Kosovo Albanian Jihadists Planned to Attack Venice’s Rialto Bridge

Share

Hits: 1594

Italian police broke up an alleged jihadist cell in Venice who had celebrated last week’s terrorist attack in London and planned to blow up the city’s famous Rialto Bridge in the hope of killing hundreds of tourists. In a series of overnight raids, anti-terrorism police arrested three suspects, all of them Kosovars who were living in Italy.

Fisnik Bekaj, 24, Dake Haziraj, 25, and Arian Babaj, 27, were allegedly admirers of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and were secretly recorded discussing how they were ready to die for the sake of jihad. A fourth person, an unnamed minor also originally from Kosovo, was detained.

In wire-tapped telephone conversations, the suspects were recorded appearing to celebrate last week’s attack in London, in which Muslim convert Khalid Masood, 52, drove a car into crowds walking across Westminster Bridge, killing three people, before fatally stabbing a policeman, Keith Palmer, outside Parliament.

A phone intercept caught one of the men telling another: “You’ll go straight to paradise because of all the infidels in Venice. Put a bomb on the Rialto.”

In another conversation, one of the men said: “I can’t wait to take an oath to Allah. If they let me take the oath, I’m ready to die.”

They were all attached to the ideology of ISIS and interested in recent attacks, above all the one in London, which they praised (Adelchi D’Ippolito).

Built in the late 16th century and spanning the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge is one of Venice’s most iconic landmarks.  Millions of tourists tramp over it each year as they make their way to St Mark’s Square and other well-known attractions in the World Heritage city.

Adelchi D’Ippolito, a prosecutor involved in the investigation, described the suspects as “truly dangerous”.  “There was great adherence to the ideology of Isis and support for recent attacks, above all the one in London, to which they gave great appreciation,” he said.

Italian police released photos of the suspects, including a minor who was detained but not identified. Credit: AFP

The suspects had embarked on a training programme, putting themselves through physical exercises and viewing videos of Isil extremists explaining how to carry out knife attacks, the prosecutor said.

Police conducted a dozen raids in Venice’s historic centre, the nearby industrial town of Mestre on the mainland and the city of Treviso. They found a number of pistols as well as evidence that the trio had downloaded information from extremist websites about how to make bombs and carry out attacks with knives.

Police had kept the alleged cell under surveillance for months. The undercover operation began last year after one of the men came back from a trip to Syria. All had residency permits and were living in Italy legally. “There was a lot of talk about unconditional support to Isil. It wasn’t just theory and dogma,” said Mr D’Ippolito. The suspects were close to moving towards “planning and projects”, he said.

Two of the men worked as waiters in Venice and one of them was arrested in an apartment close to La Fenice, Venice’s historic opera house. “Compliments to the forces of law and order for having carried out this important operation,” said Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice. He thanked the police for “breaking up a dangerous and active jihadist cell in the centre of the city”.

Around 300 Kosovars have gone to fight with Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq, including Isil and al-Nusra Front.

Kosovo once had the dubious distinction of producing the highest number, per capita, of “foreign fighters” of any country in Europe.  The number of Kosovars joining extremist groups has waned in the last year, partly as a result of the government cracking down on recruitment by radical imams and partly because of an education campaign.

Soldiers patrol Saint Mark’s Square  Credit: Reuters

In November, Italy expelled a 24-year-old Kosovar with alleged links to terrorism. Gaffur Dibrani had lived near the town of Brescia for a decade and had alleged ties to a Moroccan extremist who joined Isil.

Also in November, Kosovan authorities arrested 19 people with alleged links to Isil who were suspected of plotting attacks in Kosovo and against the Israeli football team in a World Cup qualifier against Albania.

In December, German authorities arrested two brothers from Kosovo on suspicion of planning an attack on a shopping centre in the city of Oberhausen near the Dutch border. The arrests came a few days after the Berlin terrorist attack, in which Anis Amri, a Tunisian, drove a truck into a Christmas market. He was later shot dead by police in Italy.


