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Issue 15 | 2022

FOCUS SUL CONFLITTO UCRAINO

Marco Lombardi, Russia-Ucraina: oltre la Guerra Ibrida, verso il Techno-Cognitive Warfare

Abstract

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict unexpectedly brought war to Europe.

At present (end of March 2022) I do not consider any conclusive scenario to be foreseeable: to- day the most optimistic forecast is contained in the uncertainty of an evolving event, for which everything is possible. But this brief note, which introduces others that follow dedicated to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, focuses on what so far already constitutes predictably persistent results in the medium to long term.

Now we are at the Total Hybrid War in which the dimensions of the conflict overlap, interfere, produce an escalation of effects in different contexts: no conflict had yet unfolded in this artic- ulated form, where they are no longer needed and the predictive and interpretative drivers of the scenarios fail. This is the first Total Hybrid War that has surpassed itself, paving the way for the now present Techno-Cognitive Warfare.

The characteristics of the Ukrainian Russian confrontation can be traced back to some emerg- ing themes: the overlapping of the dimensions of the conflict; the centrality of strategic com- munication; the multiplication of actors in the field.

Although the conflict is still ongoing, however, some signs of permanent change are already evident. In the paper, I discuss only a few, which concern the change in the paradigm of the now techno-cognitive war, the broad re-modeling of the meaning of cyberspace, the central role of information and communication, and, also, a consequent different mode of negotiation between the parties to accelerate the peace process.

The conclusions add to the previous reflections two hopes.

The first concerns our capacity for de-escalation: wars, this one, in particular, has clearly shown how we can risk being stuck in a symmetrical process of escalation so that every action (in every dimension of the conflict) is answered with an action of a greater degree (in every other dimension of the conflict). It is a trap, also favored by technologies, which has configured an automatism, a practice of “taken for granted”, which can only be interrupted by a conscious and responsible choice.

The second, which takes the form of advice, concerns the individual cognitive equipment that each one must assume for the governance of the flow of communication in which he is immersed. Therefore, I emphasize what I call the Principle of Maximum Protection:

  • any information is false until proven otherwise. and the Principle of Maximum Effectiveness:
  • every piece of information is true for its target audience.

I expect a lasting more than ten years of the conflict that has just begun, albeit blanded and conveyed through actions that will focus on one or the other dimension (cyber, kinetic, eco- nomic, social, etc.) in an exclusive way, if those who will have to govern the confrontation will be able to avoid the simultaneous overlapping of the effects generated by the actions carried out in each dimension. In practice, we now need to learn to govern a widespread, subthreshold, and continuous global conflict: without surrendering to Cognitive Warfare as a replacement for “Peacefare”.

Il conflitto russo-ucraino ha inaspettatamente portato la guerra in Europa.

Allo stato attuale (fine marzo 2022) non reputo prevedibile alcuno scenario conclusivo: oggi la previsione più ottimista è contenuta nell’incertezza di un evento in evoluzione, per il quale tutto è possibile. Ma questa breve nota, che ne introduce altre che seguono dedicate al con- flitto tra Russia e Ucraina, si concentra su quanto finora già costituisce dei risultati prevedibil- mente persistenti nel medio-lungo periodo.

Ora siamo alla Guerra Ibrida totale in cui le dimensioni del conflitto si sovrappongono, inter- feriscono, producono una escalation di effetti in contesti diversi: ancora non si era dispiegato in questa forma articolata alcun conflitto, dove non servono più e i driver predittivi e interpre- tativi degli scenari falliscono. Questa è la prima Guerra Ibrida Totale che ha superato sé stessa, aprendo la via all’ormai presente Guerra Tecno-Cognitiva.

Le caratteristiche del confronto russo ucraino possono essere ricondotte ad alcuni temi emer- genti: il sovrapporsi delle dimensioni del conflitto; la centralità della comunicazione strategi- ca; la moltiplicazione degli attori sul campo.

Benché a conflitto ancora in corso, tuttavia, alcuni segni di cambiamento permanente sono già evidenti. Nel paper mi soffermo solo su alcuni, che riguardano il cambiamento del paradigma della guerra ormai tecno-cognitiva, la ri-modellazione ampia del significato di spazio ciberne- tico, il ruolo centrale dell’informazione e comunicazione e, anche, una conseguente diversa modalità di negoziazione tra le parti per accelerare il processo di pace.

Le conclusioni aggiungono alle riflessioni precedenti due auspici.

Il primo riguarda la nostra capacità di de-escalation: le guerre, questa in particolare, ha mo- strato con chiarezza come si possa rischiare di restare bloccati in un processo simmetrico di escalation, per cui a ogni azione (in ogni dimensione del conflitto) si risponde con una azione di grado maggiore (in ogni altra dimensione del conflitto). Il secondo, che assume la forma di un consiglio, riguarda l’attrezzatura cognitiva individuale che ciascuno deve assumere rispetto al governo del flusso di comunicazione in cui è immerso secondo il Principio di Massima Tutela e il Principio di Massima Efficacia.

Keywords

Hybrid Warfare, Cognitive Warfare, Cyberspace, Ukraine, Russia

Stefano Marinelli, War and Crimes against Peace: Avenues to Prosecute Russia’s Aggression of Ukraine

Abstract

On February 24, 2022, the Russian attack on Ukraine provoked a strong international commu- nity reaction, in terms of diplomatic condemnation of Russia and support for Ukraine. There is an international consensus on the qualification of the facts that have occurred as a crime of aggression, and an unprecedented political support for Ukraine. Nevertheless, international justice does not have the possibility to prosecute those responsible for the crime.

The article presents the structural obstacles of international law in prosecuting the crime of aggression committed against Ukraine, in particular by the International Criminal Court, and illustrates possible alternatives to bring those responsible to justice. The article presents the strong and coherent reaction of the international community to the Russian military inter- vention, with unprecedented unity in the United Nations General Assembly, and a majority in the Security Council stopped exclusively by the Russian veto. Then, the article examines the international prohibition of the use of force, and the justifications put forward by Russia to support the legality of the operation. The Russian reasons, based on self-defense and on the purpose of protecting the populations of Donbas from genocide, prove to be unfounded. The analysis therefore concludes that the attack on Ukraine constitutes a manifest act of aggression. The study then examines the criminalization of the aggression by the International Criminal Court, presenting the jurisdictional limits that prevent the Court from prosecuting the crime in this circumstance: unlike other international crimes that the ICC is already investigating on the Ukrainian territory (crimes of war, crimes against humanity) the Court cannot exercise its jurisdiction for the crime of aggression committed by individuals of states that are not party to the Rome Statute.

Finally, alternative mechanisms for bringing justice to the Ukrainian aggression are examined: from the trial in a national court, which has the problem of immunities and of lack of expertise in prosecuting international crime, to the creation of an ad hoc or hybrid tribunal.

Il 24 febbraio 2022, l’attacco della Federazione Russa all’Ucraina ha provocato una forte re- azione della comunità internazionale in termini di condanna diplomatica della Russia e di sostegno all’Ucraina. Nonostante il consenso internazionale nella qualifica dei fatti occorsi, e il sostegno politico senza precedenti, la giustizia internazionale sembra impossibilitata a perseguire i responsabili del crimine. L’articolo presenta gli ostacoli strutturali del diritto inter- nazionale nel perseguire il crimine di aggressione commesso contro l’Ucraina, in particolare da parte della Corte Penale Internazionale, e illustra possibili alternative per fare giustizia sul

crimine. Dopo aver presentato la reazione unitaria della comunità internazionale all’interven- to militare russo, con un’unità senza precedenti nell’Assemblea Generale delle Nazioni Unite, e una maggioranza nel Consigli di Sicurezza fermata esclusivamente dal veto russo, l’articolo prende in esame il divieto internazionale di uso della forza e le giustificazioni avanzate dalla Russia per sostenere la legalità dell’operazione. Le ragioni russe, fondate sull’autodifesa e sulla finalità di proteggere le popolazioni del Donbas da un genocidio, si rivelano infondate. Si conclude quindi che l’attacco all’Ucraina costituisce un chiaro atto di aggressione. L’analisi esamina poi la criminalizzazione dell’aggressione da parte della Corte Penale Internazionale, presentando i limiti giurisdizionali che impediscono alla Corte di perseguire il crimine in questa circostanza: a differenza di altri crimini internazionali su cui ha già iniziato attività di indagine (crimini di guerra, crimini contro l’umanità) la Corte non può esercitare la propria giurisdizione per il crimine di aggressione commesso da individui di Stati che non sono parte allo Statuto di Roma. Infine, si prendono in esame meccanismi alternativi per fare giustizia sull’aggressione Ucraina: dal processo in un tribunale nazionale, che ha problemi di immu- nità e di specializzazione nel perseguire il crimine internazionale, fino alla creazione di un tribunale ad hoc o ibrido.

Keywords

Russia, Ukraine, International law, War crimes

Daniele Maria Barone, Russia-Ukraine conflict: digital assets chronicles in times of war

Abstract

The economic catastrophe caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised questions on the role of digital assets in this conflict. On the one hand, how crypto assets could be exploited by Moscow to circumvent international sanctions and, on the other hand, how crypto can be useful as a crowdfunding tool to finance the Ukrainian military sector.

This context turned a spotlight on the companies operating in the digital assets field, highlight- ing the controversies raised by the collision of the neutrality of the cryptocurrency sector with a humanitarian crisis.

With this premises, based on events and statements of the first few weeks after the Russian invasion began, this research is aimed at answering the following questions: how much can digital assets help in financing the military sector of a State? Can digital assets be a reliable alternative to international financial isolation? In which way could this conflict affect the cryp- tocurrency sector?

La catastrofe economica causata dall’invasione russa dell’Ucraina ha sollevato numerose do- mande sul ruolo che i digital asset potrebbero ricoprire in questo conflitto. Da un lato, il potenziale sfruttamento delle criptovalute da parte di Mosca per eludere le sanzioni economi- che e, dall’altro, la funzione delle criptovalute nel finanziamento al settore militare ucraino attraverso il crowdfunding.

Questo contesto ha acceso un faro sulle compagnie operanti nel settore dei digital asset, facen- do emergere le controversie generate dalla collisione tra la neutralità delle criptovalute con una crisi umanitaria.

Con tali premesse, basandosi su avvenimenti e dichiarazioni delle prime settimane dall’inizio dell’invasione russa, questa ricerca ha la finalità di rispondere alle seguenti domande: quanto possono aiutare le criptovalute nel finanziamento al settore militare di uno stato? Possono le criptovalute essere un’alternativa valida all’isolamento finanziario internazionale? In che modo il conflitto russo-ucraino ha un impatto nel settore delle criptovalute?

