be sent back!

CSP, by Sean MacCormac, Feb. 18, 2015:

Ever since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, the embattled nation has become fertile ground for Islamist rebels to set up an aspiring Islamic emirate. Islamic State has established a foothold in Libya by acquiring the allegiance of several Islamist organizations within the country. The strategy in Libya differed from Islamic State’s actions in Syria; the militant organization sent envoys to Libyan Islamist rebels to enlist their aid in the creation of a new caliphate. Islamic State had aggressively sought recruitment efforts in Libya and courted jihadist groups such as Al Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Shariah in neighboring states under pressure from anti-terrorist initiatives, first gaining their aid in Syria before turning their focus back towards Libya. As the two opposing Libyan governments fought each other, they neglected to confront the common Islamic State threat.

As of late, Islamic State-affiliated jihadists in Libya have become increasingly more aggressive in their attacks, targeting oil installations and hotels as well as executing Christians on video. Fears mount over Islamic State’s success in Libya, and of the nation becoming a center for jihadism in the region. As a response to the beheading video, the Egyptian government launched an airstrike on the jihadist hotbed of Derna, killing over sixty fighters.

Now, however, Islamic State has threatened to invade Italy. During the beheading video, Islamic State propagandist Abu Arhim al-Libim stated that Islamic State “will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission.” al-Libim cited the large amounts of weaponry present in Libya held by Islamic State and that the Sicilian coast was less than 300 miles away from Libya’s coast. In fact, an ISIS report recovered by Libyan media in January states that the Islamic State intends to flood Italy with illegal immigrants to overwhelm the country’s defenses and infrastructure. It would be a simple matter for Islamic State to infiltrate agents within the large number of refugees from Libya, yet the Italian government is still in favor of taking in large amounts of refugees. Already, there are thousands of refugees fleeing Libya and making the risky cross-Mediterranean travel to Italy, even as Italy withdraws all personnel from its embassy in Tripoli.

The Italian government has already taken actions to ensure the nation’s security in the face of the threat from Islamic State. Security in Rome has been tightened greatly after Islamic State directly threatened the Italian capital. The Italian Parliament is to be briefed on Libya Thursday, and there is already considerable support for possible military action against Islamic State in Libya. Italian defense minister Robert Panotti stated that 5,000 troops could be deployed to Libya if necessary, though Prime Minster Matteo Renzi confirms that the position of the Italian government for the time being is to wait until the UN Security Council reaches an agreement. With that in mind, it is unclear if the Italian armed forces are in any condition for an invasion of Libya; the 5,000 troops mentioned could very well be the only troops available for an expeditionary force due to the heavy military cuts conducted two years ago.

The Development of Home-Grown Jihadist Radicalisation in Italy

Barcelona muslimsBY LORENZO VIDINO, PH.D.


The Muslim communities and jihadist networks in Italy and Spain present similar characteristics and it is therefore interesting to look at the recent development of home-grown jihadist radicalisation in Italy.[1]


Over the last three years the demographic and operational features of jihadism in Italy have shown significant shifts. The first generation of foreign-born militants with ties to various jihadist groups outside Europe is still active, although less intensely than in the past. The Italian authorities, however, have increasingly noted forms of home-grown radicalisation similar to those recorded in other West European countries over the past 10 years.

The lag has been caused by a simple demographic factor. As in Spain, large-scale Muslim immigration to Italy began only in the late 1980s and early 1990s, some 20 (in some cases 30 or 40) years later than in economically more developed European countries like France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. The first, relatively large, second generation of Italian-born Muslims is therefore coming of age only now, as the sons of the first immigrants are becoming adults in their adoptive country. Of these hundreds of thousands of young men and women, a statistically insignificant yet security-relevant number is embracing radical ideas.


