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Issue 8 | 2018

I. Perspectives on terrorism

download-(buttons)Tiziano Li Piani, Progettazione strutturale e funzione sociale dello spazio (quale) vulnerabilità e soluzione al terrorismo urbano. Perché serve e come è possibile proteggere l’edificio dall’uomo (oltre che dal terremoto)

Abstract
This article presents the knowledge gaps and the methodological steps inherent the process of standardization of the terrorist threat in urban environments within the structural design and rehabilitation of buildings for civil use. The necessity for a revision of the current technical codes for building constructions which shall include also the terrorist threat, appears as cogent in light of the progression, in number and harshness, of the terrorist attacks recently involving soft targets inserted in highly urbanized environments of European cities, with the aim of provoking the highest number of civilian victims within their everyday life. The normative integration of the terrorist threat in the design process of civil constructions implies the performing of a number of delicate steps. In fact, the physical-mechanical nature of impact waves referred to explosions or hyper-velocity impacts is different from the one associated to dynamic loadings already known and properly treated within the design codes for civil buildings, such as earthquakes (or more rarely wind). The diversity of the treat is reflected in the different behaviour which the different types of dynamic loadings provoke on the same structure, requiring an update not simply to the validations currently employed within the structural design, but also including the approach itself of the anti-seismic philosophy of design when dealing with terrorism. However, the unique phenomenology of the terrorist treat with reference to the involved target, primarily lies in the social function of the spatial distributions and relative interactions of the urban fabric of the city in which the target is inserted, that the terrorist attack is primarily aimed to disaggregate. This unique feature requires the comprehension and subsequent quali-quantitative assessment also of the social function of the target and of the social dimension of the attacker (the carrier of the terrorist threat), within the standardization process of the terrorist input. However, this source of vulnerability to man-made threat, intrinsic to most of the buildings and constructions in Europe, can potentially rise as strategical promoter of the recovery of an urban harmony often neglected within the Architecture of the modern city, toward a philosophy of design of the single building which includes the humanist function of the architectural and urbanistic elements in which it is inserted.

Keywords
Terrorism, city, urban, explosion, impact, earthquake, space of influence, attacker, target, input, space, social, humanism.

download-(buttons)Daniele Maria BaroneJihadists’ use of cryptocurrencies: undetectable ways to finance terrorism

Abstract
International Islamic terrorist organizations have become fully recognized actors of globalization, whit no borders to group their activities, except through their ideology, rooted in their interpretation of Islam. Their financial resources branch out in the management of physical territories, a global illegal network, organized or small crimes, extortions, donations and they are more and more shifting in the online realm. Indeed, modern financial tools and, in particular, cryptocurrencies, are covering an emerging role in terrorism financing and money laundering.
Starting from documented cases of jihadists’ use of cryptocurrencies and the most recent developments either in global Islamic terrorism or in modern finance, this paper is aimed at analysing where institutions should intervene in this field and which aspects should be accurately monitored in order to prevent terrorists’ illegal use of such an innovative financial resource as cryptocurrencies.

Keywords
Terrorism, jihad, Financing, Cryptocurrency, bitcoin

download-(buttons)Esther ForlenzaWoman in Islamic terrorism: history, roles, data and analysis

Abstract
The presence of women in Islamic terrorism has been studied by different scholars, however, from the literature emerged a cognitive gap on the concrete functions assumed by them. The purpose of this research is to understand the roles played by women, if there are differences in role between women affiliated with Al Qaeda and Daesh and what are the relevant intervening variables. The study was conducted on a sample of 176 women and the approach adopted was that of a qualitative analysis. The first part of the research highlights, for each role that emerged, the socio-relational variables that influences acquisition of role. The second part of the study analysis the semiotics of two magazines that following the birth of the Islamic State with the aim of understanding if and in what terms the online propaganda promoted female mobilization. The results obtained from the study showed that there was both a gradual implementation and diversification of female support with the beginning of Daesh.