Keywords

Ukraine, hybrid warfare, cryptocurrencies, digital assets

Federico Borgonovo, Azov Battalion: Extreme Right-Wing Militarization and Hybrid Warfare

Abstract

This article analyzes the origins and features of the Azov Battalion. A hybrid weapon, which fight inside a multivariate hybrid conflict composed by a combination of urban warfare, propa- ganda, and politics. The Azov Battalion represent one of the clearest examples of the increasing complexity of warfare. Complexity and hybridization are due to the growing number and di- versity of actors involved. The Russo-Ukrainian conflicts no longer remain local; instead, from 2014 to 2022 has increasingly attracted external actors, as right-wing extremists and extend to the Internet. This analysis, try to explain how Azov Battalion became such an effective weapon and what could be its outcome after the war. This aim was achieved by reconstructing the fun- damental historical steps and then theorising the so-called Azov system. The latter is a model that synthesises Azov’s hybrid capabilities acquired through its diversification and attempts to illustrate the high degree of complexity of military systems fighting in hybrid contexts.

Keywords

Azov, Hybrid, Ideology, Ukraine, Army, War, Extremist

Marco Zaliani, The importance of the Cyber battleground in the Russo-Ukrainian war

Abstract

The increasingly hybrid nature of conflicts has become even more evident in the recent re-ig- nition of the never-dead Russian-Ukraine crisis. The new chapter of this conflict, which arose from the Russian military invasion of Ukrainian territory, was characterized by massive use of hybrid instruments of the conflict that went hand in hand with the military one. In this con- text, the cyber dimension of the conflict has reaffirmed its central role. As it is now an integral part of these conflicts and no longer ancillary to them. Starting from a study of the implemen- tation of cyber-arsenals used in the Ukrainian context, we want to give a more precise image of this type of weapons which, just like conventional arsenals, are exploited to achieve specific objectives by a variety of actors. In fact, in this conflict, the “cyber-line ups” that have seen state and non-state actors intervening alongside both Russia and Ukraine are also indicative. From these considerations, one can get an idea of the current role of cyber in the context of new hybrid conflicts and specifically outline the scenarios that the Russo-Ukrainian conflict may cause in cyberspace even after hostilities are over.

Keywords

Ukraine, cyber, hybrid warfare

Luca Cinciripini, The hybrid response of the EU and NATO to the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Abstract

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine embodies the main features of hybrid war-fare. Alongside the military dimension, the use of propaganda tools, disinformation campaigns and cyber-attacks has fully emerged so far, as well as the multiplicity of state and non-state actors involved. Faced with this complexity, the European Union (EU) and NATO, unable to make full use of the military instrument to contain the consequences of the conflict, have put in place a multidimensional response. Up to now, it has been articulated in the use of both hard and soft power tools that have transversally involved different sectors. On the one hand, therefore, there was the supply of military equipment to the ukrainian front. On the other hand, lawfare instruments such as economic sanctions have been put in place, as well as trade, financial and energy measures aimed at isolating Russia from the rest of the international
community. Considering the factors that have long been observed in the field of international security studies, the future context will be increasingly dominated by hybrid warfare and the need for various actors to avoid open military clashes. The response of the EU and NATO to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis could, on the one hand, highlight the difficulties of the two organizations in fully transforming themselves into global players in the framework of international security and defence. On the other hand, could be a first step toward the exercise of a potentially replicable hybrid power in the management of future crises.

Keywords

Ukraine, Russia, EU, NATO, hybrid warfare

NAVIGARE SCENARI IBRIDI: PROSPETTIVE

Giacomo Buoncompagni, L’Amore Altruistico in tempi di guerra e pandemia

Abstract

Pitirim A. Sorokin, a Russian sociologist naturalised in the United States and a leading figure in 20th century sociology, stated that historical and techno-cultural changes have not always produced positive results within societies, but at times even negative (or more precisely, ‘de- structive’) ones: individualism, antagonism, an excess of technology and rationality, and in particular the fall of the bonds of solidarity towards the different and the loss of the feeling of belonging (Mangone 2015; Cimagalli 2010; Marletti 2018; Perrotta 2016).

Altruism can also be one of the indispensable ingredients of social life, useful for preventing crises and conflicts.

No society can exist without an “altruistic and creative love” that has as its aim the “altruisa- tion” of individuals and social institutions: a complex process/project capable of encompassing the emotional, supra-rational and spiritual aspects of human relations (including online), start- ing from the idea that all men can recognise themselves in certain moral principles, eternal and universal.

Considering the current pandemic and war scenarios, the aim of the paper is to illustrate the main theoretical lines of Sorokin’s scientific thought, which made sociology a “science at the service of humanity” useful also for the study of disasters, i.e. all those events involving con- junctions of physical conditions and definitions of human damage and social disorders (e.g. natural disasters, wars and cyber attacks).

Pitirim A. Sorokin, sociologo russo naturalizzato statunitense, figura di spicco della sociologia del XX secolo, affermava che i mutamenti storici e tecno-culturali non sempre hanno prodotto risultati positivi all’interno delle società, ma a tratti anche negativi (o più precisamente “di- struttivi”): individualismo, antagonismo, eccesso di tecnica e di razionalità, ed in particolare la caduta dei vincoli di solidarietà nei confronti del diverso e della perdita del sentimento di appartenenza (Mangone 2015; Cimagalli 2010; Marletti 2018; Perrotta 2016).

L’altruismo può essere uno degli ingredienti indispensabili alla vita sociale, utile per prevenire crisi e conflitti.

Nessuna società può esistere, infatti, senza un “amore altruistico e creativo” che abbia come fine “l’altruizzazione” degli individui e delle istituzioni sociali: un processo/progetto comples- so in grado di comprendere gli aspetti emotivi, sovra-razionali e spirituali delle relazioni uma-

ne (anche online), partendo dall’idea che tutti gli uomini possono riconoscersi in determinati principi morali, eterni ed universali.

Considerando gli attuali scenari di pandemia e di guerra, lo scopo del paper è quello di illustra- re le principali linee teoriche del pensiero scientifico di Sorokin, che ha fatto della sociologia una “scienza al servizio dell’umanità” utile anche per lo studio dei disastri, cioè di tutti quegli eventi che coinvolgono congiunzioni di condizioni fisiche e definizioni di danno umano e disturbi sociali (ad esempio, calamità naturali, guerre e cyberattacchi).

Keywords

Sorokin, altruism, media, digital, crisis, covid19, war

Daisy Marcolongo, Gestione dell’emergenza Covid-19: dalla teoria all’analisi. Il caso Bergamo

Abstract

L’intento dell’elaborato è quello di analizzare, dal punto di vista organizzativo e comunica- tivo, la gestione dell’emergenza Covid-19 in Italia, rivolgendo un’attenzione particolare alla provincia di Bergamo. Al fine di raggiungere tale intento sono stati utilizzati due strumenti di ricerca: l’intervista semi-strutturata ad amministratori locali, Protezione civile e volontari e il questionario strutturato alla popolazione. Dallo studio in profondità è emersa l’incredibile capacità degli enti locali e dei volontari di organizzarsi per fronteggiare l’emergenza senza indicazioni precise e in assenza di dispositivi di protezione, utilizzando conoscenze pregresse e piani di prevenzione non aggiornati. La gestione dell’emergenza in Italia è stata caratterizzata da un susseguirsi di DPCM e ordinanze regionali che hanno regolato il comportamento dei cittadini e l’apertura o chiusura di esercizi commerciali, luoghi di ritrovo e centri sportivi. Inizialmente le misure sono state accolte in modo favorevole dalla popolazione, tuttavia, sono emerse serie difficoltà di gestione della comunicazione; infatti, si evidenzia un uso scorretto dei canali social ufficiali del governo utilizzati per diffondere, anticipatamente e senza un’ade- guata analisi comunicativa, notizie contenute in documenti ufficiali, aumentando incertezza tra popolazione e amministratori locali.

Keywords

Covid-19, crisis management, Bergamo

Federico Prizzi, Il Cultural Intelligence e la Negoziazione Operativa nelle Aree di Crisi

Abstract

La Negoziazione Operativa è una delle attività più importanti che possono essere richieste a un etnografo di guerra. Essa consiste in tutte quelle trattative svolte in supporto alle operazioni militari, sia in tempo di pace che di guerra, con le autorità locali (formali e informali), con personale militare e paramilitare, con i rappresentanti di organizzazioni internazionali così come con comuni cittadini. In particolare, la negoziazione consiste in una necessità che due o più parti hanno di trovare un accordo accettato da tutti i contendenti. Accordo che deve essere vantaggioso per gli interessi di ciascuna delle parti coinvolte. Differisce, pertanto, dalla media- zione poiché quest’ultima necessita della presenza di un terzo attore percepito, dai due o più contendenti, come neutrale e imparziale. Infine, differisce, dalla negoziazione operativa con- dotta dalle forze di polizia, perché quest’ultima è strettamente legata alla liberazione di ostaggi.

Keywords

Cultural intelligence, cultural diplomacy, negoziazione operativa, aree di crisi

Rene D. Kanayama, Events in Kazakhstan’s Almaty of January 2022 – Grass-root Revolt or Terrorism Inspired Insurgency?

Abstract

While the world in March 2022 is immersed in yet another military conflict on the territory of ex-Soviet Union, the Year of the Tiger started to show from its very beginning that solving various disputes is fastest through means of violence, and its subsequent suppression by means of power. This time it was on the territory of Kazakhstan, and the cause for outbreak of vio- lence in Almaty and elsewhere between January 5 and 7, unseen in this magnitude so far in Kazakhstan, may have been benign in its nature – ever growing prices of fuel, exponentiated by ever expanding poverty gap in Kazakh society.

However, the instantaneous and extremely tough measures taken by the country’s leader- ship – coupled with immediate involvement of military forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization – indicated that much more than a mere overruling of popular dissent was at stake, and in order to attain its objective to silence the opposition, a clear and robust message had to be sent across.

Kazakhstan, in its 30 years of independence, has probably not been utterly immune to various types of disputes stemming from uneven distribution of wealth – certainly a long-term rule by one and only Nursultan Nazarbaev brought some “guarantees” of stability – but the extend of chaos, public disruption and the amount of blood spilled during the countermanding of re- bellion indicates that the relatively peaceful period of country’s post-Soviet development may be over and the oil and uranium rich nation needs to contend with both foreign interference as well as internal changes.

The events classified by some as insurgency, by some as a terrorist attempt to overthrow the lo- cal or perhaps even national government, and by some as a trivial fight between the tribal clans aiming at control of the nation’s riches and the future, may have lasted not long – everything happened almost as unexpectedly and swiftly as a squall coming out of nowhere – but were a testimony to the fact that the political and economic status quo in any of the post-Soviet republics is not a long-term matter, and instead it can change at a whim of those having an access to both means and desires to alter the established ways. This article examines the vari-

ous viewpoints of both the possible causes of Almaty events of January 2022, as well as future ramifications for security status in the region, and perhaps also beyond.

Mentre il mondo nel marzo 2022 è immerso nell’ennesimo conflitto militare sul territorio dell’ex Unione Sovietica, l’Anno della Tigre ha iniziato a mostrare fin dall’inizio che la solu- zione di varie controversie è più veloce attraverso la violenza, e la sua successiva soppressione per mezzo del potere. Questa volta si trovava nel territorio del Kazakistan, e la causa delle pro- teste ad Almaty il 5 gennaio potrebbe essere stata di natura benigna – prezzi sempre crescenti del carburante, a causa del divario di povertà sempre crescente nella società kazaka.