The characteristics of Italian home-grown jihadism

The current panorama of jihadism in Italy is extremely fragmented and diverse, marked by the presence of various actors with very different features. ‘Traditional’ networks, although weakened by the waves of arrests and expulsions carried out by the authorities over the past 15 years, are still active.[20] But cases like those of Jarmoune, El Abboubi and Delnevo indicate that a home-grown jihadism with characteristics similar to the phenomenon seen over the past few years throughout central and northern Europe has reached Italy. Three cases do not make a trend, but there are indications that these cases are not isolated incidents but, rather, the most visible manifestations of a bigger phenomenon. A 2012 intelligence report for the Italian Parliament, in fact, alerted to the presence of several individuals ‘belonging to the second generation of immigrants and Italian converts who are characterized by an uncompromising interpretation of Islam and attitudes of intolerance towards Western customs’.[21]

Home-grown jihadism in Italy is, so far, a substantially smaller phenomenon than in most central and northern European countries. Providing exact numbers is an impossible task, but, according to research conducted by the author and conversations with several senior Italian counterterrorism officials, it can be argued that the individuals actively involved in this new home-grown jihadist scene number around 40 to 50. Similarly, it can be argued that the number of those in various ways and in varying degrees sympathising with jihadism is somewhere in the lower hundreds. It is, in substance, a small milieu of individuals with varying sociological characteristics (age, sex, ethnic origin, education and social condition) who share a commitment to jihadist ideology. Most of them are scattered throughout northern Italy, from big cities like Milan and Bologna to tiny villages. A few are located in the centre or the south of the country.

It should be clarified that most of these individuals have not been involved in any violent activity. Most of them limit their commitment to jihadist ideology to an often frantic online activity aimed at publishing and disseminating material that ranges from the purely theological to the operational. While this activity at times represents a violation of the Italian penal code, most prospective home-grown Italian jihadists are just that –hopefuls– and do not resort to violence. Yet, as the cases of Jarmoune, El Abboubi and Delnevo show, some members of this country-wide informal scene occasionally make –or attempt to make– the leap from the keyboard to the real world. Why, when and how that leap from virtual to actual militancy happens is the subject of much debate and concern among counterterrorism officials and experts.

It is possible to identify some characteristics that are common to this new scenario. The first is their detachment from Italian mosques. In some cases home-grown militants do not frequent them of their own volition, either because they consider them not to be in tune with their interpretation of Islam or because they fear surveillance by the authorities. But, in most cases, it is mosque officials who make it clear to the militants that certain views and activities are not tolerated on their premises. Most Italian mosques have, in the words of Claudio Galzerano –one of the experts in Italian counterterrorism–, the ‘right antibodies’ and avoid ‘bad apples’.

The new scenario also seems to be unconnected with the ‘traditional’ jihadists and their mosques. There are various factors that might explain this. One appears to be the linguistic barrier between the two groups. While militants of the first generation are largely North Africans whose native language is Arabic and whose fluency in Italian is often limited, the home-grown activists have the opposite characteristics, often hampering communication between the two.

But arguably more important in explaining the disconnection between the two groups is the diffidence with which traditional structures view the new home-grown generation. The secretive and risk-averse traditional structures, in fact, appear unreceptive to the newcomers. It is likely that they might suspect some of the home-grown activists, particularly Italian converts, to be spies seeking to infiltrate them. Even if the veracity of the home-grown activists’ commitment is proved, in many cases their behaviour is deemed to be risky. Many of them, in fact, dress (long white robes, military fatigues, long beard…) or act in extremely conspicuous ways. They often openly express their radical views online or in various public venues. This sort of conduct, which inevitably attracts the attention of the authorities, makes the new home-grown activists extremely unattractive to the eyes of traditionalists.

Completely at odds with mainstream mosques and Islamic organisations, shunned by established jihadist networks and operating as individuals or small clusters throughout the national territory, Italian home-grown activists have created their own scene, which is mostly Internet-based. It is, in fact, on various blogs, Facebook and other online social media that this tiny community comes together.

A handful of individuals are the key connectors in this scene, being extremely active online (and, in some cases, also in the real world) and in constant communication with many other online users. Unlike most of the militants of the first generation, who were only passive consumers of online propaganda, this new generation of home-grown activists are also often active producers of their own jihadist material. Jarmoune, El Abboubi, Delnevo and many others, in fact, translated and posted various texts and produced their own videos –in some cases of a remarkable quality–.

A problem of integration?