Keywords
Women, Islamic terrorism, roles, socio-relational influences, propaganda, Daesh.

download-(buttons)Daniele PlebaniL’eredità operativa di Stato Islamico: dall’open source jihad all’open source extremism

Abstract
During the months between 2017 and 2018 it was possible to witness the shift of Islamic State (IS) from a semi-State group to wide insurgency. It thus becomes imperative to acknowledge the threat posed by the “new IS” and the influence that the group excercises over violent extremism and our own society. This paper focuses on the operative dimension of IS’ legacy by analyzing its forms – heritage and method – inside our “media society”.
The heritage regards a direct link between the group and its followers, a continuum both ideological and operative which collects the know-how made by IS with the aim of continuing the war against its enemies; the method aims to exploit such operative knowledge which in truth remains open to whoever desires to use its best practices for its own aims, even ones not linked to violent jihadism. Such approach marks the shift from an “open source jihad” to an “open source extremism”, potentially leading to attacks and threats simultaneous and/or parallel to jihadi ones.

Keywords
Stato Islamico, Daesh, legacy, eredità, estremismo violento, comunicazione, propaganda, new normal.

II. Perspectives on security

download-(buttons)Andrea BeccaroContemporary irregular conflicts: new and old ideas

Abstract
Contemporary international system is at a political turning point due to security issues partially related to the concept of irregular warfare. Over the last three decades, several theories have emerged around the idea that war has changed and should no longer be considered in some areas and contexts state versus state. The goal of the essay is to analyse the nature of contemporary irregular warfare, showing, on the one hand, the continuities of the current debate with old strategic ideas (mainly related to the notion of insurgency) and, on the other hand, its consequences for politics and security.

Keywords
Irregular Warfare, Transformation of War, Security Studies, Hybrid Warfare, Terrorism.

 

download-(buttons)Giuseppe Gagliano, The birth of French economic intelligence and the contribution of Christian Harbulot

Abstract
This article deals with the cultural development and general perception of the concept of “intelligence” and “economic intelligence” in France. After the Cold War, finance and markets assumed a greater importance in determining the relations between countries; however, it took a long time for the French elite to be convinced of the existence of “economic warfare” and to define a culture of its own in the field of intelligence. Still, when all the international analyses were strongly related to the Cold War ideology and talking about economic warfare seemed like an abuse of language, C. Harbulot and P. Baumard urged the need to reconsider intelligence activities and to apply them in the national economy, overcoming the negative connotation that “renseignement” had. Researching, processing and spreading any piece of information that can be considered strategic is the only formula we can rely on in order to face the last challenges posed by globalization. Between 1992 and 1994, the expression “economic intelligence” officially entered the French public debate on national competiveness, together with the request for public intervention in the national economy. Harbulot and Baumard kept recommending the systematic search and interpretation of the information available to everyone, showing a new way to interpret the markets. The new approach is different from traditional intelligence by the nature of its field of application (open information); the nature of its actors (inserted in a collective information culture context), and its cultural specificities (each nation’s economy generates its own specific model of economic intelligence).

Keywords
Economic Intelligence, Economic Warfare, Intelligence Culture, Information; Globalization.

download-(buttons)Francesco BalucaniLa guerra civile dello Yemen. Emblema dei conflitti moderni

Abstract
In the southwestern regions of the Arabian Peninsula, overlooking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, there is a country that has been oppressed by war for almost four years. Its name is Yemen. A silent and invisible crisis, aggravated by one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent history. This conflict fully reflects the thought and the theories of those who have contributed, after the end of Bipolarism, to a paradigm shift in the whole phenomenology of war, from the Clausewitzian paradigm to modern warfare. The scientific literature designed to expound the features of unconventional warfare and asymmetric engagement offers a valid interpretative lens through which observe, analyze and explain Yemeni civil war, which can be advisedly defined the emblem of modern warfare.