Originally published on 2017-03-30

Source: The Telegraph

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

READ MORE!
Russia’s Geopolitical Interests in the Balkans
First of all, taking into consideration the particular region of the Balkans in the context of Russia's national interests, we should consult official documents reflecting the wishes and intentions of the government. It is therefore necessary to consider Russia’s foreign policy doctrine. Foreign policy strategy The Russian Federation's previous foreign policy doctrine was made public on July 15th, 2008. Russian objectives were marked as the following: - Impacting global processes in order to establish a just and democratic world order based on collective principles in solving international problems and on the rule of international law, primarily the UN Charter provisions as well as equal ...
READ MORE
“Operation Unthinkable” (1945) and US-NATO’s Threats to Wage War on Russia
Five days before the celebration of the 71th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s capitulation to the Soviet and allied troops in the WWII, the new NATO Supreme Commander in Europe Curtis Scaparrotti announced that he came to beat the drums of war again. Ignoring the historic facts and legitimate Russian interests in its around, in his first speech after assuming office he condemned alleged “Russian aggressive behavior that challenges international norms” and called the bloc members to “fight tonight if deterrence fails.” This commonplace declaration fairly correlates with the military and media strategy the Western ruling class adopted decades ago. Even putting aside the ...
READ MORE
Albanian Terrorists as Official NATO Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo Members
Remember watching ancient Orthodox Christian monasteries in flames in Kosovo dozen times.Old, noble constructions, spiritual and historical testimonies of past times.I also remember that majority of Orthodox Christian monasteries, churches and relics has been attacked and destroyed after NATO forces (officially: KFOR) took full control of the Serbian province.It amazed me to see how Western soldiers, under full equipment and heavy armament, often didn’t make a single move to stop Albanian violence; over 200 000 Serbs had to flee, in order to save their bare lives, bearing whole their lives in few suitcases if they were lucky enough.It turned out ...
READ MORE
Slobodan Milosevic: The Killing of an Innocent Man
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague quietly acknowledged the innocence of former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic. Ten years after the very suspicious death of the Serbian leader in a Dutch prison, the 1,300th page of the 2,000-page document on the case of Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader, acknowledged that Milosevic had not committed crimes against humanity, nor had he organized any mass killings or deportations of Croats and Bosnians. In other words, it was an innocent man who died in a UN prison. French journalist Dimitri De Koshko was working in Yugoslavia ...
READ MORE
The United States: Destroyer of Nations
After the Donald Trump administration’s decision to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, the national aspirations of the Palestinian people to live in their own state have been severely dashed by Washington’s move. Ever since the formation of the United States, it has been American policy to destroy aspirant nations like the internationally-recognized State of Palestine.The first nation destroyed by the United States was the Cherokee Nation, or Tsalagihi Ayeli, which, beginning in 1794, was slowly decimated by forced removals from territory in Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama, ...
READ MORE
Myths and Facts about the 1967 Six-Day War
June 5 marks the 50th anniversary of Israel’s Six-Day War of conquest. Any objective examination of that war, and the events leading to and following it, make clear that the dominant narrative in the United States is reality turned upside down. It is “fake news” that is perpetrated on the public by the corporate media continually, right up to the present day.The Six Day War began on June 5, 1967. Israel launched the war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan with what could correctly called a “sneak attack,” although it is never referred to that way here. In the vocabulary of ...
READ MORE
The Vatican Bank Clean Up is a Cover Up:  Nazi Linked Assets Ignored
Washington: Cardinal George Pell, who is Vatican Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, told The Tablet, a Catholic newspaper on June 17, 2016, that: ““The Vatican is committed to transparency, international cooperation and the use of contemporary international standards in financial reporting.” Cardinal Pell further praised Jean Baptiste de Franssu, the director of the Vatican Bank as one who had done “an excellent clean out job.” Pell further stated: “Pope Francis continues to insist that the financial reforms must continue.” Nowhere in Pell’s message was there any mention of the Nazi linked Ustasha Treasury first identified by the US State department in ...
