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Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Italy

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 31 July 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Italy, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcb3c.html [accessed 26 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: Italy aggressively investigated and prosecuted terrorism suspects, dismantled terrorist-related cells within its borders, and maintained high-level professional cooperation with international partners in all areas. Terrorist activity by domestic anarchists and other violent extremists remained a threat.

2011 Terrorist Incidents: On March 31, a letter bomb sent to a barracks in Livorno seriously wounded an army officer. On December 9, a letter bomb exploded at a Rome office of the national tax agency, injuring its director; on December 14, a second letter bomb was intercepted by the security office. A group called the Informal Anarchist Federation (IAF) claimed responsibility for these incidents. The IAF also claimed responsibility for a December 7 letter bomb delivered to the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt that was intercepted by bank security.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Italian government continued to make use of reinforced counterterrorism legislation enacted in 2005 that facilitates detention of suspects, mandates arrest for crimes involving terrorism, and expedites procedures for expelling persons suspected of terrorist activities.

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) conducted a pilot program testing the use of Advanced Image Technology (AIT, otherwise known as body scanners) at two airports. ENAC collaborated with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to identify software to address concerns about privacy and to improve operational protocols.

Law enforcement actions included:

  • On January 19, Italy deported Mohamed Larbi, an Algerian man convicted in 2008 of providing false identity documents to the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, now known as al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

  • On April 21, the Ministry of Interior deported Tunisian Guantanamo detainee Adel Ben Mabrouk to Tunisia. On February 7, a Milan judge had given him a suspended sentence of two years for international terrorism partly on the ground that Ben Mabrouk had already been incarcerated at Guantanamo for seven and a half years and in Italy for one year and nine months.

  • On May 17, Allam Baghdad, who had come ashore to the island of Lampedusa, was expelled to Algeria because he was considered a security risk. Baghdad is an alleged member of AQIM and had already been expelled from Italy in 2008.

  • On July 4, an Algerian national, Yamine Bouhrama, was expelled by the Ministry of Interior after serving a six-year sentence for establishing a terrorist cell in Naples with alleged links to al-Qa'ida.

  • On October 10, police arrested Rinat Ibraev, a French-based Chechen with alleged terrorist links, wanted by police in Russia for the murder of a police officer there.

  • On November 15, a Milan appeals court confirmed the sentence of Mohammed Game to 14 years in prison. Game had attempted a 2009 suicide attack against an Italian army barracks in Milan. His accomplice, Mahmoud Abdelaziz Kol, received a four-year sentence; another accomplice, Mohamed Imbaeya Israfel, received a sentence of three years imprisonment.

  • On November 21, a Rome court sentenced three members of a Red Brigade cell indicted for a failed 2007 terrorist attack in Livorno to prison terms between four and a half and eight and a half years.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Italy worked closely with the United States on anti-money laundering and information sharing, and cooperated with other foreign governments as an active member of the Financial Action Task Force and the Egmont Group. Italy also participated in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267/1989 and 1988 designation process both as a sponsoring and co-sponsoring nation. In June 2011, Italian Customs and Guardia di Finanza cooperated with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a Bulk Cash Smuggling Initiative (Operation Terzo Volo) to interdict international bulk cash smuggling and money laundering for purposes of organized crime and/or terrorism. In the six-day operation targeting flights between Italy and the United States, Italian customs officers made three seizures totaling $62,826.00 and inspected 815 passengers.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: Italy is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and participated in all stages of its planning. Italy also supported counterterrorism efforts through the G-8 Roma-Lyon Group (including capacity building through the Counterterrorism Action Group), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the United Nations, and the European Union. Italy contributed personnel to various regional training centers, such as the South East Asia Regional Centre on Counterterrorism in Malaysia, the Joint Centre on Law Enforcement Cooperation in Indonesia, and the African Union's Anti-Terrorism Centre in Algeria.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Ministry of Justice Penitentiary Police financed a non-governmental organization-administered counter-radicalization program placing moderate imams in the three prisons where Muslims convicted of terrorism were incarcerated. Local governments in Milan and Turin expanded efforts to improve relationships with immigrant communities potentially at risk of radicalization.

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