Home » News@en » Issue 5 | 2017

Issue 5 | 2017


download-(buttons)Diego Bolchini, Terrorismo: quale modellazione del rischio? Alcune riflessioni preliminari

Il testo prende spunto da una pubblicazione realizzata nel 2015 dal CoE-DAT (Center of Excellence- Defence Against Terrorism) della NATO, riguardante possibili profili di modella­zione del rischio terroristico nello scenario contemporaneo. All’analisi testuale del Paper ven­gono associate alcune riflessioni, originanti dalla corrente letteratura esistente sul fenomeno terroristico e da casi empirici di studio tratti dalla cronaca recente. In conclusione, l’indirizzo programmatico auspicato è che tanto le scienze sociali di tipo “soft” quanto le scienze “dure” possano concorrere sempre maggiormente ed in modo integrato per la clinical recognition, change detection, diagnosi e possibile prognosi e contrasto del fenomeno terroristico inteso quale modalità di combattimento.


Terrorism; Risk Modeling; Anthropology; Asymmetric Warfare

download-(buttons)Marco Maiolino, An emerging and crucial change in the international security and defense community. Bringing the Socio-Cultural Perspective Back into the Intelligence Analytical Approach

According to the US National Intelligence Council (NIC) publication Global Trends 20301, the current and future world is and will be shaped by a number of influential factors:
– Individual empowerment is rising, thanks to the reduction of poverty, growing middle-class¬es, level of education, discovery and use of new technologies and improving sanitation.
– The patterns of global power will change, we are already observing an ongoing power tran-sition from a hegemonic to a multipolar world, where states are and will not be the sole power brokers, other actors will step up on the international stage.
– Demography will demonstrate to be crucial, growing against ageing populations, statistics foresee a 60% of the global population living in urban areas by 2030 and migrations will stabilise as a constant and growing phenomenon.
– Moreover, the climate change and resources scarcity is and will be another difficult chal¬lenge to global governance.
All those trends will be integrated by other vectors of change such as economic instability, efficiency of global governance, development and use of new technologies, regional instability and conflicts creation and resolution.
Now, taking into account the totality of those factors, the trajectory of a common upward sloping aggregate curve may be drown, insecurity will increase and, even more importantly, it will be com-posed by a basket of new and different threats.
These new trends and menaces will need to be detected, understood, prevented and ultimately engaged, and obviously old knowledge, tools and strategies will never fit the feat.
We live within a liquid reality, featured by the concept of constant evolution, hence, the security and defense cadre will have to bear the tough effort to adapt to new and complex environments, a pretty difficult task.
Within this framework the concept and meaning of conflict is changed as well. Warfare may no longer be intended as a pure matter of states, brought about by the physical engagement of official and opposing armies. Since the end of World War Two, the international Law of Armed Conflict
already started to regulate a new set of actors: insurgents, national liberation movements, lawful and unlawful combatants. However, the transformation is much wider, this is the era of Hybrid Warfare . This paper will present Human Dynamics and, more precisely, Sociocultural Intelligence (SO- CINT) as innovative and useful tools to face the new conflict scenario.
The need to deeply understand the field of operation, but more broadly the international environ¬ment with its different social and cultural contexts, political and legal features, economic conditions, groups composition and influence, is key, for the intelligence and the wider security and defense community. Not only to bring about successful operations in territories where military forces are engaged. The even greater advantage would be determined by the possibility to understand, control and dissolve threats before they turn into crisis.
This preventive effect, shows clearly how social sciences and the socio-cultural perspective must be applied not only to the military domain, rather, it is best suited for the most comprehensive intelli¬gence spectrum .
Following the guiding principles expressed above, this paper is going to explore the re-employment of Human Dynamics as a source of revolution for the international Intelligence Community and its methodological and analytical angle. The work will be developed starting from the intelligence history underlining the past role and space of employment of social sciences, the subsequent step will regard the description of socio-cultural intelligence as a discipline, what it is (scientific background), how it works (methodology), and why it is important. Furthermore, the main international examples of socio-cultural Intelligence application will be provided.
Concluding, socio-cultural Intelligence material application will be discussed.