Keywords
Medio Oriente, guerra civile dello Yemen, nuove guerre, guerra non convenzionale, guerra asimmetrica, stato fallito.
Middle East, Yemeni civil war, new wars, asymmetric warfare, modern warfare, failed state.

download-(buttons)Giacomo Salvanelli, Rosario Aiosa, Predictive Policing: prevedere i furti in abitazione nella città di Ancona (IT) attraverso il Software del Risk Terrain Modeling (RTMDx)

Abstract
In recent years, with the intent to shed a light on contextual factors that correlate with the presence of specific crime categories, there has been a growing interest in the development of techniques that use spatial analysis programs to identify the areas in which crime occurs. One of these is certainly the methodology called ‘Risk Terrain Modelling’ (RTM) (Caplan et al., 2010), oriented to a strategic analysis of the context within which future offences could happen, integrating conceptual elements coming from the environmental criminology such as the ‘criminogenic triggers’, to identify the areas of greatest concentration and diffusion of crime. In this regard, the present study aimed to investigate the predictive efficacy of the RTM through a real case study: the burglaries in the city of Ancona. In support of the pre-existing literature, the results of this research showed that the places where drug dealing, prostitution and finally the ATMs are concentrated make it possible to forecast up to 72.5% of burglaries in the first four months of 2018, identifying 87% of the prospectively vulnerable urban areas. Furthermore, this study shows that even in a confined space, the same risk factors can be combined in different ways, giving rise to areas of variable risk over time. In addition, these results provide a rather effective set of information to be potentially used by both the local community and the police forces to develop countermeasures aimed at tackling urban crime including burglaries, robberies, drug dealing and so on. A similar approach could also provide operators, policy-makers and local administrators with significant support to understand and counterattack other forms of criminal behaviour committed by gangs or antisocial groups. In fact, it would guarantee the application of the RTM as a tool for a better predictive policing strategy aimed at both a deeper crime analysis level and a risk assessment that could be fundamental to forecast the areas with the highest risk of criminal conducts in the entire city.

Keywords
RTM, GIS, Risk, Prevention, Crime, Ancona.

III. Perspectives on resilience

download-(buttons)Alessandra PeverelliTheorical studies and practical approach on measuring urban resilience: the Mariana (MG) case study

Abstract
Faced with a world in which the number of people living in the city is increasing, the theme of urban resilience becomes central. However, we are faced with numerous definitions that contribute to making a general evaluation process difficult, creating different models based on different interpretations of the term. In this study, different models of urban resilience evaluation will be presented and confronted, the ones produced by scholars or private organizations. Starting from this comparison, one of the model, the one of Cutter et al. (2008), will be used for analysing the case of Mariana (MG). The dam collapse, one of the worst environmental disaster in Brazil, caused damages in two States, along the course of Rio Doce, spreading pollutant for over 600 km. A final evaluation is carried out considering 6 different dimensions – ecological, social, economic, institutional, infrastructural and community – each of them divided into multiple variables.

Keywords
Urban resilience, complex systems, practical measurement, urban resilience index.

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Issue 7 | 2018

ESSAYS

download-(buttons)Nicolò Spagna, Understanding the Command and Control (C2) through the Social Network Analysis: the case studies of Paris-Brussels terrorist attacks

Abstract

Il terrorismo di oggi è frammentato e globalizzato e successivamente all’avvento dell’autoproclamato Stato Islamico (ISIS) è divenuto multipolare, estremamente dinamico ed in costante cambiamento. All’interno di questo quadro bellico la cosiddetta Information Warfare diviene sempre più primaria, per questo è essenziale approfondire lo studio dei network terroristici in funzione dei sistemi di comando e controllo. Questa ricerca tenta di fornire una maggiore comprensione del comando e del controllo utilizzando due casi di studio: gli attentati terroristici di Parigi e Bruxelles compiuti e rivendicati da ISIS. Questo studio con l’applicazione della social network analysis (SNA) analizza la struttura funzionale e morfologica della rete che ha operato per l’attuazione degli attacchi. A tale scopo, i dati relazionali utilizzati per l’analisi sono stati raccolti attraverso un processo di open source intelligence. Utilizzando la SNA, l’analisi locale e globale ha rivelato che la rete antistante gli attacchi presentava un pattern molto simile ad una struttura ibrida, in altre parole un mix tra una struttura gerarchica tradizionale e un’organizzazione completamente connessa. Mentre, l’analisi funzionale ha rivelato l’esistenza di un sistema decisionale rigido e gerarchico all’interno del quale veniva esercitata la funzione di comando. Tale funzione è stata esercitata attraverso diversi key players che sono emersi dall’analisi come cruciali per l’architettura della rete e quindi per la pianificazione degli attacchi terroristici.