Understanding the factors that make an individual become radicalised has been one of the most controversial subjects of the terrorism-related academic and policymaking debate of the past 15 years.[22] Theories explaining the phenomenon abound but most experts agree that every case is different and that in most cases it is a combination of factors, rather than just one, that radicalise an individual. One of the factors often mentioned in the debate on radicalisation among European Muslims is lack of integration. Particularly in the first part of the 2000s many argued that the root of the problem was the marginalisation, disenfranchisement and discrimination felt by many European Muslims. Unwilling to tolerate these miserable conditions, the theory argued that some of them chose jihadism as a way of challenging the system and taking their revenge.

Over the past few years this theory has been criticised by many experts who believe it has no empirical basis. First, an analysis of the cases of home-grown jihadists in both Europe and North America has shown that many, if not most, have not been subject to socio-economic disenfranchisement. Many are indeed drifters, individuals who have suffered problems ranging from substance abuse to chronic unemployment. But many are university students or relatively successful professionals, often faring much better than most of their peers. Moreover, the theory linking radicalisation to the lack of socio-economic integration is flawed because it does not explain why only a statistically insignificant minority of the many European Muslims that unquestionably live in condition of disenfranchisement become radicalised. It is obvious that other factors must determine the phenomenon.

While it is impossible to provide answers that are applicable to all cases, it can be argued that socio-economic disenfranchisement, while playing a role, is not a determining factor in the radicalisation of the vast majority of European Muslims. Perhaps the answers lies in another kind of integration, more difficult to assess but arguably more important. Integration in the sense of a sense of belonging to a certain society, irrespective of one’s socio-economic conditions, appears to be a more important factor. Many European Muslims who radicalise are individuals confused about their identity and that find a sense of belonging in a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam rather than in a European identity.

Moreover, traditionally, many young men of all socio-economic conditions have been attracted by radical ideas. Limiting the analysis just to Italy, many of the individuals that joined both left- and right-wing militant groups that bloodied the country’s streets in the 1970s and early 1980s were university students and scions of middle (and, in some cases, upper) class families. The personal desire for rebellion, meaning, camaraderie and adventure are factors that are not secondary when analysing radicalisation patterns.

The argument that the roots of radicalisation should be sought in an individual’s psychological profile and his search for a personal identity is supported by the analysis of the few cases seen so far of Italian home-grown jihadists. Neither Jarmoune nor El Abboubi can be considered to be poorly integrated from a socio-economic perspective. Both lived with their families in more than decent dwellings in small towns in the province of Brescia. Jarmoune worked for a company that installed electrical systems and had a permanent contract, a luxury lacked by many of his Italian peers.[23] El Abboubi studied at a local school. The families of both individuals are described by most as well integrated.[24]

This argument can be applied to Delnevo’s case with an even greater significance. Born in a middle-class Italian Catholic family, Delnevo had none of the integration problems attributed by some to European Muslims who become radicalised. It is obvious that in the Delnevo’s case –but no differently from Jarmoune and El Abboubi– the roots of his radicalisation are in his personal traits and his unwillingness, rather than his inability, to fit into Italian society. All three young men struggled to find an identity and flirted with various alternative ideologies (it is in this regard interesting that Delnevo had a fascination with fascism and El Abboubi with hip hop) before embracing jihadism. But this trajectory seems to be clearly dictated by an intellectual development determined by personal choices and not by any kind of socio-economic disenfranchisement.

Read more at Clarion Project

Lorenzo Vidino is a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) and a lecturer at the University of Zurich. A native of Milan, Italy, he holds a law degree from the University of Milan Law School and a Doctorate in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Boston. This article originally appeared  in Real Instituto Elcano on February 14th 2014.

The Islamization of Italy

by Giulio Meotti

The Italian authorities have capitulated to hatred.

It began when thousands of Muslims marched in front of Milan’s Duomo to protest against Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, burning Israeli flags and chanting anti-Jewish slogans, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, John Paul II’s spokesman for 22 years, defended the “freedom of expression” of the Muslims who burned the Star of David.

