Antonello Guerrera Profile picture
Mar 30, 2018 17 tweets 10 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Yesterday a big anti-terrorism operation took place in #Italy. Several suspect terrorists allegedly linked to ISIS have been detained or are wanted. They’re connected to Anis Amri, the perpetrator of 2016 Berlin terrorist attack, were allegedly planning to attack Italy 👉🏻THREAD
1. Everything started with the arrest on Wednesday of Elmahdi Halili, 23 years old, a guy born in Italy of Moroccan origin and living near Turin. He had been already arrested a few years ago for terrorist propaganda, he is the writer of the 1st Italian known ISIS manifesto
2. This time something was different though. Halili seemed to have upgraded his terrorist linked activity: in fact he allegedly turned into a jihadist recruiter, according to prosecutors, “raising” a dozen of potential terrorists to prepare a terrorist attack, likely in #Italy
3. Meanwhile, along with the alarming return of foreign fighters, the online #ISIS/jihadist propaganda against #Italy and especially #Rome has remarkably increased in the last months, as @fabiotonacci reported yesterday in @repubblica (my paper)
4. According to prosecutors, Halili in the last years became more and more reclusive, spending much time in Internet and explicitly called for (sometimes detailed) terrorist attacks in his online propaganda.
5. But yesterday was a even more important day for anti-terrorism. Five suspected terrorists were arrested and another dozen are wanted or under investigation. Based in Latina, near Rome, this cell was allegedly recruiting terrorists and forging documents for jihadists
6. There are two most alarming aspects of those arrests, apart from the increasing ISIS-linked online propaganda. The alleged terrorist cell was connected with Anis Amri, the perpetrator of Berlin attack. Amri joins the cell hideout in Latina in 2015 after 4 years in jail
7. As @carlobonini and @fabiotonacci report in today’s @repubblica, it was Montassar Yakoubi, a Tunisian guy arrived in Italy together with Amri on a migrants boat 2011,that introduced Amri to the Latina cell “tunisian pals” to get forged documents after getting a expulsion order
8. But first let’s go briefly backwards. Both Amri and Yakoubi got arrested after the Lampedusa immigration center revolt in 2011. After 4 years in Italy jails, however, something changed. Yakoubi became “just” a petty criminal and drug dealer, Amri radicalised himself instead.
9. While being interrogated last july, Yakoubi told prosecutors that Amri and the other cell members were allegedly talking about a terrorist attack in Rome, maybe performed at Laurentina station, the last stop of the B line subway
10. Yakoubi said to Italy investigators that, along with Amri, several members - then arrested or wanted yesterday - were involved in planning the Rome terrorist attack. They allegedly followed ISIS spokesperson Al Adnani’s calls to attack “infidels”…
11. Yakoubi however doesn’t know why their terrorist attack plans in Rome never (fortunately) became reality. Amri and other two “Tunisian bros” (their identity hasn’t been revealed) moved instead to France and Germany, where Amri perpetrated an attack. Why? This is still unknown
12. However, this brings up another issue. Has #Italy, after being spared by ISIS related attacks so far, now become a target of jihadi terrorism? And if so, why it happened?
13. There are a few theories on the reasons of ISIS “clemency” in #Italy:
- Excellent intelligence after mafia and 70’s anti-terrorism experience
- No “Islamic ghettos” which jihadists can infiltrate
- Italy is a crossing point for jihadists in Europe, so “better keep it calm”
14. However, there are some hints (nothing certain, let’s be clear) that something might change, after the latest arrests. As I said earlier the ISIS/Jihadist propaganda against Italy, Vatican and Rome is increasing online. But there is more.
15. After ISIS humiliating defeats in Middle East, many foreign fighters are coming “back home”. This time it’s possible that they might attack more randomly than before, so the “crossing point” Italy might not be so safe like before. We’ll see, these are just speculations so far
16. This thread on this latest big anti-terrorism operation in #Italy and the alleged ISIS plan of attacking Rome ends here. Thanks a lot for your attention and patience, keep posted with the latest news and insights from #Italy.
Cc @rcallimachi @abususu @SimNasr @einfal

