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European police begin controversial hunt for thousands of ‘irregular’ migrants

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By Sarah Joanne Taylor 13/10 16:57 CET

European police begin controversial hunt for thousands of ‘irregular’ migrants

A Europe-wide police operation has been launched in an effort to detect, detain and potentially deport tens of thousands of so-called “irregular” migrants; people living clandestinely, without official documentation permitting them to stay.

Coordinated by Italy, the 14-day Operation Mos Maiorum will see some 20,000 police officers from 25 countries stake out railway stations, bus depots and motorways throughout the continent.

It is a controversial move. While Europeqn Union officials say the operation is integral to the combat of human smuggling rings, rights groups have denounced it as inhumane. Read the rest of this entry »

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Boko Haram denies killing hostages as UK, Italy relations boil

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The 12 Nigerian states with Sharia law

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On March 10, 2012 · In News

By Uduma Kalu &  Abdallah el-Kurebe with agency report
Diplomatic relations between Nigeria, Britain and Italy may be strained following the botched rescue operation to free two hostages, a Briton,  Chris McManus and an Italian, Franco Lamolinara  at the Mabera area of Sokoto State, Northwest of Nigeria Thursday.

While Italy is furious with Britain for not informing it before the rescue operation, the Italian President  has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to furnish him with detailed information on what actually happened.

This development is coming even as the Boko Haram Islamic sect, accused of the crime has denied any involvement in the kidnap and killing of the hostages.

The group in a message forwarded to the media electronically yesterday afternoon said that it does not engage in such acts of kidnapping.

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David Cameron says: ‘Indications are clear that both men were murdered by their captors

Boko Haram’s alleged spokesman, Abul Qaqa said, “following the failed rescue attempt by Nigerian/British intelligence agencies yesterday, Boko Haram has strongly refuted speculation that his group was behind the hostage- taking.
“We have never been involved in such acts of kidnapping. It is a known fact that the group has not denied any act it have been involved in.’’

Read the rest of this entry »

How the Soviet Union Transformed Terrorism

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By Nick Lockwood  Dec 23 2011, 8:30 AM ET

The USSR developed two tools that changed the world: airplane hijackings and state-sponsorship of terror

Pilot Juergen Schumann sits in the open door of Lufthansa airplane Landshut at the airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Oct. 15, 1977, prior to being killed by members of the Red Army Faction who had hijacked the flight / AP

This post is part of a 12-part series exploring how the U.S.-Russia relationship has shaped the world since the December 1991 end of the Soviet Union. Read the full series here.

In the 1960s and 70s, the Soviet Union sponsored waves of political violence against the West. The Red Brigades in Italy and the German Red Army Faction both terrorized Europe through bank robberies, kidnapping, and acts of sabotage. The Soviets wanted to use these left-wing terror groups to destabilize Italy and Germany to break up NATO. State-sponsored terrorism was a deeply Soviet phenomenon, but its practice did not stop when the Soviet Union ended. While state sponsorship continues, terrorism has mutated into something even harder for us to understand and respond to. But some of the roots of today’s terrorism go back to the Soviet Union.

 

Russia is the birthplace of modern terrorism. The Russian nihilists of the 19th century combined political powerlessness with a propensity for gruesome violence, but their attacks were aimed at the Tsarist state and ruling classes. Later, the Soviet Union and its allies actively supported terrorism as a means to politically inconvenience and undermine its opponents. The East German Stasi and the KGB provided funds, equipment, and “networking” opportunities to the myriad of leftist German terrorist cells in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The Red Army Faction and the 2nd June Movement in Germany, as well as the Red Brigades in Italy, shared Marxist philosophies, a hatred of America, solidarity with the Palestinians, and opposition to the generation, some of its members still in power, that had supported the Nazis and fascists. They were good foundations for a Cold War fifth column. It was not just Europe, either: Soviet equipment, funding, training and guidance flowed across the globe, either directly from the KGB or through the agencies of key allies, like the Rumanian Securitate, the Cuban General Intelligence Directorate. Read the rest of this entry »

Italians fear revival of terrorism

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Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti
Image by Jon@th@nC via Flickr

Letter bombs and bullets mailed to officials have prompted Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to warn of political violence returning to Italy

Published: 2011/12/15 06:47:24 AM

LETTER bombs and bullets mailed to officials have prompted Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to warn of political violence returning to Italy.

Terrorism in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s, a period of bombs and bullets dubbed the Years of Lead, claimed hundreds of lives.

An official with Equitalia, Italy’s tax-collection agency, was wounded in the hand and face by a letter bomb last Friday, a day after Italian anarchists said they had tried to injure Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann with a similar device. Letters with bullets sent to Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno and Justice Minister Paola Severino were found this week.