Last week, Italian education minister Francesco Profumo proposed that Islam be taught in public schools alongside the traditional teaching of Catholicism, while Bishop Mariano Crociata, secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference, announced that the Vatican is in favor of building new mosques in Italy.

The European Bishops met with European Muslims in Turin to proclaim the need for the “progressive enculturation of Islam in Europe.”

Italy’s Terrorist Legacy

Sheikh Abu Iyad is the major Islamist wanted for the terror attack against the U.S. consultate in Benghazi, Libya. It was just been discovered that two of his handmen are Sami Essid Ben Khemais and Mehdi Kammoun. They both lived in Italy between Milano and Gallarate and they spent seven years in Italian prisons for terrorism.

Italy leads the ranking in Europe as paradise for “martyrs,” imams of hatred and terrorists involved in major terror attacks.

Twenty-nine of the suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan came from Italy.

Eight of the terrorists jailed in Guantanamo Bay are Italians.

Hussien Saber Fadhil, who has been called “the caliph,” is the Iraqi arrested in Venice and considered the Italian link with al Qaeda. He sent money to the Palestinian Arab terror groups as well.

The most well known “Italian” terrorist is Abu Farid Al Masri, the suicide bomber who destroyed the United Nations’ building in Baghdad in 2003, killing dozens of civilians.

From Milan came Kamal Morchidi, who blew himself up at the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, nearly killing then-US undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz.

The Growing Italian Islamization

The terrorist proliferation is a symbol of growing Italian  Islamization: There were 600,000 Muslims in Italy in the year 2000, over 1,300,000 in 2009, over 1.5 million today, and they are expected to get to 2.8 million by 2030.

The southern island of Sicily is about to become the site of a shining new multi-million Euro mega-mosque paid for by Qatar.

The Mosque of Rome, which accommodates more than 12,000 people, is one of the largest mosques in Europe. It is there that the imam, an Egyptian Islamist, was suspended after preaching jihad.

There are now an estimated 500 mosques in Italy, and 70 % of these are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, not to mention thousands of informal Islamic prayer centers and Koranic schools.

In Italy, a new Islamic place of worship is established on the average of every four days.

Honor Killings: A New Episode Every Week

And every week there are new episodes of violence against Muslim women committed in the name of Sharia, Islamic law:

Bouchra, 24, was stabbed to death in Verona by her husband because she refused to wear the veil and was living “like a Westerner”;

Kabira, 28, was stabbed to death by her husband because she wanted to wear “Western clothes”;

Darin Omar was killed by her husband because she had got a job in a call center;

Hina Salem was suffocated with a plastic bag by the family, beheaded and buried with her head facing La Mecca because she dated an Italian boy and refused a forced marriage;

Saamali Fatima was killed on a highway at Aosta;

Malka, 29, was strangled by her husband for her “Western” habits;

Fatima, 20, was stabbed to death by her boyfriend for being “too independent”;

Sobia was poisoned by family members;

Naima was stabbed by her husband because she wanted back her children seized in Morocco;

Fouzia was strangled by her husband under the eyes of their three-year old daughter, her body abandoned in a public garden, because she had begun to follow a “modern lifestyle”;

Sanaa Dafan was slaughtered by her father in Pordenone for a relationship with an Italian boy;

Amal, 26, beaten by her husband simply because she wanted to go to the hairdresser.

Anti-Semitism Grows alongside Multiculturalism

Anti-Semitism grows alongside this horrible “multiculturalism.”

The Italian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood released a version of the Koran that contains remarks describing Jews as morally duplicitous and as a people of rejects and swindlers. In several of the footnotes interpreting the text, the commentator, an Italian convert to Islam, suggested Jews are responsible for their own misfortunes and accuses them of being “champions of moral duplicity” who consider as  “acceptable any wickedness toward non-Jews.”

Meanwhile, the Italian judges are apologetic about hatred. Ucoii, the largest Islamic organization in Italy, published an ad in many mainstream newspapers titled, “Nazi Bloodshed Yesterday, Israeli Bloodshed Today.” An Italian court ruled that the Nazification of Israel came under “freedom of expression” and was not a case of incitement to hatred.

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