Not all extremists are under investigation - At the end of last year, just over 1,000 Islamist extremists across all 50 states were being actively investigated by the FBI. In order to open an investigation, the FBI needs to have evidence of criminal behavior, or high suspicion of criminal behavior.
France has suffered terrorist attacks since the end of WWII. The terrorism stemming from former colonies in the mid-1950s; the terrorism of international communism (Action Directe) and the internationalized Middle-Eastern terrorism (Carlos and the Palestinians at least). Since 1995, France has been the target of attacks by radical Islam terrorism.
North Africa is a geographically strategic region for Italy. Currently, however, the region navigates troubled waters. The Libyan crisis, the rise of the so-called Islamic State (IS), migration flows and economic and energy relations in the Mediterranean basin are key priorities for Italian foreign and security policy. On Libya, the country’s internal chaos has paved the way for the expansion of IS and further increased migration flows from the region. Turning to Egypt, until recently Italy used to be its first European economic partner. However, relations with the al-Sisi regime worsened in the aftermath of the Regeni diplomatic rift. At the same time, Tunisia is facing a difficult transition and the future of the Algerian leadership seems to be still uncertain. How is the Italian government coping with current challenges? The Vienna conference (May 16), co-chaired by Italy and the United States, aimed at finding viable options to the Libyan impasse. Over the last two years, Matteo Renzi’s government tried hard to follow a wider multilateral approach, mainly hinging upon the UN and the EU. In order to foster the Italian role in the wider Mediterranean region, Renzi sponsored Federica Mogherini’s appointment as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR). Despite all these efforts, Italy is still struggling to cope with the many challenges in its southern neighborhood. Although the Italian government is working to escape the fate of a stalemate in the region, a way out from the crisis is still there to be found.
The arrival in Sicily on May 13 of 898 migrants, mainly from Egypt, Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia, marked an important new development in migration routes from North Africa to Italy. Instead of taking the sea from Libya, as is usually the case, the two fishing vessels rescued by the Italian navy in international waters started the crossing from Egypt. After few minor cases in the last two months, this massive arrival is clear evidence that the Egyptian route has officially reopened.
It is well known that the oil and gas sector is the backbone of the Algerian economy, accounting for about 35 per cent of gross domestic product, and two-thirds of total exports; that the first commercial oil discovery was in 1956 and that production started in 1958 during the bloodiest anti–colonial revolt of national liberation in Arab history. And that Italy was at that time – and still is - in great need of this resource for its own development.
Africa and the Middle East are the two regions of the world with the highest conflict burden. Since the mid-1990s, Africa has gradually improved across all measurements of death and war (Figure 1). These positive changes are due to several factors, including greater regional cooperation, decreased intrastate wars, economic growth, and increased democratic governance.
The types of conflicts have also changed: from wars of independence, long term civil wars, and intrastate wars, conflicts are now due to weak governance structures and state presences which are exacerbated by religious and ethnic differences as well as to transnational crime and global governance failures.
The last Boko Haram’s attacks in Cameroon are yet another confirmation that the Nigerian Islamist group has now turned into an organization capable of striking at the regional level.
To affect in a tangible way on the overall strategy of Salafi Nigerian was also the alliance with the Islamic State (IS), in consequence of which the organization has changed its name to “Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Since the terrorism wave in Europe started with Charlie Hebdo and the Paris attacks in November, Brussels has been presented as the crib of foreign fighters in Europe. The attacks of yesterday morning in the city, which is the heart of the European Institutions, have demonstrated that Brussels is not just the nest where the eggs are brooded, on the contrary it could be the vulnerable theatre of terrorism and fear.
The Islamic State (IS, or ISIS or ISIL) in Libya controls the coastal strip around the central city, Sirte, from Bu’ayrat al Hasun to Bin Jawad and down south to the vicinity of the Jufra oasis. In Benghazi the battle-hardened jihadists are part of the backbone of the resistance against General Heftar’s Operation Dignity. The group is also present in training camps to the south of Sabratha. Several smaller cells exist in Tripoli, Khoms and other coastal cities of Tripolitania.
Pope Francis will be in the Central African Republic (CAR) at the end of November.
Belgium is the main center of homegrown jihadism in Europe. Having been the base of the terrorist cell Sharia4Belgium, it witnesses a constant growth of foreign fighters coming back from Syria with strong and extremist ideology. It is not a case that this phenomenon regards mostly the 3rd generation of migrants: there are concrete problems of unemployment, discrimination and housing, that concern many neighbourhoods of the main cities in Belgium.