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Italian paper says G8 Summit at risk from Bin Laden-funded attacks


Accord­ing to Ger­many’s intel­li­gence ser­vices, Osama Bin Ladin, the Islamist extrem­ist, has start­ed to finance far-right groups through­out Europe in order for them to car­ry out attacks in Italy dur­ing the G8 sum­mit meet­ing in the sum­mer in Genoa, an Ital­ian paper says. Gen Saba­to Palaz­zo, head of the Cara­binier­i’s Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Sec­tion, has said that the threat should be tak­en seri­ous­ly and that fringe groups who do not want the event to take place are being mon­i­tored. The fol­low­ing is the text of a report by Antoni­et­ta Cal­abro, “Osama fund­ing neo-Nazis against G8 sum­mit”, by Ital­ian news­pa­per Cor­riere del­la Sera on 14 Feb­ru­ary:

Rome: A red alert over the G8 sum­mit in Genoa has come in the last few hours from Ger­many. Accord­ing to infor­ma­tion in the hands of Ger­many’s intel­li­gence ser­vices, Osama Bin Ladin, the king mak­er of Islam­ic ter­ror­ism, has start­ed to finance Nazi skin­head groups through­out Europe, in order for them to car­ry out attacks and acts of vio­lence in Italy dur­ing the sum­mit of heads of states and heads of gov­ern­ment which is to be held in five months time in the region­al cap­i­tal of Lig­uria Genoa . The report, which has already received ini­tial con­fir­ma­tion, came to light dur­ing prepa­ra­tions for an inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence on ter­ror­ism and intel­li­gence prospects for the 21st cen­tu­ry, orga­nized by the CeAS (Cen­tre for High-Lev­el Stud­ies in the Fight Against Ter­ror­ism and Polit­i­cal Vio­lence) which is to be attend­ed by, among oth­ers, the chair­man of the US Nation­al Intel­li­gence Coun­cil, the head of the analy­sis depart­ment of the BND (Ger­many’s counter-espi­onage ser­vice), and Prof Christofer Andrew spelling as pub­lished , author of the ‘Mitrokhin Archive’.

The infor­ma­tion com­ing in from Berlin points to one thing, and one thing only: peo­ple who want to gain a glob­al audi­ence for some sen­sa­tion­al act have come (with sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing) to add their pres­ence to the spon­ta­neous pro­test­ers against glob­al­iza­tion. For­mer Sen­a­tor Mau­r­izio Calvi, chair­man of the CeAS, claims that “in this con­text, there are seri­ous grounds for con­cern over the immi­nent G8 meet­ing”. Accord­ing to Calvi, the G8 would func­tion as a cat­a­lyst “for many grey areas, giv­en that the atten­tions’ not only of the so-called Seat­tle peo­ple, but also of var­i­ous sub­ver­sive groups backed by the Euro­pean eco­nom­ic Right, seem to be con­verg­ing on the sum­mit. In this, their inten­tions are in line with the Islam­ic groups which iden­ti­fy them­selves with the orga­ni­za­tion of Osama, albeit on a for­tu­itous and con­tin­gent basis, but it is no less poten­tial­ly dan­ger­ous for all that”.

Is Italy ready to face up to this chal­lenge? In the view of Gen Saba­to Palaz­zo, head of the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Sec­tion ROS of the Cara­binieri: “We ought indeed to be con­cerned by the form of inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ism which is head­ed up by Bin Laden.” He said this at the end of Jan­u­ary, dur­ing a secret appear­ance before the par­lia­men­tary atroc­i­ties com­mit­tee chaired by Gio­van­ni Pel­le­gri­no. Palaz­zo added: “They will short­ly be involved on the occa­sion of the G8 sum­mit: We are of course tak­ing a hand, and we are mon­i­tor­ing those fringe groups who do not want this event to take place, and who fight against glob­al­i­sa­tion.” Palaz­zo cit­ed the exam­ple of the “Tac­fir Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist force, which had cells in Italy, espe­cial­ly in Naples, Milan, Bas­sano del Grap­pa, and Turin, and which was linked to oth­er cells in Switzer­land, the Nether­lands, and France”, and he claimed that “the dan­ger of these groups lies in the fact that they can be used, see­ing as how they con­sti­tute logis­ti­cal bases in our coun­try, by some­one like Bin Laden”. Why? Accord­ing to Palaz­zo “these are peo­ple who need mon­ey to fund the war in their own coun­tries, and Bin Laden is wealthy”.

The deputy chief of the ROS, Col Giampao­lo Ganz­er, in reply to ques­tions from deputies and sen­a­tors, added: “We have estab­lished that cells exist, linked to the Jihad of Has­sal­add­ab, which is the most dan­ger­ous ele­ment in con­nec­tion with plans for the uni­fi­ca­tion of the North African fringe groups, and that they have installed them­selves, in some shape or form, in Italy and in Europe. These groups could be used by Bin Laden him­self, who is linked to Has­sal­add­ab. There is a link with Bin Laden: it is like a crim­i­nal who needs a man on the inside to car­ry out a rob­bery.”

Two weeks before, again before the par­lia­men­tary body, the stand-in deputy chief of state police, Ansoino Andreas­si, had said: “Today, for­eign ter­ror­ism is transna­tion­al, rather than inter­na­tion­al, in the sense that it cross­es over more than one coun­try, trans­ver­sal­ly.” How do they take action? “An attack is car­ried out by indi­vid­u­als who arrive on the scene from anoth­er coun­try, and make off imme­di­ate­ly after the episode; the rehearsal and tri­al phase is also almost always con­ceived and tried out in coun­tries that are dif­fer­ent from those in which the action is to take place.” Andreas­si also added a piece of infor­ma­tion which height­ens the risk for Italy: some groups which sup­port the Red Brigades, the NTA (Anti-Impe­ri­al­ist Ter­ri­to­r­i­al Nuclei), “also sing the prais­es of Osama Bin Laden, who very like­ly, if he reads this doc­u­ment, will do noth­ing but smile.

But this is an actu­al fact: Bin Laden is laud­ed as a cham­pi­on of anti-impe­ri­al­ism.”


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