WORLD NEWS TOMORROW: ITALY – We need New tools to understand the threat of Daesh as The Islamic State arises as political and social alternative Today, more than ever, it is necessary to recognize the complexity and heterogeneity of the terrorist threat and to face with a multidisciplinary approach. Daesh is a “global challenge, ultra-modern that uses the symbolism and ancient languages, which operates throughout the world” and cannot be studied with valuable tools, of forty years ago. The debates on recent events bearing assaults and attacks shows us the choice to define such acts as purely made by fools, crazy, psychos and, therefore, we will focus on some reflections in order to provide a broader reading of the terrorist phenomenon.

We will do it with Dr. Antonio Albanese, journalist, intelligence analyst, political- military analyst for both Italian and foreign organizations/ institutions and a co-founder of the journalistic agency, AGC Communication together with Graziella Giangiulio.

Dr. Albanese, what do you thinks that are the misconceptions of terrorist behavior ?

More than being misconceptions, we AGC define ” obsolete ” those perceptions and categories that are used in dealing with the current terrorist phenomenon that is affecting directly the world as we know. Obsolete because these are instruments which have proved valid in other historical and cultural contexts, but have revealed all their incapability to  understand and therefore confront in different ways, from the “kinetic” to those social, the use of the terrorist tool in politics by the Islamic State. Epiphenomenon of Islamic awakening more fundamentalist known up till now. The image of the world, idea of life, political and religious aspirations are among the most useful tools to deal with such phenomena, but Daesh is not Fatah, not Hamas, or the Ikhwan or al Qaeda; this is something new in the political landscape , and not by chance,we are using this term. The pervasiveness of mystical-religious element of Daesh cannot be explained by valid instruments of over forty years ago.
Not so much for the time spent, but because it postulates a series of historical and sociopolitical belonging to a past so close in time but at the same, far in perception. Daesh is taking shape, in fact, it is an aspiration that over 100 years pervades the Islamic Ummah, the unity of the Islamic community.

If such an aspiration can also be found in previous phenomena, is with Daesh who lives embodied in history and violently and dramatically seeks to establish itself, breaking ties and divisions: the boundaries imposed by the Ottoman Empire’s demise and the end of the Caliphate ; to the language, imposing a law, apparently that of the Koran, but in reality, the result of a synthetic process. This “political” reality clashes with other reality, born on the evolution of Western history. Daesh, think global and act in this way: just look at what happens at the level of terrorist attacks from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and at last in the Far East. This universality of his vision restore it again and ends up proving traditional tools of little use, that look to their own geographical boundaries, attacking scientifically to a similar reality.

Is it exact that the conception according to which any person, in the right circumstances, can become a terrorist?

It always depends on what you want to intend by “the right circumstances”. And when you make an analysis of the sociopolitical phenomenon that lead to define a set of policy actions, whether bloody or not, a terrorism. You would define today, the bandits and terrorists, the phenomenon of the national liberation, post-colonial, or going even farther in time and by approaching our country’s history, the expedition of the Thousand? Absolutely not. But if you go back through the media to different eras, for example, newspapers, telling different stories, you would find that the terms such as bandits, and the like, comparable to today’s terrorist use, are used by newspapers to describe the harmful actions of similar characters in “red shirt”, or the liberation forces of many nations, now exists and well in the international community. Yet the actions of conquest, the reprisals, the battles were not made of bouquets of roses and wildflowers. Now coming back to your question, I would say no.

The transition from normality of everyday life to terrorism is not a simple sum of factors, a cocktail in the right doses leads to make certain choices and if it is a wrong dose, others will refill. It is obvious that some common elements in the figures of today’s fundamentalist terrorists may be found, such as the presence in certain prison facilities for equally certain period, or some particular acquaintances, which lead the individual to make well-determined choices. What is certain is that Daesh always knows how to pick his “fighter.” We at AGC we have renamed the “multinational of terror” because they know how to use, tools, men, marketing, and everything you need to create the contemporary jihadist.

Until 2001, the aspects of ‘radicalization’ were rarely seen. Do you think it is useful to spend time and resources focusing on understanding the ‘radicalization’ of a growing number of individuals?

More than being useful, I would say, it is indispensable. You must immediately activate the specialized units, which do not exist and as such are formed, they must begin to study the phenomenon. In France, we have seen that 10 years of failed policy integration have fostered the phenomenon of radicalism, especially, as I said before, in prisons and in areas where it is easier to blend. Just look at what has happened in Morocco in 2011 and the improvement occurred in society today. Morocco is in fact, from 2011 till today remains the only country in North Africa that is free of attacks. More dialogue, being more attentive to vulnerable people working with the Muslim communities in Europe would lead to new answers about the phenomenon of radicalization. Then it needs to be understood , especially Daesh,
because it has so much power of attraction for young people. Recent graduates, from a good family. And this deserves a study first of all sociological and then giudicial. Judge them better suited to medicine categories that criminology or sociology, does not help the meritorious work of prevention that security authorities carry out, primarily Italian ones. Certainly we cannot classify them as of the mentally ill people, otherwise, we would be facing a new “pandemic” terrorist. According to a recent article in which your report ” the slowness of European police ”, believes that Europol has proved a failure in the fight against jihadist
terrorism? And why?