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More from @antoguerrera

Jul 30, 2018
Daisy Osakue, a young talented Italian athlete, (👇🏻) was the case today in #Italy. There is a long recent list of allegedly racially-motivated attacks. Was Daisy attacked because she is black? Is #Italy racist? Or is #Italy becoming more racist, given the new government? THREAD
First of all, I must say that I will try to handle this thorny subject as much sensitive and deep as possible, trying to avoid easy and superficial simplifications, despite it is not simple given the Twitter shortness. But I will try to do my best.
1. There is a very common saying in #Italy: “Italiani brava gente”, which means “Italians are good people”. This motto spread easily after the Second World War. It was mainly a way for Italians to subtly distance themselves from the German Nazis, former allies. But is this true?
Read 28 tweets
May 30, 2018
How #Italy has plunged into the maybe worst political crisis of its recent history and why this man below, one of the most xenophobic & eurosceptic leaders, Matteo Salvini, is the real winner so far and might become the game changer of Italian politics in the future. THREAD 🇮🇹
1. Let's start from the second point. Why a far right leader like Salvini, who distinguished himself in the past for his rash and violent attacks against migrants and Europe, is supposed to gain more votes and getting more and more decisive in the next months? Let's see.
2. First reason of all: the worldwide populist Zeitgeist. Ok, but there are many more specific reasons related to Italy and what happened in the last few months. In a few words, Salvini has won all his political bets, so far. And he is getting more and more influential.
Read 34 tweets
May 14, 2018
Hello all, as this can be a crucial day for the new (populist) #Italy government I am now going to tweet a short thread on it, focusing especially on the (almost ready) M5S-LEGA agenda. At least 70 billions of additional debt are expected. How will Europe react? THREAD 🇮🇹
1. As I have been personally saying since the first election results (see here ) and despite a broad general skepticism on it in #Italy, a LEGA-M5S government was the only possible, given the circumstances after the vote. So, now we are very close to it.
2. Five Stars Movement (M5S) leader Di Maio and LEGA leader Salvini have been negotiating for days on a coalition contract (like in Germany). There have reportedly agreed on many points (we'll see later). But the big hurdle is: who is going to be the new Prime Minister?
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Apr 5, 2018
What is going on in #Italy after March 4th elections and the subsequent political deadlock? A quick and concise update on the thrilling party negatiotions/talks that officially started yesterday. Thread coming up shortly. 🇮🇹
1. Here I am (sorry I had to get some food at the 24h supermarket 😊). Well, the deadlock stays but there are some very interesting news that, at least, keep new elections at bay for now. And, beside the M5S-LEGA populist liaison, there is a new potential alliance at sight
2. But let’s go through it. The first thing is that M5S populist and young leader Di Maio has explicitly opened to an alliance either with right-wing LEGA or with centre-left PD (Renzi’s party). “Let’s make a coalition pact like in Germany” Di Maio said.
Read 17 tweets
Mar 14, 2018
Hello all. Sorry for the late hour, but I wanted to give you just some quick updates on #Italy’s political deadlock. As I had hinted here in the past, despite many discarded it in the 1st place, a sort of “populist” collaboration between LEGA and M5S is more likely
I tell you why
1. Today LEGA leader Salvini and M5S leader Di Maio had a phone call. It is the 1st actual, concrete contact between the two after #Italyelection2018, after pretending to ignore each other. It was “a frank and kind call”, they said. But what did they discuss on the phone?
2. Well, according to official statements, they primarily discussed the question of the two Parliaments speakers (House of reps + Senate, it is the first stel after elections), stressing the fact that the matter is “unrelated” to the formation of a potential government
Read 23 tweets
Mar 4, 2018
Hello all, I will shortly start a live-tweeting on #ItalyElection2018 night. I will try to keep you posted with all the latest news, exit polls, vote projections until late (tomorrow morning shift, ouch)🇮🇹
Meanwhile, here you can find a guide to the vote
1. Turnout at 7 pm estimated at 57%. Not so much for #Italy standards. Not a good news for Renzi, in theory.
2. The Constitutional referendum turnout at 7 pm had a similar trend. Then (in 2016) the final turnout was 68,48%. If it stays so also today, it would be the lowest turnout in Italy republican history
In fact, it was 75% in 2013, 81% in 2008, 84% in 2006
Read 38 tweets

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