22 Ottobre, 2020

Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Italian Exceptionalism and Its Limits

I am proud to announce that the article I wrote with the colleague Stefano Bonino titled “Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Italian Exceptionalism and Its Limits” has been published by Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, one of the most important international academic review on terrorism.
The aim of this article is to understand why there has not been a successful jihadist terrorist attack in Italy. While it is impossible to offer a clear and unambiguous explanation, there are some unique aspects of the Italian case that should be emphasized and that can offer a convincing, albeit incomplete, answer to this narrative. The article will first highlight the fact that in Italy there have in fact been some attempted terrorist attacks and that the country has experienced jihadist terrorist activities. Subsequently, the article turns to an exploration of Italian counterterrorism in order to emphasize the most convincing and effective aspects, in particular the role of the legislation and the Antiterrorism Strategic Analysis Committee (CASA). The article finds also evidence of links between illegal immigration and terrorist activities in Italy and in Europe. This is evident, for instance, in the case of Anis Amri, Ahmed Hannachi, Youssef Zaghba, or of the operation Scorpion Fish 2. Then, the article takes a more sociological perspective and analyzes the ways in which the social composition of the Muslim communities in Italy and their presence in its territories have affected the phenomenon of terrorism. In its conclusions, the article will reiterate why the country has remained exceptionally free of a successful terrorist attack, despite not being immune to jihadist propaganda.

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