Keywords
Rete terroristica, ISIS, analisi delle reti sociali, comando e controllo, C2, attacchi terroristici di Parigi e Bruxelles, terrorismo.

download-(buttons)Daniele Plebani, Dal nadir al rilancio: la comunicazione di IS dalla caduta di Mosul all’eredità del califfato

Abstract
During 2017 the Islamic State (IS) had to cope with the fall of its main strongholds. Moreover, the crisis that followed the loss of Raqqa (October 2017) resulted in a huge drop of communication and propaganda materials. This resulted in an almost comatose state of the IS communication apparatus: the official propaganda was reduced dramatically after the fall of Raqqa and Marawi and it had to be kept alive by an “iron lung” consisted above all in the al-Naba gazzette and the Amaq Agency. Meanwhile, unofficial authors entered the fray with their own production, thus keeping IS communication active – although not at the same level as the official media majors – until late 2017 when IS climbed out of its crisis both on the quantitative and the qualitative levels. The analysis aims to delineate IS communication efforts from mid 2017 to early 2018 focusing in particular on the Inside the Khilafah video series. It tries also to look at the potential evolution of the IS state for what concerns its legacy and heritage and how this could enhance the threats posed not just by terrorism but by the wide spectrum of extremism.

Keywords
Islamic State, extremist communication, Inside the Khilafah, terrorism, Islamic State’s heritage

download-(buttons)Virginia Cinelli, Radicalisation in Prison: The Italian Case

Abstract
L’avvento del terrorismo internazionale, l’emergere del fondamentalismo islamico e l’incremento dei flussi migratori regolari e irregolari hanno reso le carceri italiane zone ad alto rischio di radicalizzazione. Ad oggi non è, però, chiaro in che modo e perché questo accada. Attraverso un’analisi accurata della realtà carceraria in Italia, il seguente paper ha studiato il fenomeno della radicalizzazione in Italia, identificando quattro variabili che tendono a favorire tale processo: il livello di frustrazione dei detenuti, le problematiche organizzative (quali, sovraffollamento, scarsità di personale e assidui trasferimenti di staff e detenuti), l’esposizione dei detenuti a idee radicali e, infine, l’adozione di inappropriate misure anti-radicalizzazione da parte delle autorità italiane.

Keywords
Islamic extremism, Italy, Prison Radicalisation, Penitentiary System, estremismo islamico, Italia, radicalizzazione, sistema penitenziario.

 

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARIES

download-(buttons)Laris Gaiser, La necessità di una strategia della presenza costante e della creazione di ecosistemi regionali per migliorare la sicurezza cibernetica delle infrastrutture critiche europee

 

Abstract

La stabilità e la sicurezza delle infrastrutture critiche all’interno dell’Unione Europea si basa sulla definizione di queste ultime proposta dalla Commissione europea con la Comunicazione numero 704 del 2004, sul Programma Europeo per la Protezione delle Infrastrutture Critiche (EPCIP) lanciato nel 2006 e sulla Direttiva inerente la Sicurezza delle Reti e dei Sistemi Informativi (NIS) del 2016. Questi pilastri della sicurezza delle IC hanno tuttavia dato vita ad un sistema frammentato caratterizzato da soluzioni nazionali tra loro assai eterogenee e da istituzioni incapaci di garantire un controllo in tempo reale degli scenari o una gestione efficacie delle minacce potenziali. Analizzando la situazione venutasi a creare, questo articolo desidera far notare che le autorità preposte alla sicurezza delle infrastrutture, il cui funzionamento è oggigiorno in massima parte garantito da sistemi cibernetici, devono adottare una strategia di costante presenza nel dominio cyber e, implementando il principio di sussidiarietà, prevedere una cooperazione a livello sovranazionale che possa, anticipando i problemi, garantire la stabilità delle IC di rilevanza regionale. Solo autorità regionali, ove queste risultassero necessarie a causa dell’interdipendenza infrastrutturali di diversi Paesi, potrebbero agire in tempo reale manipolando a proprio favore gli eventi cibernetici ovvero gestendo al meglio la resilienza delle IC.