Tuttavia, le misure istantanee ed estremamente dure prese dalla leadership del Paese – in- sieme al coinvolgimento immediato delle forze militari dell’Organizzazione del Trattato di sicurezza collettiva – ha indicato che era in gioco molto più di un semplice annullamento del dissenso popolare, e per raggiungere il suo obiettivo di mettere a tacere l’opposizione, doveva essere inviato un messaggio chiaro e forte.

Non si può dire che il Kazakistan, nei suoi 30 anni di indipendenza, sia stato immune da vari tipi di contenziosi derivanti dalla distribuzione diseguale della ricchezza – certamente un governo a lungo termine di un solo e solo Nursultan Nazarbaev ha portato “garanzie” di stabilità – ma indica l’estensione del caos, il disordine pubblico e la quantità di sangue versato durante la revoca della ribellione che il periodo relativamente pacifico dello sviluppo post-sovietico del Paese potrebbe essere terminato e la nazione ricca di petrolio e uranio deve fare i conti sia con l’interferenza straniera che con i cambiamenti interni.

Gli eventi classificati da alcuni come ribellione, da alcuni come tentativo terroristico di rove- sciare il governo locale o forse anche nazionale, e da alcuni come una banale lotta tra i clan tribali che mirano al controllo del futuro della nazione, potrebbe essere durato non a lungo

  • tutto accadde quasi inaspettatamente e rapidamente come una burrasca proveniente dal nulla – ma erano una testimonianza del fatto che lo status quo politico ed economico in una qualsiasi delle repubbliche post-sovietiche non è una questione a lungo termine, e invece può cambiare per un capriccio di coloro che hanno accesso sia ai mezzi che ai desideri di alterare i modi stabiliti. Questo articolo esamina i vari punti di vista di entrambe le possibili cause degli eventi di Almaty del gennaio 2022, così come le future ramificazioni per lo stato di sicurezza nella regione, e forse anche oltre.
Keywords

Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Terrorism, Insurgency, Regional Security, Coup d’état

Ali Fisher – Nico Prucha, “Working and Waiting”: The Salafi-Jihadi movement on Telegram in 2021

Abstract

Salafi-Jihadi groups adopted the Telegram messaging platform around 2016. Since then, it has been a mainstay of the information ecosystem for groups such as al-Dawlat al-Islamiyah (IS) and al-Qaeda (AQ) and other foreign terrorist organisations (FTO). While the Salafi-Jihadi move- ment has been using Telegram, the general userbase of the platform has grown rapidly, it was 5th most downloaded mobile app worldwide in 2021 and 13th most used social platform globally. This paper uses examines how the Salafi-Jihadi movement operates on Telegram as a network of interconnected hubs where traffic and influence flow in multiple directions creating a vast dynam- ic ecosystem. This research offers the most comprehensive analysis, to date, of the information ecosystem of Salafi-Jihadi groups on Telegram. It is based on observation during 2021 of over 7,000 channels belonging to elements of the Salafi-Jihadi movement including IS, AQ, Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas, along with Salafi channels of importance to the movement.

It finds that just under 90% of the channels connect into a single giant network (including channels from IS, AQ, Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas). This means they are part of an interconnected ecosystem which comprise sub-clusters that have varying degrees of shared meaning. They often share common sources of content, frequently those channels on the Salafi side of the Salafi-Jihadi nexus. Such channels create a permissive environment in which Salafi-Jihadi groups can target their intended audience, and share material to bolster their theological position to craft a specific religious identity. Furthermore, the most important Salafi channels are much more likely than other channels to be sharing join links to other channels. Despite the volume of data available via Telegram, with some notable exceptions, much of the analysis and commentary of the Salafi-Jihad movement on Telegram has been anecdotal or su- perficial, resulting in the image of very insular Jihadi communities just talking to themselves. In 2021, far from being driven off Telegram (or the internet) by EUROPOL led disruption efforts, the Salafi-Jihadi movement and the FTO elements within it, have reconfigured just as a flock of birds adjusts in flight to the attack of a predator. In 2022 they continue to exploit the platform.

Keywords

Salafi-Jihadi movement, Telegram, strategic communication

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Issue 14 | 2021

PUZZLE AFGANO

Marco Lombardi, Puzzle afghano

Abstract
Afghanistan is a Crossroads (Caspani E., Cagnacci E., Afghanistan crocevia dell’Asia, Vallardi 1951): a plural place of multiple objects that intersect, approach, contaminate, detach, conflict: a constant morphogenetic process that never allows detecting a stable form that favors some predictability of future forms.
Afghanistan has always been a puzzle, whose recomposition cannot be inspired by the figure on the box that contains its pieces.
Unfortunately, this is evident every time the transient form, characterizing that historical period, fragments to prepare for a new configuration, opening a long period of uncertainty and causing serious damage to the objects that had characterized the stability of the previous period.
Afghan was always a puzzle, for all those who have crossed the Khyber Pass.
Precisely for this reason, we have decided to publish in this issue of the magazine a series of articles, even short ones, each of which wants to be a piece of the larger puzzle. Please be careful that we are not proposing a vision (the guide image printed on the game box) but we are beginning to make pieces available to favor a future logic, always reviewable, that can compose them in some form.
It is however understandable that the pieces offered are not thrown home in the box, but underlie an interpretative background that emerges by some considerations.
These are the events that led to the surrender of Kabul – not its fall – whose effects were already written.
It could not be otherwise.
But it could have been different.
I don’t think it’s possible to predict future Afghanistan right now, but I think it’s useful to collect the pieces of the puzzle and try to put them together in a design capable of redefining itself at the entrance of each subsequent new piece.
It is in this spirit that we offer the first pieces of the game with the following articles.

Keywords
Afghanistan, conflicts, scenario analysis

Rene D. Kanayama, Regional Ramifications for Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan – Role and Position of Uzbekistan on Islamic Fundamentalism 1991-2021

Abstract
With most international press reporting after August 2021 being focused on “fall of Kabul”, it should be noted that it will be those who carry on in the region as neighbors that need to deal with Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and not as much those who left. With centuries of foreign conquest that attempted to subdue Afghanistan and its people, the most impactful in the past 50 years will remain both the decade long Soviet occupation of the land and US presence that lasted 20 years and ended abruptly two months ago.
Uzbekistan, as the most populous country of the Central Asian region, has had a special relationship – either to, or with Afghanistan – as the Uzbek SSR it was a preparatory ground for Soviet troops commencing its occupation in 1979. Then, throughout the occupation period it kept functioning as a military base through which the Soviet armed forces entered and exited Afghanistan.
The article examines Uzbekistan’s exposure to Islamic extremism throughout its 30 years of independence, as well as historical traits that shaped the future interrelation with more religiously fundamental neighbors. The country may have kept away from the open civil conflict that became widespread in other parts of the ex-Soviet area, but was not immune to attempts (albeit relatively sporadic) to topple its secular regime by radical elements originating either within homeland, or in its immediate vicinity.
The origins and growth of Taliban movement in Afghanistan are intertwined with many of the extremist events taking place within Uzbekistan after 1990, and an scholastic attempt is being made at assessing the current potential reach of both Taliban as a cultural-religious phenomenon as well as the multiple radical elements flourishing inside Afghanistan to neighboring region, in particular Uzbekistan.
Con la maggior parte dei servizi giornalistici internazionali dopo l’agosto 2021 incentrati sulla “caduta di Kabul”, va notato che saranno coloro che continuano nella regione come vicini a dover affrontare l’Afghanistan controllato dai talebani, e non tanto quelli che se ne sono andati. Con secoli di conquiste straniere che hanno tentato di sottomettere l’Afghanistan e il suo popolo, il più impattante negli ultimi 50 anni rimarrà sia la decennale occupazione sovietica della terra e la presenza statunitense che è durata 20 anni e si è interrotta bruscamente due mesi fa.
L’Uzbekistan, in quanto paese più popoloso della regione dell’Asia centrale, ha avuto un rapporto speciale, con o con l’Afghanistan – come Repubblica socialista sovietica uzbeka era un terreno preparatorio per le truppe sovietiche che iniziavano la sua occupazione nel 1979. Poi, per tutto il periodo di occupazione, ha continuato a funzionare come base militare attraverso la quale le forze armate sovietiche entravano ed uscivano dall’Afghanistan.
L’articolo esamina l’esposizione dell’Uzbekistan all’estremismo islamico durante i suoi 30 anni di indipendenza, così come i tratti storici che hanno plasmato la futura interrelazione con i vicini più religiosamente fondamentali. Il Paese potrebbe essersi tenuto lontano dal conflitto civile aperto che si è diffuso in altre parti dell’area ex-sovietica, ma non fu immune da tentativi (sebbene relativamente sporadici) di rovesciare il suo regime laico da parte di elementi radicali originari o della patria, o nelle sue immediate vicinanze.
Le origini e la crescita del movimento talebano in Afghanistan sono intrecciate con molti degli eventi estremisti che si sono verificati in Uzbekistan dopo il 1990, e si sta facendo un tentativo scolastico di valutare l’attuale potenziale portata dei talebani come fenomeno culturale-religi-oso così come i molteplici elementi radicali che fioriscono all’interno dell’Afghanistan nella regione vicina, in particolare l’Uzbekistan.

Keywords
Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Taliban, Radicalism, Regional Security, Threat to Homeland

Luca Cinciripini, Il nuovo governo talebano, tra interessi locali e minacce internazionali

Abstract
Il varo del nuovo governo a guida talebana è stato a lungo considerato il primo banco di prova per valutare le prossime mosse dei nuovi padroni dell’Afghanistan nei confronti della comunità internazionale. Secondo numerosi osservatori, infatti, un’eventuale presa di distan-za dalla galassia estremista e terroristica avrebbe potuto segnalare l’intenzione dei Talebani di perseguire la strada del dialogo e del riconoscimento internazionale. Tuttavia, attraverso un’attenta lettura della composizione del nuovo esecutivo si rileva un forte elemento di continuità con la leadership talebana che guidò il Paese fino alla caduta del regime nel 2001. In aggiunta, i ruoli di primo piano conferiti a figure legate a doppio filo al mondo del terrorismo, come nel caso dei leader del clan Haqqani, segnala quanto i legami tra il nuovo establishment talebano e il jihadismo restino estremamente saldi. Si rileva, in aggiunta, l’innovativo utiliz-zo di argomentazioni giuridiche nel richiamare presunte violazioni di accordi internazionali da parte degli USA, segnalando un salto di qualità nelle strategie talebane e confermando il crescente peso del lawfare nel quadro dei conflitti ibridi. Infine, il coinvolgimento di attori regionali e internazionali nella formazione del governo è destinato a incidere sulle prossime mosse dell’esecutivo afgano, con inevitabili ricadute su un’area di crisi dotata di proiezione non solo locale bensì globale.

