The Crime Terror Nexus was delighted to launch its paper on The Crime Terror Nexus in Italy and Malta at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, Milan. This paper presents an overview of links between crime and terrorism (the crime-terror nexus) in the Italy and Malta, highlights potential risks, and make series of recommendations for how such risks can be mitigated.
Though illicit activities are notoriously difficult to measure, the presence – or notable absence – of links between crime and terrorism can be seen in two areas: 1. Among mafia groups in Italy, which have not intentionally or formally collaborated with jihadist groups, but – especially through their involvement in people smuggling – may unwittingly facilitate the entry of jihadists into Europe; 2. In Italian prisons, where there is an emerging – albeit low-level – threat of prison radicalisation and cross-fertilisation between criminal and terrorist milieus.
Our recommendations include action on prisons, terrorist financing, information sharing, and collaboration between security agencies as well as between government and non-government actors. While Italian authorities have recognised and taken positive steps in relation to many of these concerns, the potentially most significant risk exists regarding people smuggling. Disrupting the activities of criminal groups in this area should be a priority
This paper is part of a Europe-wide survey that will produce similar reports for all European Union member states. The aim is to generate a more holistic understanding of threats from crime and terrorism, and promote new and innovative ways of tackling them.