READ MORE
The Worst Mistake in U.S. History
The worst mistake in U.S. history was the conversion after World War II of the U.S. government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state. Nothing has done more to warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values of the American people, including those who serve in the U.S. military.A good example of how the national-security state has adversely affected the thinking of U.S. soldiers was reflected in an op-ed entitled “What We’re Fighting For” that appeared in the February 10, 2017, issue of the New York Times. Authored by an Iraq War veteran named Phil Klay, the article ...
READ MORE
The Macedonian Name Deal Threatens to Erase European Identity
The Liberal-Globalists are carrying out another socio-political experiment in the Balkan petri dish, this time using the Macedonians as lab rats for testing how to most effectively erode a people’s identity before rolling out their weaponized model for replicating this on a continental scale, which they hope will enable them to erase the various nationalisms of Europe in their quest to transform the EU into a “federation of regions”. The Republic of Macedonia and Greece reached a tentative deal to change the former’s constitutional name to the so-called “Republic of North Macedonia” as a “compromise” for Athens agreeing to Skopje’s membership ...
READ MORE
The Great Powers and Global Politics
TerminologyA meaning of the term Great Power(s) (GP) in global politics from the beginning of the 16th century onward refers to the most power and therefore top influential states within the system of the international relations (IR). In other words, the GP are those and only those states who are modelling global politics like Portugal, Spain, Sweden, France, the United Kingdom, united Germany, the USA, the USSR, Russia or China. During the time of the Cold War (1949−1989) there were superpowers[1] as the American and the Soviet administrations refered to their own countries and even a hyperpower state – the ...
READ MORE
The Nation-State: Post-Mortem
“Balkanization” is the weaponized perversion of anti-colonialism taken to its ultimate extreme, and it’s being wielded by the declining Unipolar World Order to divide and conquer the Eastern Hemisphere in order to prevent the natural emergence of multipolar civilizational blocs as the inevitable outcome of Silk Road Globalization.The rising trend of separatist and autonomous movements in Western Europe, the cradle of the modern-day nation-state system, has prompted concern that the end of the nation-state era is drawing near. To be clear, a nation-state isn’t the same as an ethnic state, although there’s sometimes an overlap such as in the cases ...
READ MORE
Neo-Nazi Network in German Army Exposed
The arrest of a German army officer suspected of plotting the assassination of leftist politicians and high-ranking state officials has exposed the operations of neo-Nazi forces at the highest levels of the German military (Bundeswehr). The information that has emerged thus far indicates that the suspected officer-terrorist was part of a broader network of fascists within the Bundeswehr, and that his activities were known to his superiors and covered up by them. Most astonishing is the official reaction to these alarming revelations. They have prompted an outpouring of anger in the German media and from the establishment parties directed not at the ...
READ MORE
Book Review: NATO War Crimes: “Media Lies and the Conquest of Kosovo”
Media Lies and the Conquest of Kosovo: NATO’s Prototype for the Next Wars of Globalization. Publisher: Unwritten History, Inc., New York, 2007. By Michel Collon, 276 pages, with photographs and maps. “Each war begins with media lies.” This is how Belgian journalist Michel Collon begins his analysis of the Kosovo conflict which resulted in the U.S. and NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia in 1999 and the subsequent occupation of the Serbian Kosovo province by U.S. and NATO troops. The U.S. and NATO had launched a war of aggression without United Nations approval and in violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of ...
READ MORE
Macedonization of Macedonia
As a matter of historical fact, a separate Macedonian ethnonational identity did not exist until the second half of the 19th century. This is partly due to the fact that Macedonia was ruled by Ottoman Empire for a longer period of time: from 1371 to 1912. It is known that Ottoman authorities did not recognize any kind of ethnonational or ethnolinguistic identities but rather only the confessional (millet-system). Therefore, the Christians of Macedonia were not differentiated between themselves on the ethnic bases. Furthermore, Macedonian territories were inhabited by different ethnic, linguistic and religious groups (Slavic- and Greek-speaking Christians, Turkish- and ...
READ MORE
The Balkans today