Intelligence, human dynamics, counter-terrorism

download-(buttons)Mauro Pastorello & Marianna Testa, Intelligence failures: between theories and case studies

The main objective of this paper is to understand why the Intelligence Community at time fails, taking in account several major intelligence failures starting from the most shocking one in the twentieth century – the 9/11 terrorist attack – to the most recent – France and Belgium multiple attacks.
Intelligence failures are not easy to study because there is not accepted single theory that ex¬plains why the intelligence community fails. This field of interest, which has his roots in the Pearl Harbor surprise attack, has always attracted interest. This interest is due because of the importance of the Intelligence Community role in the security field. The most studied intel¬ligence failure episode was the attack on Pearl Harbor, but a major interest arose when one of the most shocking, for the western world, surprise attack took place within the United States. The 9/11 terrorist attacks. What went wrong? Although surprise attacks are not the only types of intelligence failures, we will focus on them because of the sadly recent events.

This paper is structured as follow:

Paragraph 1. Takes in account the different definitions of the word “intelligence” which can be an organization, information, a process, a product. To better understand the intelligence failures we decided that the best definitions to rely on are intelligence as information and as a process. Intelligence as information is defined as a tangible product to collected and analyz­ed; and intelligence as a process (the intelligence cycle) is composed of five important steps, which are: requirements, collection, analysis, production and dissemination.

Paragraph 2. The aim of this paragraph is to explore the different theories of the intelligence failures and try to understand which one can be applied for our case studies. The traditional school believes that the problem of the intelligence failure lies in faulty analysis of the avail­able information: the failures lies in the analysis stage. While for the contrarian school the problem rises in the collection stage: intelligence officials need to rely more on the use of the intelligence means (HUMNIT, TECHINT, SIGINT, IMINT) for a better information collection. The reformist school does not recognize the problem in the intelligence cycle but in the organizational structure of the intelligence agencies. Complex structures, hierarchies, specialization can limit the sharing of important information: the dots are not connected.

Paragraph 3. The third paragraph regards the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Is worth saying that intelli­gence as “information” matches perfectly for this specific case: the information regarding the attacks were present but the organizational structure of the American intelligence community failed to connect the dots. We can easily say that US intelligence community failed to prevent the 9/11 terrorist attacks because the American intelligence agencies did not share information due to their complex organizational structure. For the different nature, protocols, cultures, internal problems, and interest the FBI and CIA did not share several important information. Paragraph 4. After analyzing the different theories and the first case study we agree in recogniz­ing that the problem of the intelligence agencies in non- sharing information is due because of their organizational structure (of course, this is not valid for all the intelligence failure events as the intelligence can fail for other reasons also). This last paragraph simply describes and analyzes two tragic events that took place in Europe between 2015 and 2016: the Paris attacks and Brussels attacks. Just like the 9/11 case study we agree in addressing the failure of the in­telligence community of both countries in not sharing information.


Intelligence, Intelligence failure, Intelligence bias, Intelligence Community, Intelligence the­ories, Intelligence schools, terrorist attack.

download-(buttons)Urszula Soler & Marek GórraPopulism as an element of security policy. The 2016 Polish Anti-terrorism Law – a case study

The European Union is facing the trouble which the US, after 9/11, had to deal with. How much safety are we ready to sacrifice for freedom and how many privileges and civil liberties can we give away for common safety, and finally: when is enough, enough? Europe is not as lavish with freedom slogans as the US, but we can assume that Europe is going to put an end to limiting civil liberties faster than Americans are. Reaction to terrorist attacks might be „a way towards populism”. Populism is especially visible during turning points or times of politi­cal crisis. Often the reaction of the state is inadequate to a terrorist attack. Almost every act of terrorism results in a strong reaction from the state. Usually, the first decision made is a halt in current law and order. Special rules and regulations become more significant.

