French police investigating a young man shot dead after he attacked officers with a knife while shouting "Allahu Akbar” say that he was a convert to Islam and had this week updated his Facebook profile page with a photo of the black flag of the Islamic State reports stated on the 21 Dec 14. Police shot Bertrand Nzohabonayo after he wounded three officers outside a police station in Joue-les-Tours near the central city of Tours. Mr Nzohabonayo, a 20-year-old French national originally from Burundi, took the name of Bilal when he converted several years ago and had recently taken to posting radical Islamist statements on his Facebook page, according to intelligence sources. He was known to police for petty crimes but was not on any watch list of the French intelligence services, said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. "There are grounds to probe whether he (Nzohabonayo) acted alone, whether he followed orders, or whether it was a mindless action," the Tours prosecutor Jean-Luc Beck said. Mr Nzohabonayo turned up at the police station on the 20 Dec 14 afternoon and began banging on the door, police said. When an officer opened it, he slashed him in the face, narrowly missing his jugular, and he then managed to overcome and wound a second officer who had drawn his gun. A policewoman then shot him in the chest. In light of the recent attacks the French government have deployed up to 300 soldiers around the country over the Christmas period. Police and military patrols have also been instigated in areas frequented by the public following the attacks.
Italy – Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and president Giorgio Napolitano were on a terror "hit list" for a series of attacks planned by a clandestine neo-fascist network, prosecutors have claimed on the 23 Dec 14. Agents from ROS, the special operations arm of the Carabinieri paramilitary police, on the 22 Dec 14 arrested 14 members of the clandestine extremist group which modelled itself on a banned group called the "New Order" (or Ordine Nuovo). Prosecutors claim they were planning several "acts of violence against institutional targets" including politicians and judges that have not been seen in Italy since the 1970s. Apart from Mr Renzi and Mr Napolitano, the group is alleged to have planned attacks on the speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, Laura Boldrini, former premiers Mario Monti and Enrico Letta, and the former integration minister Cecile Kyenge, court documents claimed. Among those arrested was Rutilio Sermonti, a former member of the banned far-right group New Order which carried out a series of terror attacks in Italy during the 1970s and 1980s in a bid to restore the Fascist regime of wartime dictator Benito Mussolini. A former officer with the Carabinieri police, Stefano Manni, allegedly planned the terrorist operations. "Manni and his network considered the economic and political scene in Italy ripe to promote feelings of anti-Semitism and xenophobia, backed by instigation and inciting extreme actions directed against politicians and the judiciary," court documents said. Manni, 48, is alleged to have stockpiled arms and openly discussed plans for attacks on political leaders and government institutions including the tax collection agency, Equitalia. "This is the perfect historical moment to blow up Napolitano and his escort," Manni allegedly said in one message recorded by police. Police began investigating the group in 2013. Telephone intercepts of a meeting held in October 2013 revealed group members had extensive plans for carrying out violent attacks on specific targets. Investigators tapped conversations between Manni and another suspect, Franco Grespi, in which they referred to AK-47 assault rifles as "toffees" that they were trying to buy in Slovenia as well as explosives for bomb attacks. "This the moment to strike, but not blindly," Manni allegedly said. "Banks, prefectures, police stations, Equitalia offices with their employees inside need to be hit". Equitalia, the tax collection agency, was previously targeted by extremists in two separate attacks in Livorno and Rome in 2012. The political reaction to the latest arrests was muted but Riccardo Pacifici, the president of Rome's Jewish community, congratulated police on their investigation, saying Italian institutions were keeping close scrutiny on any attempt by anti-democratic groups to incite discrimination or violence for racist motives. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/11310486/Italian-PM-and-president-on-neo-fascist-terrorist-hit-list.html)
New Order or Ordine Nuovo – Pino Rauti was the founder of the outlawed Italian group, Ordine Nuovo (New Order). On 12 December 1969 the fascist Ordine Nuovo bombed the Piazza Fontana in Milan, killing 16 and wounding 90. In July 1970 Ordine Nuovo bombed the Rome-Messina train, killing 6 and wounding 100. In May 1974 eight activists were killed in Brescia when an anti-fascist march was hand-grenaded by Ordine Nuovo. The Armed Revolutionary Nuclei (ARN), an off-shoot of Ordine Nuovo, was responsible for the 1980 bombing of the Bologna train station which killed 85 people. Stefano delle Chiaie was the ARN architect of the Bologna massacre.
Sweden – Swedish police say two car bombs have shattered dozens of windows in a multiethnic district of Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city reports claim on the 20 Dec 14. Police spokeswoman Linda Pleym says no one was injured by Saturday’s pre-dawn explosions in Rosengaard, a district dominated by immigrants from Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia and Lebanon. One car bomb exploded at the foot of a building, the other in a parking lot nearby. It was unclear who was behind the two explosions and if they were connected. The blasts were the latest in a series that has rocked the southern Sweden city in recent months. 361 COMMENT: Reports during the reporting period of other incidents in Sweden are indicating that this is a country that we will hear more of in 2015. There are reports of a possible Mosque attack and that the police have cordoned off a street next to the police station in Malmo fearing an explosive device may be planted there. With the possible attack on a religious location it is certain to infuriate those who support the more fundamentalist and radicalized members of the Muslim Community in Sweden which will probably end up in a retaliatory attack. Again this type of ‘tit for tat’ attacks will only lead to incidents getting out of hand. It remains to be seen what will occur in the country next year. COMMENT ENDS
United Kingdom – The movement of various guard/sentry stations for the Queen’s Guard was observed around the beginning of Nov 14, according to a news and blogging website which reports on the royal family. Writing in the Sunday Mirror, police counter-terrorism adviser Sally Leivesley said that a Lee Rigby-style attack on a member of the Queen’s Guard would be “a hugely powerful signal”. “As a target it is incredibly significant for these groups to kill a British soldier in their home country,” she said. Two guard posts at Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince of Wales, have been moved from the entrance at Stable Yard Road to the front of the House gardens, beyond the gate. Posts at St James’s Palace have shifted from the front gates to a courtyard within the palace, only visible to tourists at a distance. The measures follow the murder of Fusilier Rigby and the Ottawa shootings in October, which claimed the life of Canadian soldier Corporal Nathan Cirillo while he was on ceremonial sentry duty. Although the palace officials have refused to comment a British newspaper claims that they were informed by a senior security source as saying the guards had been moved following an “acute”, specific threat. “Intelligence picked up (internet) chatter which is being taken seriously,” the source said. “ISIS know it would be very difficult to attack a member of the Royal family, but one of the Queen’s Guard would be a huge target for them.” 361 COMMENT: Although stated in the article the terrorists know it would be very difficult to attack a member of the Royal Family the propaganda value of attacking a member of the Royal guard at one of the residences would be immense value to them. COMMENT ENDS