The political settlement in the former Yugoslavia is unraveling. In Bosnia, the weakest state in the region, both Serbs and Croats are mounting a concerted challenge to the Dayton peace accords, the delicate set of compromises that hold the country together. In Macedonia, political figures from the large Albanian minority are calling for the federalization of the state along ethnic lines. In Kosovo, the Serb minority is insisting on the creation of a network of self-governing enclaves with effective independence from the central government. In Serbia’s Presevo Valley, Albanians are agitating for greater autonomy. In Montenegro, Albanians have demanded a ...
READ MORE
Exporting Fascism: US Imperialism in Latin America
The US sanctions against Venezuela, signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 18, 2014, resulted from charges of protestors’ rights being violated by the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro.The sanctions allow the Obama administration to deny visas and freeze the assets of Venezuelan officials accused of violating the rights of anti-government groups. These groups, comprised mainly of the right-wing opposition, have been leading violent protests in Caracas since last February. US leaders blame the Venezuelan leadership, headed by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, for the deaths of 43 people during such demonstrations, which included both government ...
READ MORE
The Russian Minority Question in Estonia
A historical overview and Estonia's minorities Estonia (Eesti, Estland) is a Baltic state that was colonized by the German Teutonic Order of Knights from 1346 being, therefore, dominated politically and economically by a German-speaking landowning aristocracy, which succeeded to maintain its social and economic position even during the Swidish occupation of the territory of present-day Estonia from 1561 to 1721 and for most period of subsequent Russia's administration since 1721 to 1915. From 1855 the ethnic Estonians received the right to possess the land. Migration increased the Estonian population in the cities during the time of the Russian administration. It is ...
READ MORE
Serbia Found not Guilty of Ethnic Cleansing
Clinton/NATO Intervention In Balkans Revealed As Half-Witted DhimmitudeFebruary 26, 2007- San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Twelve years after the alleged Srebrenica massacre, the International Court of Justice [ICJ] has found that charges alleging that a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing by the Bosnian Serb government was used against the Bosnian Muslims are baseless, yet the court adamantly maintains a belief in the myth of Srebrenica, much in the way that Islamists worldwide hold on to the Jenin hoax because both serve to stoke anti-Western, anti-Israel sentiment.From the beginning it should have been clear that the Clinton administration's decision to ...
READ MORE
US Helping Ukrainian Putschists Wage War on Donbass
Since putschists usurping power in Ukraine launched war without mercy in April 2014 against freedom fighters in Donbass rejecting fascist rule, Washington provided political and military support.Under Obama, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) funding included hundreds of millions of dollars to Kiev for weapons and other material support, along with training by US special forces.Trump may increase support for escalated aggression. A Pentagon and State Department proposal calls for supplying Javelin missiles, possibly along with anti-aircraft weapons.Claiming these and other US-supplied weapons are only for defense, not offense, ignores where they’ll be deployed – along the contact line, separating armed ...
READ MORE
Racism in the United States
If anyone needed another reminder that Black lives simply don’t matter in the United States of America, the police in Minneapolis have clearly demonstrated that fact.It will be a long time before I will forget the picture of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck. Even that statement is shocking. I still have not forgotten a very similar picture from 2014: a Black man on the ground being choked by a white policeman. In that earlier time, the victim was Eric Garner. His murderer, Daniel Pantaleo, faced no charges. Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder three days after ...
READ MORE
Russia’s Geopolitical Interests in the Balkans
“Operation Unthinkable” (1945) and US-NATO’s Threats to Wage War on Russia
Albanian Terrorists as Official NATO Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo Members
Slobodan Milosevic: The Killing of an Innocent Man
The United States: Destroyer of Nations
Myths and Facts about the 1967 Six-Day War
The Vatican Bank Clean Up is a Cover Up: Nazi Linked Assets Ignored
The Worst Mistake in U.S. History
The Macedonian Name Deal Threatens to Erase European Identity
The Great Powers and Global Politics
The Nation-State: Post-Mortem
Neo-Nazi Network in German Army Exposed
Book Review: NATO War Crimes: “Media Lies and the Conquest of Kosovo”
Macedonization of Macedonia
Dysfunction in the Balkans – Can the Post-Yugoslav Settlement Survive?
Exporting Fascism: US Imperialism in Latin America
The Russian Minority Question in Estonia
Serbia Found not Guilty of Ethnic Cleansing
US Helping Ukrainian Putschists Wage War on Donbass
Racism in the United States
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share