By Vincenzo Cotroneo
It could have happened anywhere. At the Christmas markets in Bolzano, at the stalls of Piazza Navona, in Luci di Salerno, where on Sunday we walked with difficulty and a lot of confusion.
Instead, it touched again the heart of Europe, Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament, where a French citizen of North African origin named Cherif Chekatt, 29, started to a script that sadly we already know.
A protocol that has stopped providing a great military activity with several people acting simultaneously; a “stray bullet”, one of the many solitary wolves blinded by the cancer of radicalization that caused 4 deaths and more than a dozen injured (including an Italian journalist), of which at least 7 are in serious condition.
While I am writing (about two in the morning), the terrorist is still fleeing and the prefecture has advised everyone to barricade themselves at home.
The presence of accomplices who may be facilitating the escape of the young terrorist is being evaluated. There are reports that talk about two terrorists who supposedly took refuge in different parts of the city.
I would like to highlight a couple of things but without creating controversy: The first; the person was followed, known and marked. Chekatt had already been arrested in 2011 for aggression and because he wanted to attack the “infidel” with a demonstrative gesture. Intelligence services, the police, anyone belonging to the security sector, knew about this person, his danger and his instability. Therefore, someone should answer how he could get a weapon, plan attacks, appear armed in the square and open fire on innocent people around the posts. An ineffective police operation, with a very low guard level and a slow and problematic response capacity. The rage now overcomes the logic of why a person designated by anti-terrorism as dangerous and antisocial had full freedom to act and has not been neutralized.
The second question: we do not want to learn from the recent past. We persist in hoping that this will not happen and instead, once again, with the same script and the same fear, history repeats itself. Too many Muslims are walking in the direction of gaining the power to manage the communities, covering the “hottest” elements: too many basements “disguised” as cultural centers or prayer centers that became centers of diffusion of hatred; too good and latent fear in imposing local laws on Muslims to avoid being accused of false racism/fascism; allowing them to freely manage their uses, customs and habits as if they were still beyond the desert.
Too intense is also the presence in the European territory of community organizations more or less linked to Muslim entities dedicated to interreligious hatred as the Muslim Brotherhood that finance, support and encourage propaganda in favor of terror and radicalism. They can find a fertile ground in the young North African third-generation who have never been integrated and who are ready to offer themselves to these evil lords.
This is how Cherif lives since 2011: inside the house, inside the same house where he decided to press the trigger of his gun.
He “matured”, as the ghosts of the past that preceded him, until his radicalization started, which led him today to shoot against the “kafir”, the infidels, carrying out tonight a long battle against the gendarmerie; as it happened after the attacks of Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan or Molenbek.
A person (or two) followed and investigated, who manages to put an entire city on its knees, forcing the police to an emotional and psychological iron arm due to the fear that it will happen again.
The usual political slogans have already appeared: “We will not be intimidated”; “We will not bend.” I think it would be better to stop the alleged terrorists or the men who smell like terrorism, before they commit massacres.
And meanwhile, the ISIS or, as someone says the IS, through its multimedia communication platforms rejoice for the result of the attack. A simple sympathizer but, nevertheless, the typical symbology of the Islamic war, starting with the choice of the weapon, tells us much more. The great agitation and terror caused in the enemy ranks with a minimum effort, without considering the proximity of the Christmas holidays, make it impossible not to think of an operation that is absolutely linked to the hatred of Islamic radicalism.