The article suggests that both authoritarianism and populism are part and parcel of political culture and they appear in the face of national danger. What is more, it is not clear which actions and repression used by the authorities could be considered anti-terrorism tactics, and which mere populist and authoritarian actions. This article analyzes whether there is a relation between democracy and terrorism. In other words, greater fear of the unknown results in an increase of authoritarian feeling and leads to looking for controversial and sometimes radical, solutions. Apparently, the more democratic a country, the more dissatisfied a society is, which contributes to lesser understanding of the complexity of the process and to making judgments as well.

This paper analyze the Anti-terrorism Law, passed by the Polish Parliament in June, 2016. The said regulation is a way of a showing the authorities’ will to manifest their consistent and uncompromising attitude towards threats. The Law intends to introduce: purchase of pre-paid cell phones only on presentation of an ID; holding in custody for 14 days those suspected of terrorism and also carrying out house searches at all times. However, some parts of this regula­tion seem to be colliding with the idea of a democratic state in which freedom is the superior value. The conflict, which has been caused while passing this Law, addresses two issues. The first one is a traditional conflict of values between security and liberty. The second one is a manifestation of a populist, and perhaps naive, belief that strict law will be an effective weapon against terrorism.

It is very difficult to eradicate populism. It is going to be present one way or the other in the public sphere. What is more, populism is so flexible that it can adjust to any doctrine and political conditions. It is worth to verify if do modern, democratic citizens of Europe need populist governments? The answer to this question lies in social behaviors, especially during election campaigns in which politicians present their fresh and pragmatic look. The remedy for populist slogans is knowledge; it is also an effective tool in understanding the complex socio-political events.


Counterterrorism, security, surveillance, Patriot Act, Freedom Act, freedom, privacy

download-(buttons)Marek Górra & Urszula Soler, Public sentiment after the terrorist attacks and their impact on the attitudes on Polish people

Terrorism occurs in all parts of the world although most incidents occur in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Terror is first of all the terror of the next attack. Killing dozens or hun­dreds people is not the ultimate goal of terrorism. These events achieve a broader goal of cre­ating division, fear, and escalating racist and xenophobic trends. Populist, far-right groups may well fuel more hatred. What if terrorism contributes to political and social disruption, which in turn leads to even more grievances that inspire further campaigns of political violence? From Denmark to the Netherlands to Poland, a new wave of rightwing parties has emerged over the past decade-and-a-half, and they are casting a much wider net than Jean-Marie Le Pen ever at­tempted to. And by deftly appealing to fear, nostalgia and resentment of elites, they are rapidly broadening their base. Such organisations, just like other populist and anti-immigrant parties gaining support in the polls across Europe, have been quick to make political capital from the attacks, citing them as proof that all their fears about Islamism were true.
The aim of the thesis is to discuss recent acts of terrorism in Europe in 2015-2016 and their influence on both the social attitude and the political decisions of the ruling elites in Europe. Therefore, the thesis is trying to answer the question whether the rise of a terrorist threat entails an increased support for radical, populist and nationalist movements in Poland.
The questions asked to the two groups of people representing two opposing social groups, were quite a challenge. Both groups, despite being different from each other, take part in an ongoing public discussion about what could be done to limit the terrorists threat. The threat of terrorism in Poland is more serious now than in the previous years. It is worth examining how society perceives the problem of terrorism and whether the anxiety connected with it could have any impact on the shape of the political scene. Statistical data show that the sense of terrorist threat in society has been politicised and the differences between particular political circles run along the ideological divisions.
An important field of research, picturing social attitudes is an analysis of the society in the perspective of sociodemographic divisions.

Having to verify some correlations between terroristic attacks and an increase in the hostility towards refugees, it is worth confronting those tragic events with the data illustrating the cur­rent attitudes in society.


Terrorism, Escalation, Radicalization, Populism, Poland


download-(buttons)Claudio Bertolotti, Intelligence e definizione della minaccia. Dal terrorismo convenzionale al “Nuovo Terrorismo Insurrezionale” di matrice islamica: Foreign Fighter e “lupi solitari come fattore di destabilizzazione interna agli Stati.

