Extremism ? Terrorism ? In all sorts

Have we not taken note ? What went unseen ?

Have we not taken note ? What went unseen ?
What are we facing ? Which dangers ? What are the indications ? Have we been short sighted ? An attempt to analyze and understand

News item 1 :
End of June , The Local website said that a Swedish court fines a man for not deleting hate speech on Facebook, adding that the 52-year-old man who neglected to delete racist comments in his Facebook group has been fined, after facing court for not deleting eight "grossly insulting" comments made by other people in the group.
Eskilstuna District Court said in a statement on Tuesday that it agreed with the prosecutor that the comments were clearly to be considered acts of agitation against ethnic groups.
The man denied responsibility, saying he had not seen the comments.
However, according to the verdict seen by The Local, the court found that he must have seen six of these comments himself and actively intended not to remove them. The other two comments had also been brought to his attention, but he "remained passive" and showed "gross negligence" by not deleting them.
The court based its ruling on Sweden’s law on bulletin board systems, which states that a person who provides such a forum could also be responsible for what is written by other users.
The law dates back to the late 1990s, before Facebook existed, but the court ruled that the social media site falls under the same legislation – a decision that could set a legal precedent in Sweden.

Legal experts said they believe the case could be appealed to Sweden’s Supreme Court.
The Facebook group was originally set up in 2017 under the name Stand Up For Peter Springare – a police officer who caused controversy after writing on his own Facebook profile that most of his cases involved foreign-born criminals.
Three months later the group had around 226,000 members. It later changed its name after Springare himself strongly criticized it and said he did not want to be associated with a group that "propagates xenophobic, racist and other degrading statements about immigrants or other people".

News item 2 :
The same day : Swedish gang leader shot dead in Copenhagen

Two Swedish men were killed in Copenhagen on Tuesday night after unknown assailants fired more than ten shots into their Malmö-registered car.

According to the Expressen newspaper, one of the two men was a leading figure in the Shottaz gang, based in and around the troubled Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby.
 
"Swedish police have been in contact with Danish police since yesterday evening and we have been following the situation and the developments since then," Mattias Sigfridsson, assistant superintendent of the Malmö Police, told the local Kvällsposten newspaper. 
 
The victims were driving into the northern Copenhagen suburb of Herlev at 5.50pm on Tuesday, when their car was hit by a rain of bullets, which police believe came from an automatic rifle and a pistol. 
 
One of the two men was killed immediately while the second died later in the evening in hospital. According to Denmark’s Ekstra Bladet newspaper a third man, who was also in the car, escaped unscathed. 

News item 3 :
A week earlier, the New York Times reported that the Killing of German Politician Is Treated as Possible Terrorist Act

Germany’s attorney general’s office took over the investigation into the killing of a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party, days after the authorities arrested a suspect with a history of violence and ties to far-right extremists.

Federal prosecutors take over cases that are thought to be politically motivated and pose a nationwide threat. They said that they were still investigating whether others might have been involved in the death of the official, Walter Lübcke, but said that so far they had no indication that a terrorist organization was involved.

Question : what is the binding factor between these 3 events, happening in 3 different countries of the European continent ?

This is a very alarming situation, bells actually should have rung since a while. While nobody argues against the necessity of combating terrorism, in all its facets, and using all sorts of socio-security-economic-cultural factors, there is a growing concern that another breed of terrorism was taking momentum and went unseen, or at least given a blind eye sometimes: it is the home grown terrorism.

Some analyses are of the view that too much efforts and resources were directed to combating terrorism, to confront the wave that swept across Europe in the early 2010s. Sure the situation was delicate, combined with the mass exodus of the Middle East refugees who flooded Europe in 2015, piling up more difficulties to the crumbling legal and security mechanism that was dealing with this new situation.

The phenomenon of this home grown ( ultra-right ) extremism ( labeled as ultra populist movement ) was due :

1-in part to the fact that it might have been seen as a normal response from within these societies to the growing danger of terrorism

2-to the fact that there was an enormous, newly born and dangerous trend of home grown-internal-online terrorism, that took everyone by surprise. This phenomenon left the traditional terrain altogether ( media, cinema & arts, newspapers ...etc ) for the political elite and the civic society, and embark on a different journey, tapping the enormous resources of the strong arm of social media, recruiting quietly hundreds of thousands of followers across the continent, influenced sometimes by a nationalistic discourse even from abroad, where geographical borders have scrambled in front of a pan-west ideology, intriguingly pushed by a nationalist and closed geography definition.

3-the machine dealing with the growing terror danger, was suffering from wear and tear, since it was working in such a mechanism that was not taking the changes our societies were going through.

Take for example the case of the politician murder in Germany. If the motive is confirmed, the murder would be post-war Germany’s first killing of a politician by a far-right perpetrator.

A growing number of politicians and statesmen across the board, are becoming of the view that there seems to be serious socio-security problems in Europe that need to be properly addressed

The local added that the Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who called the killing an "alarm bell" for Germany, acknowledged that "far-right extremism is a significant and serious danger for our society".

For the left-leaning Taz daily, the case "must be a turning point".