Keywords
Aubsidiarity, critical infrstructures, cyberdefence, constant presence, common market

download-(buttons)Martina Scrivani, Western Balkans: a link between arms trafficking and terrorism

Abstract
The connection between Western Balkans and Daesh is real, still represent a huge problem and it is related to the big amount of arms trafficked every year, by criminal groups or local governments, directly or thanks to the collaboration of third countries, as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and United States, whose provide armaments to certain Syrian supported groups of fighters. Facts demonstrate that the same military equipment risk to be diverted to jihadist groups, or Daesh affiliates, through different pipelines: on the battlefield, due to corrupted functionals, or by thefts.
The arms trade has not only an “illegal aspect” but also a “legal” one, as most of the States who were part of former Jugoslavia, are now involved in a business without precedent. Lots of the old communist stockpiles have been rehabilitated and the arms industries work a full regime to meet the market demand.
The main importer is Saudi Arabia, who do not compare in any “black register” of arms and who can reroute the armaments to Syria or Yemen.
The threat is not only rectricted to conflict areas, as Syria and Iraq, but concerns also the European Community itself, in particular for the alarming presence of the so-called “lone wolves”, able to spread panic and death.
European authorities are trying to take measures to counter terrorism in all its forms, but this struggle still affects the region and its citizens.

Keywords
Western Balkans, arms trafficking, jihadism, terrorism, Daesh.

 

download-(buttons)Paola Alborno, The new migratory flows and the narrow boundary with criminality: complexities and possible solutions

Abstract
In the last decade, Europe has been affected by an unprecedented migratory flow: millions of people fleeing civil wars, poverty, persecution and continuing violations of fundamental human rights have crossed European borders in search of better living conditions. Europe, which does not provide for the possibility of legal entry for asylum seekers, has responded to the humanitarian crisis by increasing controls at external borders and implementing agreements with countries such as Turkey and Libya, with the aim of reducing arrivals. The impossibility to enter legally in the European territory has meant that migrants are forced to turn to networks of human traffickers who, in agreement with the criminal gangs in the European destination countries, take care of the journey and the subsequent exploitation of migrants. The implementation of long-term solutions in Europe, combined with development programs to improve the living conditions in the countries of origin, are necessary to make migration a safe phenomenon, both for host countries and for the thousands of victims of conflicts and environmental disasters.

Keywords
Migration, trafficking, exploitation, criminal networks.

 

It is possible to download the entire journal as PDF file by clicking here, as ePub file by clicking here and also as mobi file (Kindle format) by clicking here.

Issue 6 | 2017

ESSAYS

download-(buttons)Barbara Lucini, Critica della radicalizzazione pura. Forme ibride di radicalizzazione estremista

This paper focuses on the analysis of the concepts and forms of radicalisation which lead peo¬ple to join or adhere to a specific extremist group.
The analysis has been carried out according to a secondary data analysis, providing interesting insights on the way the concept of radicalization can be understood.
Specifically, the analysis considers three forms of radicalization: organized terrorism and polit¬ical extremisms; hate crime and alternative movements.
All these three sociological groups cannot be considered such as a single social phenomenon without interconnection with other types of groups, but there is the possibility that many of them could be interrelated, making possible what has been defined “hybrid radicalization”. The findings of this preliminary research lead to a new scenario and approaches in understand¬ing the current extremist backdrops.

