Monday, February 28, 2005

Italy and Islamic extremism

Italy has become a platform for Islamic extremism in Europe:

Investigations by the Italian security services since 2001 indicate that Italy has become a platform for Al-Qa’ida associated terrorist operations in Europe and Iraq. Italy's Muslim population is concentrated in Milan, with an estimated 100,000 Muslims residing in the northern city. Not surprisingly Milan appears to be the base of Italy's extremist network, which has connections to other Islamic radical groups in Europe, specifically in Spain and Germany. The primary focus of the Islamists' activities in Italy appears to have been that of a staging ground for recruiting suicide bombers to conduct attacks against U.S.-led forces in Iraq.

Nevertheless, the sizeable presence of determined Islamic militants in Italy make the country a potential target for a major Madrid-style terrorist attack.

The Italian intelligence services – in close coordination with the Spanish, German, and Dutch counterterrorism authorities – now believe that the majority of jihadis in their country are connected to North African radical groups and interestingly to Ansar al-Islam, an organization primarily based in the Kurdish areas of Iraq. The time-line of terrorist-related activity in Italy reveals an extensive campaign to support radical activities in other countries, send human and logistical resources to the Iraqi theatre, and possibly prepare the grounds for terrorist attacks on Italian soil.

Around the Blogosphere:

They are not 'terrorists' they are 'guerillas'

The Islamic Challenge In Europe Continues

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