Keywords
Afghanistan, Haqqani, Talebani, governo afgano

Daniele Plebani, Islamic State – Khorasan: “Fotografia in movimento” post 26 agosto 2021

Abstract
Quanto avvenuto in Afghanistan nell’agosto 2021 ha segnato la fine di un’era militare e una svolta nella politica regionale e internazionale. Il ritiro della coalizione e l’avanzata dei Talebani verso Kabul sono state quasi adombrate da un terzo attore, IS-Khorasan, il quale è riuscito a porre la propria firma su questo crocevia storico e che potenzialmente può essere la base per una nuova epopea del gruppo nella regione. Proprio in Afghanistan, uno dei paesi dove IS ha subito maggiori perdite, potrebbe partire la scintilla per infervorare ancora una volta i propri adepti in tutto il globo e riproporsi quale competitor per la primazia della galassia jihadista.

Keywords
islamic state, khorasan, terrorismo, Talebani, Kabul

Federico Borgonovo, Badri 313: uno strumento di guerra ibrida tra propaganda strategica e riassetto operativo

Abstract
Per i Talebani una “forza speciale” è un soggetto per natura ibrido e la Badri Force 313 rappre-senta uno degli esempi più chiari ed espressivi di tale concezione. Lo stesso nome Badri 313 è stato attribuito a diverse unità militari appartenenti alle forze Talebane. La prima unità nota come Brigata 313 rappresentava un’unità suicida d’élite connessa alle cellule qaidiste presenti nel paese. Con l’evolversi del conflitto la strategia mediatica portata avanti dagli esponenti del Haqqani network si è modificata e con essa anche l’impiego delle forze speciali. Alla presa di Kabul è stata infatti notata la presenza di unità militare denominata Badri Battalion 313 e poi Badri Force 313, altamente addestrata e ben equipaggiata, impiegata come forza di sicurezza. Ripercorrendo la storia e l’evoluzione delle unità note come Badri 313 è stato possibile oss-ervare un utilizzo combinato di strategie mediatiche e impiego di forze speciali.

Keywords
Haqqani, Talebani, Badri 313, Forze Speciali, Propaganda

Marco Zaliani, La reazione dell’ecosistema digitale della destra alla vittoria talebana

Abstract
La ritirata americana dall’Afghanistan ha scatenato molteplici reazioni negli ambienti estrem-isti online. Uno dei più recettivi all’evento è stato sicuramente l’ambiente della destra estrema. Diverse sue frange hanno infatti sfruttato l’eco mediatico della vittoria talebana per proporre chiavi di lettura diverse a seconda dell’ideologia di riferimento. Partendo dall’etno-nazionalismo, passando per l’anti-establishment e il complottismo fino ad arrivare alle ideologie incel e al conservatorismo. Nonostante le apparenti differenze inconciliabili, l’estrema destra e i gruppi jihadisti pre-sentano affinità sia ideologiche che operative. Queste vicinanze hanno infatti permesso una reciproca ispirazione ed emulazione da parte di gruppi di estrema destra e jihadisti, accomuna-ti da nemici comuni, tattiche comunicative analoghe e logiche pro-violenza.

Keywords
Afghanistan, Talebani, estrema destra, comunicazione, ideologia

Giacomo Buoncompagni, The Role of Technology and “Infodemic” in The New Afghan Crisis

Abstract
Unlike twenty years ago, the Taliban no longer suffer from ‘technophobia’. They have learned that communication (and information overload) are crucial in their battle for power, and the recent takeover of Kabul has shown us that. The Taliban conquest was carried out with weap-ons, AK-47s, M-16s, and also with state-of-the-art smartphones (Alonso 2021; Stengel 2021). A power struggle where the time factor and technology, accompanied by an almost silent construction of the communication strategy (public and digital), have been the two real weapons of Taliban success and Western failure. In the 1990s, the Taliban rejected any form of progress and any kind of technological aspects, including access to the Internet. However, after taking Kabul, they are fascinated by the gymnasium of the presidential palace, participate in the international press and some of the leaders do not hide their Apple Watch (Mozart, ur-Rehman 2021). The Taliban have deployed their weapons of media seduction in an attempt to reassure the international community, not hiding their communication skills and technological read-iness and trying to rebuild their reputation in the digital public space, countering the news overload produced by the Western media with distorted information. Through the study and qualitative analysis of international press sources and available scientific literature, the main socio-historical and socio-communicative aspects concerning the communication and strategic use of the media by the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan will be analyzed.

Keywords
social media, Taliban, infodemic, terrorism, Kabul, Afghanistan

LA RIDEFINIZIONE DELLO SCENARIO DI MINACCIA

Laris Gaiser, Golden power ed intelligence economica: strumenti strategici di tutela della stabilità e della sicurezza economica italiana nel contesto della globalizzazione post-Covid19

Abstract
Negli anni a venire la pandemia del Covid-19 avrà notevoli ripercussioni sull’economia e sull’ordine internazionale. In l’Italia essa ha fatto emergere le fragilità e le criticità del tessuto economico-produttivo nazionale ovvero la mancanza di una cultura geoeconomica che renda il Paese resiliente in un contesto globale permeato dai conflitti di quinta generazione. Per difendere le aziende strategicamente importanti in una fase di debolezza sistemica, l’Italia ha dato una risposta emergenziale, di tipo passivo, con l’aggiornamento della cosiddetta norma-tiva golden power. Qualora questo strumento venisse coordinato con un approccio maggior-mente attivo, basato sull’istituzionalizzazione di un sistema di intelligence economica, l’Es-ecutivo fornirebbe il sistema-Paese gli strumenti adatti a facilitare la formazione di una nuova dinamica di sviluppo migliorandone le capacità di reazione e di competitività a livello globale. Il cambio di postura internazionale dell’Italia è reso urgente a causa dal ventennale ritardo nella comprensione delle esternalità positive originate dai sistemi d’intelligence economica stranieri e per il moltiplicarsi della dinamicità geopolitica a livello globale.

Keywords
intelligence economica, golden power, sicurezza, Covid-19

Francesco Balucani, L’architettura cibernetica del sistema Paese nella quinta dimensione della conflittualità. L’efficacia del Piano nazionale per la protezione cibernetica e la sicurezza informatica

Abstract
With the advent of information technologies (IT) and the birth of a fifth dimension of conflict, nation states are called upon to face a growing and diverse number of real and current threats. The dual-use nature of information technologies, the lowering of the access threshold to military capabilities determined by the potentiality of the network, the growing digital protectionism manifested by the great powers and the inversely proportional relationship between computerization and security in modern societies, force governments to build and implement cybernetic architectures able to protect society and Operators of Essential Services (OES) from threats coming from the ubiquitous and pervasive front of cyberspace. In Italy, with the National Strategic Framework for the security of cyberspace, some important steps in this direction have been accomplished, which then resulted in the formulation of the National Plan for cyber protection and cybersecurity, in the implementation of the European NIS directive and in the establishment of a national Computer Security Incident Response Team (Italian CSIRT).

Keywords
cybersecurity, national Security, cyber Strategy, information technologies, cyberspace, cyber-war, sicurezza informatica, sicurezza nazionale, architettura cibernetica, spazio cibernetico, informatizzazione, guerra cibernetica

Cosimo Melella – Emilio Lo Giudice, Ransomware strikes back! Il racket informatico continua a colpire le infrastrutture critiche

Abstract
Ransomware attacks are now the greatest threat to critical infrastructure. These threat actors block data and/or IT systems of the infrastructures and then make the description key available only upon payment of a ransom, in Bitcoin or Monero. The case of the attack on the health system of the Lazio Region is perhaps the most famous in the Italian panorama but certainly not the most dangerous. The consequences are not limited only to business aspects but can evolve into forms of digital warfare between nations, new forms of political persuasion, or even new forms of extortion racket available to criminal organizations.
There are several ways in which you can respond to these cyber attacks: from defense mechanisms on data retention on backup, or you can simply give in to the requests of the attackers or even try to negotiate, trying to understand if the attackers are actually in possession of the decryption keys, up to the common strategies between public and private, even transnational, which aim to improve the sharing of information and defense mechanisms. This last strategy would be the one to be favored since the infrastructures are crucial for the functioning of the States.

Keywords
intelligence economica, golden power, sicurezza, Covid-19

Daniele Maria Barone, Anti-establishment: demand and supply

Abstract
In audience-driven contexts, believing passionately in a set of values or a cause is an asset. In borderline cases, this emotional context can facilitate, deliberately or not, the adoption of single-minded visions for solving problems and changing society, leveraging on uncertainty instead of focusing on objective criteria, promoting the categorization of social groups through the paradigm of “us and them”.
This highly emotional narrative has proven to be a versatile vector for extremist discourse, able to overlap the ideological aspect and connect divergent views.
The adaptive features of this rhetoric allowed its pervasiveness from violent extremist circles to opaque communication contexts, becoming a transversal boundary-spanning tool for different social segments. Thus, the propagation of a communication phenomenon, rooted in social structural changes as globalization, educational and cultural divisions, increased polarization between prosperous and less developed regions, tech giants self-regulation, political or religious dissatisfaction.
With these premises, this paper is aimed at analyzing how polarized rhetorics, adapting to an ever-evolving social set of values, can insinuate in some non-extremist contexts and understand how their exploitation by various actors can incentivize the spread of anti-establishment views or beliefs.

Keywords
Anti-establishment, disinformation, conspiracy theories, extremism

PENSARE IL TERRORISMO

Riccardo Micheletti, Terrorismo e morale. La posizione israeliana alla luce dell’operazione Entebbe

Abstract
There is a deep connection between the fight against terrorism and moral; a connection that represents the precondition necessary to “every” sort of effective contrast to the phenomenon. That concept emerged clearly during the international conference that took place in Washington by Jonathan Institute, in June 1984. In this convention, where authorities of the most diverse disciplines were invited to report (jurists, philosophers, historics, journalists and strategic studies experts), the experts tried to provide the guests some effective “tools”, drawn to lighten up the complex phenomenon of international terrorism. «However as a premise to all these means», pointed out during the conference Benjamin Netanyahu, that is the one who became multiple times Israel’s Prime Minister, there had to be an assurance, «the moral belief that terrorism, in any shape or pretext», it was «an inexcusable evil». The moral subsidence, an “ambiguous” position, not evident towards terrorism phenomenon, could only strengthen, in the eyes of terrorists, the idea of an intrinsic “weakness” of free peoples.

According to Netanyahu, in front of the threat of terrorism it was necessary to respond by practicing the moral virtue of courage, not only at a military level, but also at all levels of society, particularly at a political and civil level. During Operation Entebbe (military action performed in the hinterland of Eastern Africa, in the night between 3 and 4 July 1976, that rescued 103 hostages, mainly Israelis, and members of Air Force 139’s flight crew, hijacked by four terrorists), such virtue was wield exemplarily concerning the political aspect (in the first place by Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of the state of Israel at the time), the military one (by Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Netanyau, dead during the operation), and indirectly by Israel’s civil society, historically trained, in every aspect, to actively react to the ceaseless threats of terrorism. After Operation Entebbe’ success, no plane that took off or landed in the state of Israel was ever hijacked again.

