Edited by Stefano Piazza
Translated by Carol Simonetti
While in France the police are still under attack by the Islamists, Italy is always at the forefront in the fight against Islamic terrorism. Not only law enforcement agencies: also universities are involved in the field.
Although in Italy the expulsions and arrests of Islamic terrorists follow one another, in France we mourn the umpteenth death of a 49-year-old police officer killed last Friday at 2:20 pm inside her police station by a Tunisian (killed during the attack), who stabbed her in the throat to the cry (according to some witnesses) of “Allah is great” in Rambouillet, a French township of 26,971 inhabitants located in the Yvelines department of the Île-de-France region.
After the brilliant operation of last April 21st in Sparanise, in the province of Caserta, where the 28-year-old Albanian citizen Endri Elezi was captured, responsible for supplying weapons to Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, author of the terrible terrorist attack claimed by ISIS committed on July 14th, 2016 in Nice (84 dead and about 200 injured), the Italian and French investigators are hunting for those who favored the five-year inaction. A lot of mysteries revolve around his figure and his inaction: how and thanks to whom did he manage to escape from France? Where has he been all this time? Who facilitated his inaction spent with his partner who, in the meantime, gave him a son? If on the French front there is still no significant news, on the Italian one something emerged from the words of Sparanise’s Mayor, Salvatore Martiello, who declared to ANSA: “The Albanian arrested had been in Sparanise for no more than two months; before he had never been seen around. He was seen many times in the center, with his 4-year-old son. A large Albanian community of 4-500 people has lived in Sparanise for years, perfectly integrated; someone married Italian citizens, and they all work in the agricultural estates surrounding the town. Even the 28-year-old worked in the fields. ”
Not even the time to record the brilliant operation of the Italian intelligence then the 26th expulsion of 2021 has arrived for reasons of terrorism prevention, this time against a 43-year-old Tunisian citizen with regular stay and residence in the province of Perugia. The investigations were carried out by the Digos of Perugia’s Anti-terrorism Section and the Perugia Department of the Postal and Communications Police for Umbria, coordinated by the local Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Court and by the Central Directorate of the Prevention Police – Service for the contrast of the extremism and external terrorism. These have shown that the Tunisian citizen regularly attended an Islamic place of worship in Perugia, in Ponte Felcino, which hit the headlines in 2007, when the imam Mostapha El Korch and two Moroccan citizens were arrested and subsequently condemned, and was the first condemnation, for “training in terrorist activities, including international ones“.
Also this time the investigation work carried out on the web was fundamental: the man shared and disseminated numerous posts where, for example, he exalted martyrdom “with images and propaganda contents of the self-proclaimed Islamic State’s principles, as well as supporting messages of the attacks claimed by the same terrorist organization bearing other jihadist militias’ propaganda phrases and images, publication of jihadist nasheed (songs) and comments on profiles, as well as ‘likes’ to videos and texts that exalt Islamic terrorist formations “. The continuous counter-terrorism operations are only one piece of the contrast strategy implemented by Italy, where universities are also playing a very important role.
Speaking on which, in a few days, from May 5th to June 4th, the Advanced Training Course in “Awareness of radicalization: gender, minors and de-radicalization processes” will begin in Bari, organized by the Department of Law – University of Bari, in collaboration with the ‘Université International de Rabat (Morocco), as part of the international project PriMED Interaction and prevention in the Trans-Mediterranean space.
The course, coordinated by professor Laura Sabrina Martucci, member of the Scientific Committee of LIREC, is divided into six modules and is aimed at professionals operating in the public administration sector (officials of local and regional authorities, prefecture officials, law enforcement and school and university administrations’ staff).
The aims are clear: to deepen the themes of promoting intercultural and interreligious integration, with particular reference to practical and operational profiles and the prevention of radicalization phenomena: “The training courses are indispensable because those who work in radicalization prevention sector and in the activities of undermining or disengaging from subversive ideology must have a multidisciplinary preparation that involves an awareness of the phenomenon in the various aspects of possible knowledge at 360 °. This trains professionals capable of overcoming stereotypes and working according to the logic of the State of law. The multidisciplinary organization of the courses responds to these needs “, affirmed the coordinator.
To return to the last expulsion from the Italian territory, I want to underline that the expulsions/removals for state security reasons carried out from 2015 to today have risen to 546, 26 of which in 2021. An emergency for which no vaccine is foreseen.