The 2015-2016 terrorist attacks in Europe confirm the effective operational capability of the “phenomenon” Islamic State (IS), that has shifted from the quasi-state nature with a territorial control, to a denationalized and without borders nature.
An evolution that shows, on the one hand, a “business approach” based on the four phases of marketing, premium-branding, franchising and outsourcing; on the other hand this evolution, represents the adaptation of the guerrilla and military approach to the “European urban oper­ational warfare”, in particular because the suicide commandos and the tactical “team-raids”.Furthermore, the “phenomenon Islamic State” is growing its potential offensive capability because of four human elements: the return of the foreign fighters, the role played by the “lone-wolves” (“proximity” operational subjects) in their own countries, the women, in oper­ational roles in para-military units or in “social roles” as mothers and wives and, finally, the child-soldiers – also known as “lion cubs” – employed also as suicide attackers.
Taking into consideration the changing nature of the threat and the approach to contrast it, what is still missing is a common definition of the new model of terrorism and its character­istics.
It lacks of a theoretical and legal approach that could influence the effectiveness of a strategy to contrast the phenomenon because of absence of a common and shared vision on the men­ace, in particular by the intelligence agencies, the national and international police and the strategic analysts.
In the current debate on what are the characteristics of the threat, its weaknesses and the pos­sible solution, Author of the present article proposes a new methodological approach finalized to define, understand and analyze the phenomenon, starting from the specific nature of a terrorism that is fluid, dynamic and multidimensional: the “New Insurrectional Terrorism”.


Foreign Fighter, intelligence, Isis, Islamic State, New Insurrectional Terrorism, suicide com­mando, terrorism

download-(buttons)Deborah Basileo, From ‘foreign fighters’ to ‘foreign terrorist fighters’: the evolution of terrorism

Up to 30,000 foreign terrorist fighters are estimated to have joined the conflict in Syria under the ISIS flag. Although foreign fighters’ phenomenon is not new, its unprecedented numbers and its rapid evolution caught the whole International Community unprepared. Worried by the sophisticated radicalisation process through the Internet and social media platforms, the lack of borders’ control capacity, the evasive travel patterns, and fearing the so-called ‘blow- back effect’, the UN Security Council provided the first targeted response to foreign fighters with the adoption of Resolution 2178(2014), definitely turning the concept of ‘foreign fighters’ in ‘foreign terrorist fighters’. Totally overturning academics and scholars’ definitions, the UN Security Council identified foreign fighters as individuals travelling for purpose of terrorism, and called for Member States to criminalize such conduct. This article will analyse the main factors which lead to the evolution of foreign fighters’ concept, trying to figure out the conse­quences and the outcomes.


Foreign fighters, foreign terrorist fighters, ISIS, terrorism, UN Security Council, Resolution 2178(2014), combattenti stranieri, Consiglio di Sicurezza, terrorismo intemazionale, Stato Islamico, Risoluzione 2178(2014), Comunità Internazionale.

download-(buttons)Sergio Salazar Villamarin, The Islamic State and terrorism: inner working of ISIL related to the role of foreign fighters

The Islamic State (IS) is one of the most deadly terrorist organizations completely different to the many ones existing nowadays. Its difference relies on the idea of achieving a world­wide “Caliphate”, meaning an organized self-productive institution ruled by Shar’ia Law as its political and religious code to govern, looking towards to be considered as a structured state. However, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of Foreign Fighters, which has developed into one of its most important elements in order to spread a new wave of terrorist attacks around the world.
The main idea of the article is an attempt to answer a particular question: by the analysis of the profile of Foreign Fighters and the modus operandi of the attacks, Does IS performs its terrorist attacks as organized cells, as self independent lone-wolfs or by the new procedure known as zombies supervised by a Command Control Body? Or the Islamic State’s propaganda is the only trigger needed to perform such violent outbreaks anywhere, at any time?


Islamic State, Foreign Fighters, Radicalization, Europe’s terrorist Attacks, IS Recruitment, IS Modus Operandi


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.