Key-Words:

Radicalisation, political extremisms, terrorism, hate crime.

download-(buttons)Luca Bregantini, Graffiti warfare of the Islamic State in the Western urban places

The jihadist propaganda of the Islamic State takes advantage of many creative solutions, ranging from social networks and other web strategies to more traditional media. Sociologists, psychologists and most analysts investigating this matter have focused their attention on the Internet, neglecting the role of informal visual communication in urban context. The main goal of this contribution is to offer a scenario of ISIS graffiti role, focused in the western countries and to test the hypothesis that ISIS graffiti represent a weak signal of dangerous radicalization. I present a wide open ISIS graffiti inventory in western urban places. I analyze graffiti localization – from a geographical and a territorial point of view – graffiti language, and graffiti content, both textual and iconic. The analysis of almost eighty cases of western ISIS graffiti presents many interesting findings. Shortly the ISIS graffiti scenario presents mostly spray-vandalic writings and show aggressive messages against the western democracies and communities. Intriguingly, regression analysis suggests that the appearance of ISIS is a warning indicator of dangerous radicalization and a weak predictor of possible terrorist attacks under specific conditions.

Key-Words:

Graffiti warfare, Islamic State, ISIS graffiti, propaganda, weak signals

download-(buttons)Elsa Soro e Barbara Lucini, Crisi management e strategie comunicative nel dopo attentato terroristico: il caso della Tunisia

In recent years some of the most visited destinations in South Mediterranean such as Egypt and Tunisia have been targeted by a series of terrorist incidents that attacked symbolic spots of tourism industry such as museums, resorts, heritage sites and airports. As a consequence of the attacks the number of visitors have drastically fallen and tourism sector plunged into crisis. In order to cope with the loss of tourism demand, the authorities of those countries have taken a series of security measures in order to ensure the visitors’ safety in the most visited spots. Such security measures have been accompanied by a series of marketing campaigns aimed at reducing the risk perception by promoting a sort of “vicarious” resilience.
Through the sociological and semiotic analysis of the elements that characterize the main marketing campaigns lead by Tunisia affected by terrorism attacks in recent years, the present article highlights the communication strategies adopted for restoring the image of the safe destination and by doing so attract new flows.

 

Key-words:

Tourism, Terrorism, Communication, Travel safety, Resilience

 

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARIES

download-(buttons)Laris Gaiser, Critical infrastructures and cyber security: a fundamental economic intelligence issue

Global competition based on economic intelligence must be aware that critical infrastruc¬tures are the prerequisite for a state’s stability and competitiveness. In Italy, in spite of the openings of Law 124/2007, the implementation of an economic intelligence policy that can help the country to regain international competitiveness, has not yet been implement¬ed. However – despite the lack of a systemic approach – the decision makers have shown interest for cyber security sector. This article seeks to emphasize how the defense of critical infrastructures is connected to cyber security and how it should always be drawn on national priorities given the lack of a standard definitions of critical infrastructures at international level. Cyber threats are multifaceted and each state must handle it according to its own pri¬orities and according to its own institutional framework. With the Gentiloni Decree dated February 2017, the government has entrusted Security Intelligence Department (DIS) with the task of managing vulnerabilities and establishing the necessary collaboration for greater country-system resilience.

Key-words:

economic intelligence, critical infrastructure, cybersecurity

download-(buttons)Daniele Plebani, La guerra della memoria. Il patrimonio culturale tra conflitti, traffici illeciti e terrorismo

In the last few years a growing attention on illicit antiquities has risen from the white towers of the academic world to the wide public. The Islamic State (IS), as well as other terroris¬tic and insurgent groups, exploited the cultural heritage at their disposal both as a tool of propaganda and a source of income. However, they could count on a solid network in the region that has been in the business for decades now. This leads to the question: how do such networks work?
The aim of this article is to shed light on the illicit market of art and specifically antiquities, with particular focus on the structures, agents and techniques of the various criminal orga¬nizations and dealers in the field. This will be done by giving practical examples for each dimension analyzed, from low-level so called “tombaroli” (grave robbers and alike) to power¬ful international dealers, from the trenches of war-thorn countries to the highest skyscrapers of the industrialized world.
Moreover, since the “great raid” against MENA region antiquities is facing one of the most brutal pages of its history, an analysis of the Islamic State “department of antiquities” and modus operandi will be given. Finally, the study will provide indicators for a better under¬standing of this complex phenomenon and the menaces that threat our society.

Key-words:

patrimonio culturale, traffico illecito, antichità, Stato Islamico

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