"We must speak about far-right terror, and in a very different way than before," it warned, stressing that words must also be backed up by action to counter the threat.
"We need a rigorous procedure against right-wing militants and their structures — and also against the digital mob and the verbal lashing from (Islamophobic movement) Pegida to (the far-right party) AfD."
Markus Nierth, who had quit his voluntary mayor post in a village after receiving threats from the far-right over his pro-migrant stance, told the daily Berliner Zeitung the killing revived memories of the weeks and months both he and his wife spent in fear.
"’We’ll get you at some point’ - that’s the message of this case," he said.
Nierth warned that politicians who call for "more understanding for the far-right" fringes need to wake up.
"In Walter Lübcke, a key inhibition threshold has been crossed. Suspected far-right terrorists have now done what they have dreamt about for years in their perverse fantasies of violence."

’Hate seeping in’ 

Investigators into Lübcke’s murder had initially said there was no evidence of an extremist motive, before arresting a former member of the neo-Nazi NPD.

Observers said the initial failure to draw a link to the far right was chillingly reminiscent of investigations into the killings of nine Turkish and Greek-born immigrants by the far-right militant group National Socialist Underground (NSU).

Investigators into the NSU murders that took place from 2000 to 2007 were looking in the wrong direction - from seeking blood feud motives to searching for gambling debts or alleged drug deals on the part of the victims - to explain the killings.

In the Lübcke case too, "some investigators did not want to admit the obvious - that a politician was liquidated here because he stood up for Germany’s constitution," said Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Urging action, the daily noted that the like-minded militants were openly applauding the killing on social media.

"Hate is seeping from the fringes into the middle of society.”

More than 12,000 far-right extremists across the country are rated dangerous in official statistics.
Painting a dark picture of the reaches of far-right extremism, the daily also cited several cases in which law enforcers themselves were tainted.

Some 38 investigations were under way against police officers in Hesse state over right-wing extremism issues. 

"What must happen before police, prosecutors and domestic intelligence officers recognize that the most dangerous enemy is not on the left but on the right? And sometimes he is even within us," asked Süddeutsche.

Extremely dangerous’
Experts warned that the situation was very alarming, pointing the finger at the anti-migrant AfD for contributing to an atmosphere of hate.
Extremist expert Gideon Botsch estimated that the "next 12 to 18 months could be extremely dangerous".
"The enemy has been clearly chosen - the AfD contributed to this, Pegida too. All these forces that have officially distanced themselves from violence have contributed a lot to incitement," he said.
CDU lawmaker Michael Brand also accused the AfD of fanning the flames.
"It is true that only the hate and incitement of the last years could have made this possible," he said.
"Anyone who doesn’t see that is blind."
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency had said that the AfD’s "The Wing" (Der Fluegel) grouping, as well as the party’s youth organisation JA, were suspected of having ties with the extremist Identitarian Movement.

Online hate posts

Lübcke, a member of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, had passionately spoken out in defence of migrants at the height of Europe’s 2015 refugee crisis, drawing the fury of the far right for telling anti-migrant agitators they "could leave Germany".
Since his death, hundreds of posts from social media accounts tied to right-wing extremists have hailed his murder, in turn drawing strong condemnations from President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and other politicians.

Leaving this crystal clear case to a more complexed one, where gangs culture went on the rise, adding to the already complex existing situation: it crossed roads with terrorism as far as arms and financing are concerned.

The Local Said tackled the long-running Swedish gang conflict linked to Copenhagen double killing, where it mentioned that the fatal shootings of two men in Herlev near Copenhagen may be connected with an ongoing and bloody conflict between two organized crime gangs in Swedish capital Stockholm.

It added that Police in Sweden are therefore concerned that the situation could escalate following what appears to have been a liquidation in Copenhagen , in which the two victims’ Swedish-registered car was riddled with shots from multiple weapons.
As a result, police presence has been stepped up in three Stockholm neighbourhoods in a bid to prevent further violence.
"Such an act almost always has consequences. That is something we are trying to prevent," Stephan Kiernan, leader of Swedish police special unit Team 2022, told Svenska Dagbladet, as it was quoted by the local.

One of the victims of last week’s shooting, a 23-year-old, has been reported by several media to have a leading role in a gang known as Shottaz, which is connected to Rinkeby. The individual was manager for a local rapper who is currently in prison for weapons offences, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

The two Swedish crime groups have reportedly been in conflict since 2015, with seven people losing their lives as a result. Only one of those seven cases – the shooting of a man in a pizzeria in Rinkeby – has been solved by police.
Earlier this year, Svenska Dagbladet published an investigation in which it mapped out the structure of the two groups, in which 20 central figures have been convicted of 330 crimes.
A common feature of the gang members is their young age and serious nature of their crimes. The shooter in the pizzeria murder was just 16 years old.
All of the 20 individuals were known to social services in Stockholm, but efforts to steer them away from crime appear to have been ineffective.

We are living in a different and changing world, faced with complex problems in nature,and grave in consequences, where danger is multifaceted . Indeed, different situations should generate different, and innovative, solutions.

Have we not taken note ? What went unseen ? السابق

Have we not taken note ? What went unseen ?

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