Two foreign nationals, one Albanian and another Macedonian were expelled from Italy over the suspicion of links with radical Wahhabism.
According to the Italian Interior Ministry on Wednesday, police in the south-eastern port of Bari first started tracking the 36-year Macedonian and the 27-year old Albanian who were in close contact with a Moroccan so-called Islamic State affiliate via social media networks. According to the source, the two were sent on a plane and repatriated after police officers found they were in touch with extremists in Kosovo too. These terrorists in Kosovo had been charged with terrorism and had anti-western material on their computers, as reported the source.
Italy’s Interior Minister, Marco Minniti credited the law for helping save the country from more terrorist attacks. He underscored that since a legislation was passed on the fast-track expulsion of foreign nationals suspected with terrorist tendencies, the legislation has been applied against 121 suspects, 89 of them were deported in 2017 alone.
Italy has suffered from its share of political violence in recent decades, including the murder of two prominent anti-mafia judges in the 1990s. But unlike almost all of its big European neighbours, it has not witnessed a major terrorist attack since the 1980s.
Experts say Italy has learned harsh lessons from anti-mafia policing, understands dangers of radicalisation in jail, and also relies on surveillance and deportation. Some experts say Italy has been able to combat the threat of Isis domestically by mastering legal and policing tools developed through years of experience in mafia investigations, which in turn were born out of the so-called “years of lead” – the period between the late 1960s and early 1980s marked by acts of political terrorism by left- and rightwing militants.
Also, “The main difference is Italy doesn’t have a big population of second-generation immigrants that have been radicalised or could potentially be radicalised,” said Francesca Galli, an assistant professor at Maastricht University and an expert in counter-terrorism policies.