Keywords
Terrorismo, Morale, Entebbe, Relazioni internazionali

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Issue 13 | 2021

PERSPECTIVES ON VIOLENT EXTREMISM

Barbara Lucini, QAnon: risk assessment sociologico di un fenomeno estremista

Abstract
This article aims to propose a sociological reflection of risk assessment represented by the QAnon phenomenon. The complexity of QAnon, its communication mechanisms, the relational and organizational peculiarities deserve to be deepened, considering the social categories and cultural aspects that intervene in the constitution of different forms of the same phenomenon.
Through an analysis of the historical, social and cultural components of this phenomenon and a google trends research related to the research on the subject QAnon carried out in Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Germany it has been possible to propose an interpretative model capable of orienting the assessment of the risk of radicalization and extremism, as well as the future scope of this potential threat, which seems to be increasingly a resilient extremist phenomenon.

Keywords
QAnon; radicalisation; extremism; violence; social movements; resilience

Abdullah Metin, West of ISIS: a discourse and operation analysis from occidentalist perspective

Abstract
Studies on terrorist organizations have been constantly increasing as terrorism have become an imminent threat at the global level. One of these organizations, the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) has provided so much data through its intensive media use. Although considerable research has been done on ISIS’ magazines, videos, and social media releases, less attention has been paid to its discourse on the West. Therefore, this paper aims to explore ISIS’ perception of the West from Occidentalist perspective. To achieve this aim, numerical and text-based data was acquired by scanning ISIS propaganda magazines, Dabiq, Konstan­tiniyye, and Rumiyah. Also, an operational analysis was performed by mapping the locations targeted by ISIS’ actions. This article contributes to the literature on several points. First, while almost all of the studies analyze only the English-language magazines Dabiq and Rumiyah, this study also includes the Turkish magazine Konstantiniyye. Second, unlike other studies, this research also focuses on ISIS’ targeting of the Western way of life. Third, the study assesses ISIS’ attacks in the West by combining them with the content analysis of the magazines. Last but not least, it compares ISIS’ reaction to the West with the other Eastern reactions that per­sisted for nearly 200 years. The results disclose that ISIS considers its struggle against the West as a religious and sacred war. It also targets the different core values and lifestyles of the West. Furthermore, ISIS’ discourse is repudiative, condemning, and challenging, whereas previous Eastern reactions to the West were eclectic and apologizing.

Keywords
Dabiq, Rumiyah, Konstantiniyye, terrorist propaganda, the Islamic State (ISIS), Occidentalism

Daniele Maria Barone, EU economic losses in the haze of jihad

Abstract
The consequences of the terrorist threat go far beyond intangible factors. Behind the casualties, the symbolic and communicative charge brought by the perception of a jihadist looming threat, reverberates in concrete impacts on the economy of a State, turning fear into costs or variations in economic standards at different levels.
In these terms, it is fundamental to analyze the direct and indirect economic consequences of terrorist attacks in Europe, to quantify their repercussions and which sectors should be accurately be monitored to efficiently prevent and counter the destabilization spread by these violent events.
From this perspective, based on previous researches and surveys in different sectors (i.e. socio-economic, marketing, policy-making) this paper is aimed at suggesting which areas could be better monitored to depict the economic consequences of terrorism in the EU and highlight which elements of the phenomenon are still over or underestimated.

Keywords
Jihad, terrorist attack, European Union, economy

Tiziano Li Piani, Threat Assessment and Vulnerability Mapping for Sensitive Buildings against Terrorism in urban environments

Abstract
The architectural and cultural heritage of European cities is exposed to various hazards of different nature – natural events such as floods or earthquakes but also man-made threats. The escalation of terrorist attacks conducted in urban environments against soft targets necessitates the development of guidelines for the antiterrorism design of buildings and public spaces. Counter-terrorism engineering design is challenged by the lack of definite knowledge and quantitative assessment concerning terrorist risks, including the behavior of terrorists prior and during an attack. The results of a pilot project that aimed at comprehensively addressing terrorist attack scenarios against Churches in urban settings are summarized in this chapter. The threat assessment was based on the statistical inference of patterns extracted from a sizeable database of such attacks. The statistical incidence of certain behavioral patterns enabled the quantitative elaboration of ten threat scenarios, addressing also timing and placement patterns of the attackers based on their modus operandi. Data analysis revealed inter alia that even if an attack is targeting the inside of a the building, people on the outside are also in danger, even beyond the entrance. The extension of this vulnerability area is not only determined by the type of weapons used but also depends on the social function of the public space in which the building is situated. This chapter summarizes the main results of the project and further interprets and generalizes its main findings.

Keywords
Terrorism, input, target, threat encoding algorithm, space of influence.

PERSPECTIVES ON CYBERWARFARE

Federico Borgonovo – Luca Cinciripini – Marco Zaliani, L’attacco hacker a SolarWinds: nuove frontiere del cyber warfare e impatti geopolitici

Abstract
The growing relevance of cyber warfare as a dimension of conflict and competition in international relations, such as to involve state entities and non-state actors, stems from the high level of digitization and interconnection achieved by contemporary society. Given the high pervasiveness of digital tools and technologies, cyber threats can now orient themselves not only towards the military sphere of a single country, but also towards civil infrastructures such as to seriously endanger national security. This implies the need for a careful evaluation not only of the technical specifications connected to certain attacks, but also to evaluate the potential repercussions on the international geopolitical level. Therefore, this article intends to trace the physiognomy of the hacker attack suffered by the US company SolarWinds, underline the scope and importance of the cyber threat and the possible repercussions of systemic security for Italy. Such large-scale attacks represent an immediate danger for various key sectors in the economic and social spheres, also considering the existing regulatory vacuum at the level of national and international law that limits the possibility of effective contrast and the identification of effective countermeasures. This article identifies the main gaps and threats of the current picture and indicates mitigation factors.

Keywords
Cyberwarfare, SolarWinds, Supply chain attack, malware, APT, impatto.

Cosimo Melella, Cyberwarfare: combattere in una nuova dimensione

Abstract
This work focuses on and explores the theme of a new type of war. Unlike the past wars, it has particular characteristics that are decreeing its success to the point that it is a candidate to become the paradigm of future conflicts between nations.
The 1910s of the 21st century began with state actors of the first cyber weapon known to the general public (Stuxnet). They ended at the end of last year with a significant cyber attack on some of the main infrastructures “sensitive”of the American government (the attack suffered by Solarwinds).
Cyberspace is, therefore, the new battlefield on which the leading players on the international stage face each other. In this arena, new forms of attacks develop, such as influencing attacks aimed at “influencing” public opinion by encouraging the copious dissemination of fake news through social networks.
In any fight, the goal is to overwhelm the opponent, annihilating the forces both on a tactical and strategic level. From this point of view, cyber operations are also more effective than conventional conflicts, allowing to launch of potentially devastating attacks on a technological or economic level, from the short to long run. Even without physically destroying the attacked sites, allow striking any goal at any time.
In the light of what has been summarized so far, we will proceed in this research work, starting from attempting to provide a clear definition of a cyber attack. It should be noted that this expression implies an unauthorized intrusion into a computer and a physical computer network with the intent of sabotage, and that can cause from simple forms of tampering to denial of service, up to the exfiltration of data and infiltration into servers.
We will then continue to outline which are the actors of the threats and the new types of attacks (among these, as previously mentioned, we find the new channels of disinformation), which will involve much more the mobile internet devices (smartphones and tablets) also under the reduction in costs and the increase in power of the same – combined with the new health emergency due to Covid19 – which, benefiting users, have made effectiveness and maintenance even more complicated the level of security of “sensitive” infrastructures.
The paper will conclude by referring to the new strategies used by the Rogue State and proposing new possible countermeasures and remediation methods, methods aimed precisely at preventing and limiting these attacks used by threat actors.

Keywords
Information Security, Cyberwarfare, Advanced Persistent Threat, Malware, Information Warfare

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Issue 12 | 2020

I. COVID-19 and Communication Crisis Management

Marco Lombardi, Communication Crisis: COVID-19. Nothing since Chernobyl

Abstract
The pandemic from COVID-19 generated a health emergency and at the same time a communicative crisis. In fact, many of the fundamental aspects of crisis communication and crisis management have not been considered and implemented. In particular, this reflection aims to pay attention to four fundamental premises to interpret what is happening: hybrid warfare; network society; the lesson learned from Chernobyl; crisis management and specific skills. These premises will be declined in their characteristic aspects in order to arrive at a final consideration that plans to start over, taking into account the principles of crisis communication and crisis management

Keywords
Communication crisis; covid – 19; crisis Management; crisis narratives; crisis scenario

II. Empirical Research – COVID-19 and Viral Violence – International Converge Project

Barbara Lucini, Foreword. COVID-19 and Viral Violence: state of the art and beyond

Maria Alvanou, Safety vs. Security during the COVID-19 pandemici

Abstract
The concepts of safety and security, although often considered the same, they are actually different. The main difference refers to human intent behind the behavior that causes the threat or the damaging event. Health crises, like the one posed by COVID-19, constitute a threat against safety and make it imperative for states to take protective measures. Already the experience of managing the security threat of terrorism after 9/11 showed how state policies there can have serious impact on societies. The article deals with the impact safety policies to combat the pandemic can have to the security of people and especially vulnerable groups. Security challenges against the life and freedoms of citizens are presented with examples from different places around the world and in relevance to safeguarding democracy. Finally, the notion of public safety and security as an alibi for measures that shrink the rights and liberties of the individual is seen in a critical way.

Keywords
COVID-19, safety, security, threat, democracy

Giovanni Gugg, The tower is burning. Real and symbolic violence between technophobics and techno-rebels of 5G technology during the COVID-19 pandemic

Abstract
During a disaster, the spatial and social points of reference are lost, so it is usual that we can fall into an individual and collective disorientation, which is then processed and reabsorbed in various ways, including the attribution of responsibility. Through the ‘process of blaming’ the disaster community goes in search of the causes of the calamity and identifies a responsible person/entity, generally outside their sphere or in some dissimilar and unaligned internal exponent. But what happens when the scale of a disaster is planetary and all human beings are involved in it? We are experiencing this with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a global health disaster that, in cascade, becomes an economic, psychological and social disaster. In particular, during the lockdown imposed in numerous Europeans countries between winter and spring 2020, a theory has grown according to which the new coronavirus is somehow linked to 5G technology. This has had various repercussions in street demonstrations by pandemic skeptics and technophobics during the summer and, in some more rare cases, in forms of vandalism towards telecommunications towers. The paper investigates this phenomenon through the perspective and tools of cultural anthropology.