The service to which You are referring to was born from the data provided by Europol on the European jihadist phenomenon. According to these data and their analysis and conclusions, we would have to source a range of actors who all suffers from mental illness who act individually without any planned scheme. The reading of the data created an interesting discussion in AGC, which brought all at the same conclusions: Europol data were based on a misreading of the information available and on conceptual schemes now rusted and so weak, to not mention useless. Such schemes proposed by the European body do not help, indeed conceals, what this new generation of terrorist wants to put in place: to attack the very concept of the world and of life in which European culture lives from the Enlightenment to the present. Despite the understandable demands not to create a sense of panic in the European population, they should not, however, justify an excessive undervaluation of the jihadist phenomenon that mostly other realities Islamic state like al Qaeda is placing us. Daesh arises towards the West secularized as a real sociopolitical alternative, based on a juxtaposition / fusion of religious elements from the vast Islamic galaxy. We are talking about a real new religious reading of history and relations between beings that is also the basis of their reaction to the Western presence in the world.

To act as an alternative reality, they must shake the foundations of the previous reality, our own, through a series of actions to trigger a reaction which should then be lifted Muslims against “secular institutions”. The whole fueling conquest and facilitating the expansion of the area under the influence Daesh. Daesh, in this, has sown very well in recent years with a targeted propaganda, serious and highly technological in its simplicity, which is now bearing its fruit. We see it in the series of bombings that have upset Europe. Therefore, through the actions of Muslims who, with well-washed brains, feel Soldiers of the Caliphate, at war with the rest of the world around them and in which they were born and raised. Their actions all fall into a pattern: shake the sociopolitical framework of Western nation states, unleash a backlash against Muslims and then feeding a vicious cycle of type Pavlovian / mechanistic, we could say in which, in the long run, Daesh believes they have the upper hand, because the Ummah, its Muslim community is more united than the Western. To deny this mechanism, always talking about isolated acts of crazy or mentally ill beings does not help to comprehend the matter and therefore the search for a solution. And let alone makes European citizens more aware of the situation and then be able to make the best decisions. The ostrich policy, bury our heads in the sand, it never worked. Daesh is a global challenge, ultra-modern and uses symbolism and ancient languages, which operates all over the planet, and within which all the theaters, from the Near East to Asia and the Pacific, are connected. A tool such as Europol, was born to give common answers to the need for EU security, it should be strengthened in its prerogatives, or deleted altogether, in favor of another entity. The only thing certain is that the individual response of the attacked countries do not need to practically nothing, but makes the “game of King of Prussia.”

John Horgan writes:

” Despite the ongoing search to identify a specific terrorist psychology, to date, even the most thorough and empirical research shows not only how the terrorists are completely free of any psychopathology clearly established, but also how frighteningly normal and little of note in psychological terms ”.

What do you think about that?

As I mentioned earlier, the choice of defining these acts as committed by crazy, psychos is very comfortable, soothing, serves to avoid a sociopolitical stress with which it is difficult to live together and that Western policy as a whole does not seem prepared to confront. The people who have completed these acts, are, to paraphrase what you mentioned in your question, are “normal” people, belonging to different social groups. At first, they were presented as coming from the poorest sections of society to the performance of certain bloody act by “actors” who have no financial problems and from wealthy families such as the massacre in Dhaka. The click, the spring that comes tripped and does make certain choices, according to analyzes carried out in our agency, can be detected in the absence of integration and acceptance of our Weltanschauung; a denial that creates an inner void, an absence of identity, more or less perceived, which is then filled by the recipe prepared by Daesh. In that way, it becomes aligned with the universe or with God’s will, if we want to call it that way, and then acts accordingly by consequence. Quacking politically and sociologically on the details more or less picturesque of the individual and the phenomenon does not help all of us to understand a fundamental philosophical fact: with or without Daesh, the conception of the world and of life that until now has permeated our history has breath short, weakened as it is by the commodification and “objectification” of all aspects surrounding the human being.

On the subject of information and misinformation, in a welter of news and analysis that we read, are not always reliable, what advice would you give to a reader to orientate themselves better?

I would not speak of misinformation and erroneous analysis, because it would imply a specific willingness to further such activity, I would rather talk about findings and information from non-primary sources and for a variety of reasons do not reasoned sufficient, including academics, Italian and non-Italian, that in recent years appear in television all over the world. To readers who seeks answers to their unanswered questions, I suggest simply to not stop at the first thing they read, even if published or uttered by more famous realities, but instead to broaden their reading luggage. Today’s Internet tools allow you to wander, and even if you do not know the languages, with good translation tools. Only by changing the perspective on a given fact, you may be able to learn a complex issue but devilishly charming as the one we are talking about. The old ready-made rails of judgement are so comfortable, but often give false answers.

By Antonella Marchisella

La Voce -The first online independent newspaper


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