Italy-led anti-terror operation the most important one in 20 years / News / The Foreigner

The Foreigner Italy-led anti-terror operation the most important one in 20 years. MERANO, ITALY: Carabinieri (local paramilitary police) arrested four people residing in Italy’s peaceful southern Tyrol alpine town, Thursday. Three others were arrested in the nearby city of Bolzano. Merano is a quite popular tourist destination in Europe, but this week it made the news.  All of the suspects have been connected to a jihadist network called Rawti Shax, or Didi Nwe (the ‘new course’ or ‘towards the mountain’). The network is classified as a terrorist organization of Kurdish-Sunni origin. Its ideological leader is Norway’s Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar.

terror, norway, italy, krekar



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Italy-led anti-terror operation the most important one in 20 years

Published on Saturday, 14th November, 2015 at 21:21 under the news category, by Gabriele Catania and Michael Sandelson   .

MERANO, ITALY: Carabinieri (local paramilitary police) arrested four people residing in Italy’s peaceful southern Tyrol alpine town, Thursday. Three others were arrested in the nearby city of Bolzano.



Merano is a quite popular tourist destination in Europe, but this week it made the news.  All of the suspects have been connected to a jihadist network called Rawti Shax, or Didi Nwe (the ‘new course’ or ‘towards the mountain’).

The network is classified as a terrorist organization of Kurdish-Sunni origin. Its ideological leader is Norway’s Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar.

“I’m very worried,” Merano local Francesca (name changed) told The Foreigner, commenting the arrests in Italy. She describes herself as a “moderate, pro-Europe voter”.

“I fear that Europe is transforming itself into a playground for terrorists and admirers of ISIS. That’s frightening.”

In effect, reality is sometimes more shocking than a political thriller movie. Italian prosecutors allege that Rawti Shax is a trans-national, ramified network active in Scandinavia, Northern Italy, the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Greece, Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

The arrests of the men charged with international terrorism were part of a larger operation, named JWEB.

Some 17 people were arrested in total. The simultaneous operation, conducted under the direction of the Office of the Prosecutor in Rome, occurred in five countries: Norway, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK.

Arisen in Europe, Rawti Shax is a hierarchical, secretive structure based on cells communicating and operating via the Internet.

Network leader and Norway resident Mullah Krekar is currently serving time for death threats against a Kurd living in the Scandinavian country, and for advocating other criminal activity. He is considered to be the founder of Ansar Al Islam, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organization.

Rawti Shax was an evolution of Ansar Al Islam. Its main goal was creating an Islamic State in Kurdistan.

A press release issued by Eurojust, the agency of the EU dealing with judicial co-operation in criminal issues, states that Rawti Shax “was active in providing logistical and financial support to recruiting foreign terrorist fighters to be sent to Syria and Iraq, also with the intent of training them for the future conflict in Kurdistan”.

According to Italian media, Rome is going to demand Krekar’s extradition following his arrest in jail. He is now indicted for terror planning in Italy and has been placed in remand custody for up to three weeks. Two other people arrested in Norway in addition to Krekar also face extradition to Italy.

But Norwegian legal experts believe this may take several years bearing in mind possibilities for appeal.

Krekar’s 18-month term was handed down in October last year. Norwegian legislation states that extradition cannot normally take place until any sentence has been served, a legal expert has told NRK.

Moreover, Norwegian judges must decide both whether the conditions for extradition have been met, and under which country’s legal jurisdiction any offence falls.

Norway was a prime target for Rawti Shax. The organization was allegedly plotting to commit violent actions in Norway or at embassies abroad, and to kidnap Norwegian diplomats in Europe or the Middle East.

NRK also reported that Italian anti-terror police have said that there was also talk of assassinations of Norwegian MPs.

General Giuseppe Governale, commander of the Carabinieri’s special operations unit that carried out the arrests in Italy (ROS), states that, “the Rawti Shax project evaluated the possibility of carrying out attacks in the Middle East and in Northern Europe, probably in Norway. Not in Italy.”

In a crowded press conference in Rome, Governale said that, “we have to abandon the idea of a territory-bound organization; the territory of the group of the arrested people was the Internet”.

The group mixed new technologies and old techniques: when the suspects were on a video chat, they also communicated using gestures and nods. Carabinieri managed to break this strange, but effective code

The alleged terrorists saw Italy just as a training area, for example setting up a kind of suspected “terror academy” in an ordinary flat in Merano. Their classes were about suicide bombing and war-fighting.

In Italy, JWEB has been hailed as “the most important counter-terror operation in twenty years.”

Angelino Alfano, the Minister of the Interior, states that Italy is a country exposed to the risk of international terrorism because we are member of a large international coalition fighting Islamic Caliphate […] In any case our anti-terror measures have worked, Italy is a country that until now has carried out a really remarkable work of prevention.”

“This operation was an incredibly tough and complicated investigation which has been going on for five years,” said anti-mafia and counter-terror czar Mr Franco Roberti.

Thanks to JWEB, European authorities broke up an “international terror organization connected to the Islamic State,” continued Mr Roberti.

Eurojust coordinated the international operation. Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) carried out the arrests in the Scandinavian country.



Published on Saturday, 14th November, 2015 at 21:21 under the news category, by Gabriele Catania and Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: terror, norway, italy, krekar.





  
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