July 01, 2005

Under The Surface 

It's today's news, Italian DIGOS of Genova (a branch of Police specialized in anti-terrorism investigations and operations) arrested a number of people (Italian link) accused of being member of a sort of underground police which had countering Islamic terrorism as its main mission.

The waters around all this story are murky, as often happens in Italy when Secret Services are involved. The structure inside which this underground force allegedly grew is the DSSA (Department of Strategic Studies and Anti-terrorism), composed of personnel from different law enforcement and security agencies. Apparently this structure is not recognized as an official agency, tho, but it's more like a private enterprise. Among the people arrested there are law enforcement officers and businnesmen.

But the big guys of the enterprise were Gaetano Saya and Riccardo Sindoca, two guys with a past in the Secret Services and various semi-secret organizations such as the Massonic sect P2 (of which Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi was a member) and probably Gladio, the organization set up for self-defense in case of Soviet attack (incidentally, my father who had been a non-commisioned sergeant in the Army told me that if someone proposed him, he'd have joined such a self-defense organization). These two men also founded a nationalist party called "Destra Nazionale (National Right)"

But let's examine the charges that motivated the arrests: no truly eversive activities have emerged up to date. Members of the DSSA used their position to retrieve information from law enforcement's databases and to conduct unauthorized investigations and surveillance operations. A few semi-legal items (firearms etc) have been seized too, but apparently the main charge against Saya (DSSA's chief) is accepting illegal funding and "usurping the public security functions".

In truth, these charges appear rather thin; it is common opinion that Genova's attorney wanted to prevent a further "degeneration" of the DSSA. Other journalists hint that this was just a big scam in order to convince some subject to finance the structure. But in my opinion, Saya is the kind of guy that when says "I fight for my country" he really means it.

I'm torn, really: I know that secret, indipendent organizations are inherently dangerous and prone to degenerate into repressive structures and to prepare obscure and nefarious plots. On the other hand, it is also clear that often the normal law enforcement procedures are scarcely effective against the jihadi network. And when the government cannot or does not want to do more, private citizens with the relevant skills may decide to self-organize.

Wretchard does not know this story (yet), but in the last days he wrote two posts dealing with the same matter - what to do against the jihadi network. And, earlier, he also postulated that some in the West (and East too) may decide to form clandestine groups to fight the jihadis with dirty tactics. Consider also the story of the Swedish man taken hostage in Iraq and then freed, who hired bounty hunters (via LGF) to catch his captors, and you can see that our times are indeed interesting.


That's one of the problems of the "politically correct" aproach to fighting terrorism: it doesn't work, but the PC rules say you can't admit that, or talk about the problem. So successful opposition to the Islamofascists has to go underground & live in the shadows.

Sometimes it's hard to see any other way to do it...

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