Mohamed Merah and the Secret Services

Spiegel – 03/22/2012

The Spanish intelligence service gave tips to their  French colleagues that Merah allegedly attended a meeting of Salafists in Catalonia in 2011 but somehow that was not enough to trigger further independent investigation by French officials.

The Secret Services: Italy exposed to “do-it-yourself terrorists”

In the 2009 Report consigned March 1 to the Parliament, the Italian Secret Services point at the risk of a “next door” Islamic terrorism. They speak of homogrown mujahidin and free lance jihadists. These, are second generation immigrants who live in situations of socio-economic and emotional malaise. They are not directly recruited by al-Qaida but are influenced by on-line propaganda. On internet, in fact, they can find discussion groups and do-it-yourself books. The Secret Services highlight the role played by European converts in the cyberjihad: although they are a minority, they nonetheless represent a real risk. Another interesting aspect that emerges from the Report, is the weak link between illegal immigration and Islamic radicalism. The Report concludes that Italy is a target for three main reasons: 1. It takes part to military missions, 2. Its commitment against international terrorism and 3. It is the symbolic centre of Christianity. Institutional representatives or famous people could be exposed as well. The secret Services recognize the possibility that those who cannot reach Afghanistan or other war scenarios decide to conduct attacks directly in our country.