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Terrorism: Embassy bombings 'aimed at revitalising anarchist movement'

ultimo aggiornamento: 30 dicembre, ore 14:16
The parcel bombs which anarchist groups allegedly sent to three embassies in Rome in December and to a number of embassies in Athens are a bid to revitalise the anarchist movement, international terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins told Adnkronos International (AKI).


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Rome, 30 Dec. (AKI) - The parcel bombs which anarchist groups allegedly sent to three embassies in Rome in December and to a number of embassies in Athens are a bid to revitalise the anarchist movement, international terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins told Adnkronos International (AKI).

Jenkins (photo) said he did not believe the recent spate of embassy bombings were aimed at undermining diplomatic missions around the world.

"The terrorist bombings are not about destabilising the diplomatic network. They are about energising the movement," said Jenkins.

He is a senior advisor to United States non-profit research institute Rand Corporation.

"Convinced that the hated “system” is about to fall, some may persuade themselves that blowing off the hands of a mail clerk at an embassy will destabilise the world’s diplomatic network, rather than merely cause widespread revulsion and give the state an opportunity to crack down on anarchists," he told AKI.

But more cynical anarchist leaders welcome the publicity generated by such attacks as it makes members of the anarchist movement feel more important, while the violence can can attract at least a few new recruits, Jenkins argued.

"And arrests will create new martyrs, thus requiring new letter writing campaigns and fund raising activities. Loyalties will be reinforced," Jenkins said.

A package bomb was found on Monday outside the Greek embassy in Rome. Nobody was injured in this incident but two bombs at the Chilean and Swiss embassies in the Italian capital exploded last week, seriously injuring two people who opened them.

An Italian group called the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) claimed responsibility for Monday's defused letter bomb and the parcel bomb attacks on the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome on 23 December.

Greek police arrested two alleged members of an anarchist group, the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, which claimed responsibility for sending 14 letter bombs to embassies in Athens last month. They and other alleged members of the group are expected to go on trial on 17 January.

Italian police said the packages sent to the Greek, Chilean and Swiss embassies were of similar construction. A note attached to the Greek embassy bomb in Rome on Monday said the FAI was "striking again" in response to the appeal "sent by the Greek comrades of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire,” according to police.

Italian and Greek police officials say that anarchist groups across Europe maintain close ties with each other through the Internet, and often act to call attention to their cause.

"All extremists have benefited from the Internet. It allows the discontented to easily connect with one another, to find justification and reinforcement for their disillusion and anger, to feel and act as part of a global movement," noted Jenkins.

Besides their modern-day modes of communication, terrorist groups share a closed mindset and the use of violent attacks to make themselves appear more powerful and draw attention to themselves and their 'cause', he noted.

"Like many fanatics, those responsible for these bombings live in their own tiny universe of discourse. They breathe the same air. They share the same peculiar language, much of which is incomprehensible to outsiders.

"They view the world through the narrow lens of their ideology. What they see bears little resemblance to the world as it is, but as they talk and listen only to like-minded fanatics, they risk no reality check, but find only reinforcement for their extremist views.

"They all live in a mental closet. They see the world in black and white, us versus them," he said.

Jenkins voiced scepticism over any links between anarchist and jihadist groups raised as as possibility by Italy's interior minister Roberto Maroni last year.

"Nothing can be ruled out, but it is hard to see jihadists embracing anarchists as desirable or reliable allies," Jenkins said.

But he added: "Historically, some of Europe’s leftwing terrorists made common cause with fellow Marxist Palestinians, and the Iraqi insurgency provides some examples of pragmatic cooperation among the various resistance movements."


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