|Milan: Center for radical Islam in Europe
By Jim Kouri
Italian officials have known for some time that their country was exporting Islamic militants and that the city of Milan is the center for these potential terrorists. Now the officials worry that militants may return from fighting in Iraq to carry out bombings in Europe, according to the BBC.
Considered the center for radical Islam in Europe, Muslims have arrived in Milan more recently and relatively few have acquired citizenship.
Prosecutors in Milan and Rome ordered dozens of raids in the aftermath of the London bombings last July, resulting in almost 200 arrests. Four expulsions of suspected Muslim extremists followed -- including an imam, a vice-president of an Islamic institute in Como, and a suspected member of an armed Algerian fundamentalist group, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington, DC think-tank.
"It's a community without integration," says Magdi Allam, well-known Egyptian-born columnist at the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
"The majority of Muslims in Italy don't speak Italian in a proper way, don't know the culture or the religion of the Italian people, and don't share the values of Italian society," he said.
He is deeply suspicious of mosques which have fallen under the sway of radical imams, according to the BBC. Sometimes these radical clerics resort to violence or threats of violence to push out more moderate Islamic clerics from their mosques.
Jihadist networks span Europe from Poland to Portugal, thanks to the spread of radical Islam among the descendants of guest workers once recruited to shore up Europe's postwar economic miracle, according to Robert Leiken of the Council on Foreign Relations.
In European cities such as Milan, Madrid and Marseilles, immigrants or their descendants are volunteering for jihad against the West. It was a Dutch Muslim of Moroccan descent, born and socialized in Europe, who murdered the filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam last November.
Leiken notes a Nixon Center study of 373 mujahideen in western Europe and North America between 1993 and 2004 found more than twice as many Frenchmen as Saudis and more Britons than Sudanese, Yemenites, Emiratis, Lebanese, or Libyans. Fully a quarter of the jihadists it listed were western European nationals -- eligible to travel visa-free to the United States.
The emergence of homegrown mujahideen in Europe threatens the United States as well as Europe. Yet it was the dog that never barked at last winter's Euro-American rapprochement meeting. Neither President George W. Bush nor Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice drew attention to this mutual peril, even though it should focus minds and could buttress solidarity in the West, according to Leiken.
Radical Islam is spreading across Europe among descendants of Muslim immigrants. Disenfranchised and disillusioned by the failure of integration, some European Muslims have taken up jihad against the West. They are dangerous and committed -- and can enter the United States without a visa.
According to Dr. Daniel Pipes, a leading expert on radical Islam and terrorism, Muslim life in Western Europe and North America is strikingly different. European cities such as Milan have seen the emergence of a culturally alienated, socially marginalized, and economically unemployed Muslim second generation whose pathologies have led to "a surge of gang rapes, anti-Semitic attacks and anti-American violence," not to mention the raging radical ideologies and terrorism.
North American Muslims are not as alienated, marginalized, and economically stressed.
They show less inclination to anti-social behavior, including Islamist violence. Those of them supporting jihad usually fund terrorism rather than personally engage in it. Therefore, most jihadist violence in North America is carried out by hit squads from abroad, as were the 9-11 attackers.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri's own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
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