Keywords
COVID-19 pandemic, 5G technology, Conspiracy theories, Vandalism, Skeptics

Barbara Lucini, Extremisms, viral violence and pandemic: Fusion Extreme Right and future perspectives

Abstract
This article aims to present the results of the research activities carried out in the framework of Converge – COVID-19 Working Group – Itstime Working Group: COVID-19 and Viral Violence.
The research focused on key questions aimed at exploring, understanding and interpreting how the current pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus can influence the activities of various forms of extremism.
In addition, a deepening of extreme right and its many expressions is proposed, given its peculiarity and importance as a global threat.
The research activities were conducted according to a mixed methodological approach, using as methodological tools, an online investigative survey and an open source-based digital ethnography.
The analysis of these researches has produced significant findings, to better understand and interpret the threat posed by the extreme right in various parts of the world and in the context of the current pandemic.
Finally, new relationships between concepts lead to the definition of fusion extreme right to generally identify the phenomena related to extreme right as well as the issue of symbolic violence.

Keywords
Extreme Right, extremisms; Fusion extreme right; Symbolic violence; Viral violence, pandemic

III. SINGLE ISSUE

Laris Gaiser, The consequences of COVID-19 on the geo-economic capacities of the People’s Republic of China

Abstract
Today, the People’s Republic of China represents one of the most important geopolitical players in the world. It was able to rise to this position thanks to the co-optation, in an anti-Soviet approach, carried out in the 1970s by the United States. At the end of the Cold War, Beijing opted for a development policy that would lead it to excel in the economic, diplomatic, and military sectors to assume its status as a world power. In this way, the Chinese Communist regime has challenged the strategic logic that teaches that it is important to shy away from the pursuit of a simultaneous advancement of power in these three sectors, on pain of creating excessive friction with other states. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated this competition and is leading the antagonistic states to reduce Beijing’s capacity for economic influence, as well as exploiting the evident repercussions to production capacity brought about by the outbreak of the pandemic.

Keywords
China, COVID-19, geo-economy, strategy, crisis

Giovanni Pisapia, 2020 Was a Bad Year – Review of Homicide and Gun-Violence Data from Selected Major US Cities

Abstract
This article has been drafted with the aim of better understanding the recent spike in homicides recorded in the first six months of 2020 in several major US cities. The objective is to build knowledge and provide a picture of the change in crime trends in four analyzed cities: Atlanta (GA), Chicago (IL), New York City (NY) and Philadelphia (PA).
This article will not delve into the identification of effective and appropriate solutions to violence, grounded in criminological best practices. Instead, it tries to provide a picture of the recent spike in homicides through an analysis of official crime data, which includes police activity and victim/offender demographics. The article is based on public data, published by each of the four local police departments, made available through their web sites.
The analysis tries to discern the extent, and the possible causes, of the impact of COVID-19 related-lockdowns and protests against police on recorded crimes in these four cities.

Keywords
Crime trend; homicide USA; Gun-Violence

Szilveszter Póczik – Eszter Sarik – Orsqlya Bolyky, The impact of the Covid-pandemic on violence and some other forms of crime in Hungary

Abstract
The current study shows the results of the first research conducted by the Covid Working Group established at the National Institute of Criminology (OKRI/NIC) in Budapest in September 2020. The examination was performed in the form of a desk-research on the criminological aspects of the Covid-epidemic, the results of which are presented in the situation-report. The recent report also serves as a draft for an extensive research planned for 2021. From the outcome of the analysis, it can undoubtedly be concluded that the Covid-pandemic has brought about certain structural changes and new phenomena have also emerged in the field of crime. We could also experience these new tendencies in Hungary. Although in Hungary, unlike in the Western European countries, there were not any violent protest movements and the general number of violent acts seemed to decrease during the epidemic, new forms of hatred appeared, citizens bought more weapons and there was a growth in domestic violence acts, too. The epidemic has strengthened communication in the online space and thus provided an opportunity for cybercrime and the related fraud and counterfeiting, while some new forms of fraud have also begun to spread offline. The Hungarian government considered it necessary to introduce special legal rules to protect the health of citizens and to prevent the dissemination of fake news. The study also details these legal measures. The examination of the six months of the epidemic period only allowed us to discover some new phenomena, but did not provide an opportunity to obtain interpretable data. This will be the task of the future research.

Keywords
Russia, cultural diplomacy, international relations

Marco Maiolino, Geopolitics of information, aids and vaccines make sense in the framework of COVID-19 and Hybrid conflicts

Abstract
This short contribution begins by discussing COVID-19 and the evolution of conflicts. Then, the two phenomena are put together and combined in today’s networked, diverse and non-linear, reality which, it is argued, makes them intelligible and provides a synthesis.
The geopolitics of information, aid and vaccines is presented and supported consistent with the framework outlined above; finally, it is noticed the need for a more effective understanding and management of contemporary reality and its risks and threats.

Keywords: COVID-19, hybrid conflicts, risk analysis, geopolitics.

IV. COMMENTARY

Federico Lunardi, COVID Pandemic: Some Free Thoughts

Filippo Nativi, COVID-19. Behind the Disease

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Issue 11 | 2020

I. NEW PERSPECTIVES IN PREVENTING AND COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM

Marco Lombardi, Barbara Lucini – Marco Maiolino, Beyond counter- and alternative narratives to tackle extremism: the new Format model

Abstract

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) as a concept was introduced in Europe in 2004-2005, following the devastating terrorist attacks against the Cercanías commuter train system of Madrid and the metropolitan infrastructure of London, and since then has appeared in innumerable strategic documents.
The introduction of CVE was sparked by the threat of religious extremism, although it is a framework that could also be easily extended to other types of extremism (political, single-issue, etc.).
In view of the fact that no internationally accepted definitions currently exist for either “terrorism” or “violent extremism”, just as there is a lack of consensus over the precise meaning of CVE and what forms it should take.
As reported in the website of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), CVE tends to comprise the “use of non-coercive means to dissuade individuals or groups from mobilizing towards violence and to mitigate recruitment, support, facilitation or engagement in ideologically motivated terrorism by non-state actors in furtherance of political objectives (Khan, 2015)”.
Moreover, CVE is understood to cover a wide range of activities which are undertaken at many different levels by, for instance, States, supranational entities, international organisations, academia, the private sector and civil society, revealing a significant issue of coordination to exist.
Within the framework of Countering Violent Extremism, and although controversial, combating extremist communication with the potential to incite violence has had an important role to play since the beginning and, apart from merely disrupting it, counter- and alternative narratives have been widely developed and implemented, showing some potential as well as significant limitations.
In this paper, counter- and alternative narratives in CVE are the subject of a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis which is presented methodologically and developed in the following pages.
The analysis underlines the need to renew the strategic communication effort, to increase its ability to adapt to the evolving scenario and its effectiveness in countering extremist communication. The format model is proposed in view of these purposes.

Keywords
Violent extremism, communication, swot analysis, format model

Barbara Lucini, Soft skills for governing new threats: training methods for LEAs in preventing and countering violent extremism and radicalisation

Abstract
This paper aims to provide an analysis of the contribution that resilience, especially in its cultural dimension, can provide in post-crises and conflict scenarios, along with the pragmatic approach of cultural diplomacy.
The key premise is the concept of resilience and its role in crisis management and risk analysis. Cultural resilience is regarded as an essential factor to build national, collective and individual identities that are able to define, interpret and manage new hybrid threats.
Both the cultural factor itself and the concept of identity need to be seen as drivers for the required relationship between the cultural dimension of resilience and cultural diplomacy.
The final remarks consolidate a social anthropological perspective associated with the cultural dimension and the application of the concept of resilience in the framework of cultural diplomacy, with the aim to manage socio-political tensions and conflicts in many parts of the world.

Keywords
Cultural resilience, cultural diplomacy, security, adaptation, proactivity.

II. A FOCUS ON VIOLENT EXTREMISM

Daniele Maria Barone, The institutional symmetry of an asymmetric conflict. A State – State rivalry throughout Daesh’s Soft-Power

Abstract
To analyse Daesh exclusively through its skills in keeping its brand communicative and evocative, can overshadow the real goal of the organization: establish and control its borderless State. Indeed, the terrorist group is gradually erasing from the collective imaginary its image connected to a leader or an ideology but, on the contrary, it is evolving as a fully-fledged State which is consolidating its soft-power.
Through its either online or offline communication, Daesh is growing even beyond the ideology itself. The organization is progressively insinuating in its followers’ psychological and sociological environments through, for instance, their spare time or their political orientation. Nowadays, the organization has acquired enough tools to understand and change the way of thinking of individuals or entire communities and it is masterly using it at its advantage.
Taking into account the exogenous (i.e. the sociological background of its supporters) and endogenous (i.e. Daesh’s modus operandi) elements, this paper will analyze how Daesh, by exploiting its means of communication, is succeeding in being perceived as a stable entity. The paper will explain that this development is far from being a random process but represents the real inner core of the organization which, from this perspective, is keeping on being reinforced by Daesh’s adaptability.

Keywords
Daesh, Jihad, Soft-power, Hybrid warfare

Tommaso Longo, Misoginia online: le nuove forme di radicalizzazione all’interno del terrorismo Incel

Abstract
Since 9/11 the characteristics of terrorism and, as a consequence, also the radicalization’s process of individuals has changed dramatically. Involuntary Celibacy is a new and emerging phenomenon that generally concerns white, wealthy, young and western men that hate women. Incel, that is the acronym, is a misogynist movement led by men who fail to succeed in relationships with women, and who, in response to this, get angry with the opposite sex because of their refusal, coming in some cases to hit them through the commission of violent acts. In order to comprehend the reasons that lead these individuals to the commission of terrorist attacks, the aim of this article is to conduct an integrated analysis between the literature review of articles published from 2001 to 2015 about the main features of the classic paradigm of terrorism, an analysis of the stories of seven attackers connected to the Incel movement through OSINT, and a set of interviews administered to some experts of the security sector, to a first-hand experience and to a Canadian professor of gender studies from the University of Toronto.
Through all this material it is possible to understand the context in which these individuals apprehend the main theories, and start their radicalization process that lead to the commission of terroristic attacks. In the article are identified some indicators that can help law enforcement and families to earlier detect some signals that could be helpful in preventing the occurrence of the massacres.

Keywords
Incel, Misoginy, Terrorism, Indicators, Radicalization, Rodger, Minassian.

III. INSIGHTS ON SECURITY, INTELLIGENCE & CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

Daniele Plebani, Dalla Business continuity verso la Social continuity: società, criminali e terroristi alla prova di COVID-19

Abstract
At the time of writing (April 2020), the virus COVID-19 is spreading all over the world and has infected more than two million people. Caught mostly unprepared, governments are trying to face the current health crisis with different approaches, however, tackling this phenomenon only on the health, economic or social level could lead to failure. A comprehensive approach is required and it should be focused on enhancing the social tissue of the country by handling pragmatic support to companies and people. As the 2007-8 financial and economic crisis showed, other actors such as organized crime and extremist groups could step into the gap between the time emergency arise and the government’ support, while the peculiar nature of this phenomenon could give birth to new waves of violent protests. States, companies and citizen should then transform the “Business continuity” approach and act as pivotal agents of “Social continuity”.

Keywords
COVID-19, social continuity, business continuity, terrorism, organized crime.

