Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

My latest for FreeRadicals about Shabaab its European recruits. The links at the end don’t work, but you can find the articles referred to elsewhere on this blog. Am planning more on this topic in the near future, so watch this space…

Somalia’s foreign legions

Filed under: Radicalisation, Somalia, al-Shabaab

Another week passes and more stories of young Westerners showing up on Somalia’s battlefields. Two distinct tales jump out this time – first, the recent bombing in Mogadishu was the work of a Danish-Somali suicide bomber; and second, an 18 year old Italian-Somali handed himself over to government forces claiming that he was sent over to fight by his father.

The first case appears to be what can increasingly be described to be the traditional model of recruitment for al-Shabaab. Drawn by a combination of religious zeal and nationalism, 25 year old Abdulrahman Ahmed Haji moved back to Somalia from his adopted home just outside Copenhagen with his pregnant wife, about 18 months ago. Friends described him as a gregarious young man who used to party and play football, but that recently he had started to withdraw into himself. A local leader in Copenhagen claimed that the young man had increasingly turned to religion.

Well, for those of you who are avid followers, good news! I will now be producing more regularly over at the FreeRad!cals website run by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (tidily abbreviated to ICSR) – in fact, I have now already gotten started, here is a brief bio/introductory piece and below is my first article. I am hoping to regularly cross post between the two, and welcome any thoughts on either site.

(One final comment, I am hoping that Lone Wolf Pack will become part of the canon of radicalization-speak – anyone see it anywhere else, please give me a heads-up!)

Lone Wolves Pack stalks Milan

View more articles by Raff Pantucci

Filed under: Europe, Radicalisation

A couple of weeks have passed since 35-year old Libyan Mohamed Game attempted, in an alleged  revenge for Italian involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, to carry out a suicide attack on the Santa Barbara army barracks in Milan, where forces going to Afghanistan are based.

Using a fertilizer-based explosive concealed in a tool box, Game detonated his bomb in the morning of October 12, apparently as a reference to 12 November 2003 when a suicide bomber blew up an Italian military police base in Iraq killing 19 Italians. The bomb failed to completely explode, mutilating Game (his hand was amputated, he was blinded by shrapnel and remains on life support), while only injuring one guard at the base.

Am finally getting around to posting some old op-eds i wrote – here is one i wrote for the Boston Globe ( a while back about not this but the previous Italian election. Not that anything has really changed. sorry this is old, but i had vowed to make this a repository for all my writing. Had a great picture near it on the page….

The Boston Globe

April 14, 2006 Friday

Keeping US, Italy link afloat

FEW AMERICANS will have noticed this week that they have lost another reflexive European ally. Those few who have noted center-left leader Romano Prodi’s extremely narrow and still contested victory in Italy will fear that we are about to watch as the election result in Italy, like Spain before it, equates to a chilling in a previously solid bilateral trans-Atlantic relationship.