“Threats and intimidation represent strategies of other eras that can’t and mustn’t return,” Mr Monti said yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

Euro crisis claims another leader as Berlusconi agrees to step down

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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi offered to resign if the parliament passed an austerity package. His move comes on the heels of the exit of Greece’s prime minister, George Papandreou.

By Robert MarquandStaff writer / November 8, 2011

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusoni waves to journalists as he leaves the Quirinale, Presidential palace, after meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, in Rome, Tuesday. Berlusconi says his decision to resign after parliament passed economic reforms is for the good of the country, and to settle financial markets that have lost confidence in Italy’s ability to rein in debt and spur growth.

Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse/AP

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Paris

Europe continued to move into uncharted waters today as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s rule appeared over and Greece has reportedly decided on a new prime minister.


Greece, and more significantly Italy, are in the throes of a eurozone debt crisis whose dynamics appear to be accelerating, with what two years ago was an economic and banking crisis now proving to have profound political consequences.

“The eurozone now faces political, economic, financial, and institutional crises all at the same time,” argues Sony Kapoor of the Brussels think tank Re-Define.

Prime Minister Berlusconi today failed to achieve a majority in the Italian parliament in a vote considered a symbolic referendum on his ability to handle the nation at a time of greater urgency than Italy has faced in decades. He agreed to resign if parliament passed austerity measures that the European Union wants.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano made a statement later in the evening that Berlusconi – who has been a major force in Italian politics over the past 18 years, both in office and out – would leave his job after a budget law is passed this month.

Moments after the today’s parliamentary vote on a budget deal, opposition leader Pier Luigi Bersani stood to say, “I ask you, Mr. Prime Minister, with all my strength, to finally take account of the situation … and resign,” and said a lack of confidence by markets in Italy would soon block the nation’s access to loans and capital.

Italy is Europe’s third-largest economy, and its current 1.9-trillion euro debt (about $2.6 trillion) surpasses that of Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal combined.

Calls for Berlusconi’s departure came from all sides of the Italian political spectrum, including today from key coalition partner Umberto Bossi, head of the Northern League party. Italy’s borrowing costs are above a perilous 6 percent, and there’s a restless spirit among the Italian public. Yesterday, amid rumors that Berlusconi was resigning, markets shot up, then fell as the prime minister said the rumors were untrue.

A crisis that keeps sweeping up victims

In the past year, the euro debt crisis has claimed governments in Ireland and Portugal. Last week Greece and this week Italy have been swept into the fray.

A few hours after the Italian vote, prominent Greek media outlets said Lucas Papademos would take over as prime minister of a caretaker government, following the resignation this week of former Prime Minister George Papandreou. Greece is under pressure by the EU to pass a 130 billion euro bailout deal before it can receive some 8 billion euros to remain solvent in December. Mr. Papandreou’s call for a public referendum on the deeply unpopular bailout terms threw world markets into a tailspin last week, and brought political and European turmoil that the former prime minister could not surmount.

Mr. Papademos, a former deputy chief of the European Central Bank and now a Harvard professor, was the leading candidate for a job that would test the outer limits of any leader. He must bring the two main parties together to agree on next year’s national budget; pass through parliament the 130 billion euro bailout agreed to in Brussels on Oct. 26; negotiate with the troika of the EU, the ECB, and the IMF on the terms of that deal; and set the way for new elections next year.

Delays on the appointment followed reports that Papademos wanted to choose his own ministers and extend what has been considered a 100-day limit for the interim body. As Papademos, a former chief economic adviser at the Bank of Greece, let it be known to reporters, “I was the one to sign Greek entry in the [eurozone], and I won’t be the one to sign its exit.” Read the rest of this entry »

Cops smash UK theft to order gang

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20. 07. 09. – 15:00

Romanian police has smashed a multi-million pound crime ring where criminals stole heavy goods vehicles from the UK, Italy, France and Belgium and shipped them to Romania to be sold at a fraction of their real value.

More than a million pounds of machinery stolen to order mainly in the United Kingdom but also in other EU countries has already been identified by the police. They say it was shipped to Romania where it was dumped in specially built storage sites in remote woodland locations until a buyer had been found. Read the rest of this entry »

Terrorism: Al-Qaeda suspects accused of planning attacks

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Rome, 12 May (AKI)

Italian police have accused two French men of planning Al-Qaeda attacks in France and Europe. The French nationals were detained in Italy over alleged illegal immigration offences in November and are now believed to be important figures in the terror network.

The suspects are Bassam Ayachi, 63, an imam of Syrian descent with French nationality, and Raphael Gendron, a 34-year-old French citizen.

Their suspected terror targets included France’s main international airport, Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and unnamed locations in Britain.

The men have been held in an Italian jail in the southern city of Bari since November as part of an investigation into illegal immigration involving local police and Ucigo, the anti-terrorism police division. Read the rest of this entry »