Carmine de Vito, Crisi Istituzionale in Bolivia. Il Modello Geopolitico delle Partite Internazionali. Introduzione al Concetto di Intelligence di Posizione

Abstract
The Bolivian institutional crisis born from the departure of President Evo Morales is, without a doubt, a theme that needs the right reflections on the dynamics, events, social and political bodies that have interacted with the realization of the state of crisis.
The philosophical and juridical concept of crisis in international relations: its evolution and the definition of a new geopolitical theoretical model of confrontation between states.
The analogies with the international crises in Venezuela, Libya and Syria; all representative of the paradigm of mutation of the comparison scheme in global competition: the model based on the “spheres of influence” is considerably reduced, while the model of the “international matches” becomes central.
The doctrinal elaboration of the concept of position intelligence: perfectly functional to the outlined scheme of relationships on a multipolar basis which reaffirms the “real” character, that is not only of strategic-economic hegemony, but strategic-economic-military.

Keywords
Bolivia, Evo Morales, international crisis, international match, Geopolitics, Geo-economics, intelligence, position intelligence.

Marco Lucchin, Cultural Diplomacy in Russia: identità e cultura come evoluzione del Paese

Abstract
The aim of this article is to investigate Russian Cultural Diplomacy strategies and how they are intrinsically tied to the current zeitgeist. We are going to look at culture under a historical and strategic point of view, and examine how it’s possible it will evolve in Russia, following the national interest and its development trajectory. As a matter of fact, culture is not a mere propaganda tool, but it’s deeply tied to the political and historical situation of a country: it’s the way a nation thinks, the value that believes in and what keeps it together during hardships. Culture is also the image it projects abroad, and a tool that can be used as leverage in international relations, to gain consent or provoke clashes. On this backdrop, in the first part we are going to take a look at the historical background, and how culture and ideology followed the evolution of the country and its goals, together with identifying the main players shaping the policies: politics, academia, and promotion agencies.
In the second part we will proceed then with the investigation on the main souls of the Russian culture: Slavic background, the role of Orthodox Church, the role of Islam and relatively new ideologies as Eurasianism. We will then draw a line that, starting from the 9th century in Kiev, brings us to the heart of Europe, the central Asian steppe and the shores of Vladivostok, in search of the future direction of Russia’s culture and diplomacy.

Keywords
Russia, cultural diplomacy, international relations

Giacomo Buoncompagni, Cyber-risk, cyber-migration. For a new human geography and security

Abstract
The speed and intensity of communication and information flows are defining a media space that relates to geographic space today, but without replacing it. A process of deterritorialization of space and time is underway, anyone born in the second half of the 19th century is a migrant because he moves, physically and virtually, from one culture to another, in a liquid, fragmented and participatory way. The evolution of the web has created a social space without borders that facilitates communication between the communities of immigrants geographically dispersed in every part of the globe.
For immigrants and asylum seekers trying to enter Europe, not only traditional infrastructures (railways, ports…), but also electronic-digital infrastructures such as smartphones, apps, simultaneous translation programs, messaging, and social networks facilitate and support the travel organization and all the migratory experience of the “new connected migrants”. However the safety issue should not be underestimated: the lack of awareness in the use of devices can determine different levels of “technological risk”.
However, when faced with these problems, there are also good practices that several associations and institutions have successfully experimented, mainly related to ICT available for migrants and refugees.
Through a detailed and updated analysis of the scientific literature on the subject, by adopting an interdisciplinary look, we will try to understand how digital has changed and influenced migration processes, forms of exploitation and crime and at the same time reception and integration policies of new arrivals to the host state.

Keywords
Migration, social media, technological risk, IT security, new media, human geography

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Issue 10 | 2019

I. PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL DIPLOMACY
IN CONFLICT MANAGEMENT AND MITIGATION

download-(buttons)Marco Lombardi, Culture and Action: Cultural Diplomacy and Cooperation

Abstract

The new, uncertain structures of the reticular global world call for innovative strategies. In particular, the new forms of diffuse conflict demand that international diplomacy give effective answers in terms of handling the crisis and reducing conflicts. In this context, cooperation has to regain credibility and competence to prove itself as a system of intervention suited to the new challenges, able to project itself into the new scenarios that are changing significantly and rapidly.

This brief note proposes to highlight some important factors of the change taking place, followed by the description of recent experiences in the field, concluding with the proposal of new kinds of involvement expressed in the Cultural Diplomacy Partnership, an experience of reticular cooperation formulated and promoted by our research centres, ITSTIME in the Università Cattolica, Milan, and CAARI at the Addoun University in Somalia.

Keywords

Culture, diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, crisis and conflict reduction.

download-(buttons)Barbara Lucini, Cultural Resilience and Cultural Diplomacy: the State of the Art

Abstract

This paper aims to provide an analysis of the contribution that resilience, especially in its cultural dimension, can provide in post-crises and conflict scenarios, along with the pragmatic approach of cultural diplomacy.

The key premise is the concept of resilience and its role in crisis management and risk analysis. Cultural resilience is regarded as an essential factor to build national, collective and individual identities that are able to define, interpret and manage new hybrid threats.

Both the cultural factor itself and the concept of identity need to be seen as drivers for the required relationship between the cultural dimension of resilience and cultural diplomacy.

The final remarks consolidate a social anthropological perspective associated with the cultural dimension and the application of the concept of resilience in the framework of cultural diplomacy, with the aim to manage socio-political tensions and conflicts in many parts of the world.

Keywords

Cultural resilience, cultural diplomacy, security, adaptation, proactivity.

II. Perspectives on Terrorism & Counter-terrorism

download-(buttons)Alessandro Boncio, The Italian shared house for combating terrorism

Abstract

An often overlooked aspect in explaining the Italian efficiency in countering and preventing terrorism, be it domestic or international, is the institutional setting established in 2004 to manage this issue. In this respect, the role of the Antiterrorism Strategic Analysis Committee (CASA – Comitato di Analisi Strategica Antiterrorismo), the Italian counterterrorism fusion centre, has proved to be essential. While the need for centers like this was a direct consequence of 9/11, indeed being the US those starting this kind of center, other European countries started working on similar centers as a consequence of homegrown jihadist attacks.

The Committee primary task was originally to prevent terrorist-related incidents through real-time information sharing among state security agencies.. Since its creation however, the CASA chores widened and changed; homegrown terrorism (leaderless jihad phase), Foreign Terrorist Fighters and the resurgence of domestic violent extremism led to an evolution in the CASA competencies. The Committee proved to be particularly useful in strengthening the synergy between all the actors involved in counterterrorism activities, also representing a thriving hub to ‘institutionalise’ the national security system culture originating from previous experiences in countering domestic terrorism (The Red Brigades, Neofascist Organizations) and organized crime groups (Mafia, Camorra, N’drangheta).

Due to the contained number of terrorism-related events in Italy, there is just a basic perception of the role played by CASA in the national public opinion and, more broadly, among international observers, as the Committee is seldom mentioned as a synergic counterterrorism tool. The Committee however, proved to be a flexible, efficient tool and, despite its ambition to institutionalise the Italian approach to counterterrorism, was not burdened by the classic bureaucratic problems often characterizing the public administration. An in-depth analysis of this fusion centre can also highlight lessons to be learned for other countries facing the same type of threat as Italy.

Keywords

Antiterrorism, jihadismo, estremismo violento, intelligence, forze di polizia, Counterterrorism, jihadism, violent extremism, intelligence, law enforcement

download-(buttons)Daniele Barone, The decentralized finance-violent extremism nexus: ideologies, technical skills, strong and weak points

Abstract

The common denominator in the exploitation of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups, can be found in the grey legal framework where cryptocurrencies operate. This contest, even though indirectly, allows the diffusion of a propaganda related to the rejection of the idea of State, by depicting the decentralized control of cryptocurrencies as a mean of payment that belongs exclusively to the people, avoiding the interference of a centralized government control or any sort of middleman.

Focusing on the analysis of the ideological justification and opaque financing patterns used by international organizations as Hamas, global movements as alt-right extremist groups and their sympathizers, then describing in depth how small jihadist private military contractors as the Malhama Tactical Team or suspicious online humanitarian crowdfunding campaigns are developing their skills both in the online communication and in the cryptocurrency field, this essay is aimed at providing an either overall or specific view of the current terrorism-FinTech nexus. It will explain how, even though extremist groups’ skills in the cryptocurrency sector may seem at an infancy level, they are evolving very fast and creating a trickle-down diffusion of know-how and ideological or political justifications. These elements can generate a twofold outcome: turn terrorism financing into an unprecedented occasion to improve investigative and analysis methods or, on the other hand, turn exploitation of modern finance for terrorism purposes into a total undetectable sector.

Keywords

Jihad, Alt-right, Financing, Cryptocurrency, Cybercrime

download-(buttons)Filippo Tansini, Conosci il tuo nemico: la rappresentazione del terrorismo nei tweet della disinformazione russa

Abstract

Within the complex framework of the Hybrid and Information Warfare, this study analyses a Twitter account dataset related to the Russian company Internet Research Agency (IRA) that was potentially used for Information Warfare operations, from 2009 to 2018.

The objective of the analysis is to reconstruct the representation of terrorism disseminated by the IRA through the actions carried out by the analysed Twitter accounts. Using the construct of Social Representations and methods of Latent Semantic Analysis (cluster analysis and multiple correspondence analysis) explicit and implicit themes associated with the concept of terrorism are explored. Out of a general sample of 8,768,633, 22,764 messages were filtered containing the lemma «terror». The results show peculiar temporal dynamics and contents that subtend two main themes: the nature of the threat represented (known / unknown) and the positioning of the enemy (internal / external). The limits and the practical implications of these results are discussed with particular reference to: methods and contents of online communications related to the concept of terrorism, capability demonstrated by the accounts analysed, further applicability of the analysis with a perspective of countering Information Warfare operations.

Keywords

Hybrid Threat, Information Warfare, Latent Semantic Analysis, Social Media Intelligence, Social Representation, terrorism

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Issue 9 | 2019

I. International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy

 

download-(buttons)Marco Lombardi e Barbara Lucini, Cooperazione e Cultural Diplomacy: resilienza e cultural focal points.

Abstract

The current paper focuses on the need to think over the concept of globalization and its impact on the scenario of international cooperation.

The definition of globalization has been often related to other notions such as that of complexity, interconnection, homogenization aimed at the understanding of social and geopolitical changes. Although this effort, in the last years a new set of theoretical and methodological tools are needed to comprehend the inner changes represented by the new social and political scenarios. For this reason, the awareness about the global Hybrid Warfare and its features are the context for the development of future theories and methodologies for international cooperation, considering the importance of the Cultural Diplomacy.

The cultural diplomacy and its tool the cultural focal point are the efficient and adequate response to the period of transition we are living now.

The culture and the related social identities became the interpretative drivers to provide a new set of theories as well as the crisis management approach orients the advancement of the methodological tools.

Further, cultural resilience plays a crucial role to strength the high potential of the cultural focal point as diplomatic tools for the near future, in the field of international cooperation and especially, in the areas where the conflicts are harder and more resistant.

