Italy has always been in the gray area when it comes to Islamic terrorist activities, and has been a focal point for making connections and paths both territorially and economically and strategically.
The boot country has been less hit by terrorist attacks compared to other European countries, and is now a breeding ground for extremism and Islamic propaganda.
Two factors are contributing to this development: radicalization in prisons, and the establishment of a welfare system that is growing from the ground up - especially in the cities of southern Italy - and promoting religious missionary work.
And so extremist Islam in Italy fully implements the "Hamas model."
The resume of Hamas' political wing includes organizational skills, such as a steady flow of funds and the dissemination of news and messages to create a critical mass on social networks in Italy and Europe. The historical leader of this system is an architect named Muhammad Hanun. Genoa's prosecutor's office has previously investigated Hanoun following evidence of his involvement in a financing network equivalent to Hawala (a term for bank transfer), which operated in partnership with the largest mosques in northern Italy and transferred donations to Hamas.
International terrorist organizations take advantage of the fact that Hawala - which relies on non-bank remittances - is unsupervised, and as a remittance mechanism is difficult to deal with, as it exploits the weaknesses of the union based on freedom of movement.
Over the years, the system has evolved into a kind of "Hawala 2.0", a platform where illegal money is channeled through welfare organizations. The informal lending program is disguised through the purchase of durable goods and food products in partnership with companies operating from Turkey or Arab countries. A source revealed that "they buy at a low price, but in the balance sheets the full price is reported and this is done with the sellers' knowledge. The difference is transferred in cash and is used to finance arms deals, transfer money to the victims of Hamas' military wing and salaries to Hamas officers. "
This practice is practiced around the world, and sometimes involves funds from the European Union and other international funds, which unknowingly fund the ongoing war against the State of Israel.
The logistical and operational basis of the mechanism is in Italy, and Islamic organizations can transfer capital from Palestine to Italy easily and by a variety of means.
Italian intelligence sources state that architect Hanoun was and still is Hamas' only representative and coordinator of fundraising.
Geek has become the liaison for the Europeans for Al-Quds, a network of dozens of non-governmental organizations, NGOs and foundations that raise money and work for Palestine.
On its website, the association defines itself as "a group composed of dozens of institutions working for the Palestinian cause."
The NGOs involved work with the associations in the field.
Their legal structure, as well as the media attack that arises whenever legitimate questions arise about the use of European funds and donations for the Palestinian cause, makes it very difficult to keep track of the balance sheets and transfers of funds.
These organizations leave nothing to chance, and the operational base in Italy is also used to coordinate protests, demonstrations and a network of "influencers".
The connecting point between all the organizations is the hatred of Israel and the silencing of any opinion that deviates from the "pro-Palestinians" position in the public debate taking place in Italy.
This approach creates an atmosphere of absolute conformism stemming from the economic interests at stake, as well as touching on the Italian political system.
The author is an investigative journalist at
L'Espresso and La Repubblica
Were we wrong?
If you found an error in the article, we'll be happy for you to share it with us