This new approach deals with conflict resolution through the principles of crisis management and the cultural perspectives, making possible a new way for managing pervasive conflicts and post-disaster stage.

Keywords

Cultural diplomacy, international cooperation, crisis management, resilience, cultural focal point.

 

download-(buttons)Marta Visioli, Cultural Diplomacy and Cultural Focal Points as emergent and integrative cooperation strategies in the resolution of conflicts

Abstract

The aim of this article is to demonstrate, with an original perspective, the necessity of Cultural Diplomacy and Cultural Focal Points (CFPs) as new effective sources of cooperation and conflict resolution. In a contemporary global context which is characterized by hybrid conflicts, with a mixture of unofficial and official actors and enemies, and by the overcoming of the state-centred national system, the traditional approaches to crises and conflicts are incomplete. In order to guarantee long-term peace and recovery, it is important to shift from an exclusive political and governmental perspective, to an integration of social and cultural members. In this regard, Cultural Diplomacy claims its place as a new effective response to the contemporary framework, by arising with new resources. As a matter of fact, it moves ever further away from its original meaning in order to encompass a comprehensive approach, with a particular focus on the resolution of domestic crises as a prerequisite to both national and international security. In particular, this form of diplomacy is a new cooperation strategy for conflict resolution because it increases the democratic space within nations between political authorities and civilians, it fosters mutual understanding by fighting stereotypes, it reduces the risk of conflicts and provides the vital resilience to crisis management and post-conflict.

In particular, the first part of the article focuses on the practice and the meaning of Cultural Diplomacy, by also highlighting its advantages and disadvantages in relation to cooperation and conflict resolution. Specifically, its evolution into an even more cooperative and effective strategy at different levels deserves the appropriate consideration within the global and political framework. Concerning this aspect, I demonstrate the opportunity, inherent in a correct use of Cultural Diplomacy, of improving diplomacy, cooperation and international as well as national relations. The second part concerns Cultural Focal Points, that is dynamic centers  of cultural preservation and reproduction, tested in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, which are considered new forms of Cultural Diplomacy. The focus is placed on their twofold objec-tive of promoting dialogue and cooperation and of enhancing the cultural heritage of each ethnic group, by relating it to the key features of CFPs (static nature, dynamism, singularity and plurality). These demonstrate their synergic nature as sources of conflict management, Cultural Diplomacy and resilience in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in reconstruction and recovery.

Keywords

Cultural Diplomacy, cooperation strategy, Cultural Focal Points (CFPs), identity, conflict resolution.

 

download-(buttons)Nezka Figelj, Iran and religious sectarianism in the Middle East: the role of the European Union

Abstract

L’articolo scientifico esaminerà l’emergente rivalità tra sunniti e sciiti in Medio Oriente. La situazione si è recentemente intensificata e ha provocato violente rivolte tra le due fazioni. La frammentazione religiosa sarà analizzata dal punto di vista iraniano. Verranno introdotti i due attori principali dello scacchiere regionale: l’Arabia Saudita e l’Iran. L’articolo analizzerà il regime iraniano sciita concentrandosi sulla sua aspirazione all’egemonia regionale. Saranno affrontate le potenziali minacce del programma nucleare iraniano per la sicurezza di Israele. Il documento evidenzierà il ruolo degli interessi strategici dell’Unione europea in Iran dopo l’accordo nucleare iraniano.

Keywords

Iran, Saudi Arabia, religious sectarianism, rivalry Sunna-Shi’a, Israel, European Union.

 

download-(buttons)Violeta Tymul and Pietro SchioppettoSovereign wealth as power multiplier: the Russian Sovereign Wealth Funds experience

Abstract

Questo articolo presenta un case study sulle politiche del governo russo nell’utilizzo dei Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF). La prima parte del paper descrive come i SWF si siano evoluti nel tempo da assetti di un’economia di rendita a strumenti di sviluppo e arma geo-economica, tra i più efficaci nell’ambito delle nuove modalità di intervento statale nell’economia. La seconda parte analizza in profondità l’esperienza russa, descrivendo l’evoluzione e le funzioni dei diversi fondi sviluppati a partire dagli anni ’90 e il loro rapporto con la politica interna ed estera della Federazione. In conclusione, si riflette se l’utilizzo dei fondi sia stato congruo con il perseguimento degli obiettivi geopolitici del paese.

Keywords

Sovereign Wealth Fund, Russia, Geo-economics, Geopolitics, Entrepreneurial State, Commodities, Stabilization Fund, Reserve Fund, National Wealth Fund, Russian Direct Investment Fund.

 

II. Terrorism & Counter-terrorism

download-(buttons)Daniele Plebani, Da Raqqa a Boghuz: l’evoluzione di Stato Islamico tra il 2017 e il 2019

Abstract

L’elaborato si propone di offrire una panoramica dell’evoluzione di Stato Islamico (IS) tra la liberazione di Raqqa (ottobre 2017) e la fine del 2018. In questo lasso di tempo infatti IS ha attraversato una profonda metamorfosi, sia per quanto riguarda l’aspetto territoriale che comunicativo. Nel primo caso si è osservata una forte contrazione nel quadrante siro-iracheno, solo in parte controbilanciato dalla resistenza di altre realtà regionali sparse per il globo. Nel secondo, l’apparato comunicativo è dovuto ricorrere a diverse strategie di adattamento, concentrandosi sia sul resistere alle azioni di contrasto intraprese da Stati e agenzie di comunicazione che di offrire ai seguaci di IS strade alternative per associarsi, informarsi e progettare attacchi. Questa analisi esplicita infine come la lotta contro IS non possa essere fondata unicamente su parametri quali la percentuale di territorio liberato o numero di prodotti mediatici cancellati e rimarca la necessità di un approccio più ampio per affrontare non solo il “gruppo Stato Islamico” ma anche il “fenomeno IS”.

 

Keywords

Stato Islamico, comunicazione, territorio, eredità.

 

download-(buttons)Valerio de Divitiis, Children’s Rights vis-à-vis counter terrorism obligations: a priority for security and human rights mutually reinforcing practices

Abstract

The international counter terrorism paradigm is being increasingly contextualized in the framework of sustainable development through civilian and rule of law-based policies shaped around the objective of preventing violent extremism. The recruitment and exploitation of children by terrorist organizations provides an urgent opportunity for the concretization of legal obligations and principles endorsed by the international community. The application of counter terrorism measures in cases involving children remains ambiguous at country level, despite clear international norms. There is a risk that the children’s rights may be overshadowed by the emergency nature of terrorism. Countries’ practitioners must pursue responses which consider the status of children even when they are liable for terrorism-related offences. Specific circumstances ranging from the prevention of exploitation by terrorist groups, including in educational settings, justice system responses tailored to the cases of children, the risks posed by the nuanced FTF phenomenon and the international legal provisions thereof, are scenarios where the rule of law-PVE vision becomes critical for sustainable response to terrorism.

Keywords

Counter Terrorism, Children’s rights, Preventing Violent Extremism, Rule of Law, Human Security, Foreign Terrorist Fighters, Armed Conflicts.

 

III. Crisis Management

 

download-(buttons)Arianna Piacentini, Social media e cultura convergente: nuove applicazioni del Crisis Management

Abstract

I social media sono diventati strumenti fondamentali durante i processi di Crisis Management, sia nella fase di risposta all’emergenza, sia nella fase di prevenzione e pianificazione. La flessibilità di queste piattaforme permette di elaborare strategie comunicative diverse che tengono conto degli scenari che possono verificarsi in riferimento ai rischi propri di ciascun territorio. Coombs e Holladay (2012) definiscono la Crisis Communication come la raccolta, il trattamento e la diffusione delle informazioni necessarie per affrontare una situazione di emergenza. I mezzi di comunicazione, in particolare i social media, se integrati nei modelli e nelle pratiche esistenti di Crisis Management, permettono di raggiungere un equilibrio tra capacità di diffusione delle informazioni e possibilità di interpretare correttamente i rischi legati alla crisi. La comunicazione online infatti facilita il raggiungimento di  un alto tasso   di interattività, rendendo virale un messaggio attraverso il meccanismo della condivisione su molteplici piattaforme. Questi canali online sfruttando il fenomeno della convergenza digitale, che consente la partecipazione di diversi attori sociali, permettono la creazione di una conoscenza condivisa della crisi e una maggiore consapevolezza collettiva, promuovendo lo sviluppo di una comunità partecipante e resiliente.

 

Keywords

Social media, Crisis Management, cultura convergente, partecipazione.

 

download-(buttons)Roberta Scassa, Collaborative Networks for Disaster Risk Reduction: the Role of Risk Communication and Disaster Education; Exploring the non-structural activities employed by the Italian Civil Protection in reducing seismic risks in the Abruzzo Region.

Abstract

I disastri naturali presentano attualmente diverse e complesse sfide per la società che vanno oltre le capacità di una singola organizzazione e che quindi richiedono l’operato congiunto di più attori nel quadro della riduzione dei rischi derivati da disastri ambientali. Ricerca precedente in questo ambito sottolinea la complessità di tali problemi ed enfatizza la necessità di una collaborazione proattiva e preventiva tra diverse organizzazioni su diversi livelli di governance.

Una delle migliori soluzioni a questo drammatico problema è stata riscontrata nello sviluppo di networks di riduzione dei rischi derivati da disastri ambientali dove conoscenze, informazioni e competenze possono essere scambiate tra diversi esperti operanti in campi attinenti alla riduzione dei rischi ambientali. Con l’approvazione del Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) nel 2015, la necessità di ridurre tali rischi tramite prevenzione, comunicazione del rischio ed educazione ambientale si è tramutata in una eco sempre più incalzante e risonante a livello globale. Questo articolo si propone l’obiettivo di investigare le relazioni che intercorrono fra vari attori operanti nel campo della riduzione del rischio sismico nella regione Abruzzo, in centro Italia. Tramite interviste con esperti della Protezione Civile Abruzzo e con collaboratori degli stessi, la ricerca si snoda su alcuni punti principali: meccanismi adottati dalla Protezione Civile Abruzzese durante tempi di pace per aumentare la consapevolezza della società riguardo il rischio sismico. Ricerca precedente in questo ambito si è largamente concentrata sull’analisi del grado collaborazione di determinati attori (inclusa la Protezione Civile Abruzzese), durante un’emergenza o una crisi. Al contrario questo studio si propone di analizzare le così dette attività non strutturali di prevenzione messe in atto dalla Protezione Civile Abruzzo in tempi di regolarità. La comunicazione del rischio e l’educazione ambientale sono considerati fattori cruciali delle attività non strutturali volti ad aumentare la consapevolezza della società nel suo complesso riguardo i rischi sismici che potrebbero riscontrarsi in regione. Questi elementi sono anche determinanti per il successo di un progresso nel campo della riduzione dei rischi derivati dai disastri ambientali. Interessanti spunti forniti da esperti nel campo e consigli su come la comunicazione del rischio dovrebbe articolarsi nell’immediato futuro sono riportati dall’autore.

 

Keywords

Disaster Risk Reduction, Prevention, Risk Communication, Environmental Education, Network Analysis.

 

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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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