SISMI on the spot

Posted in Europe | 25-Dec-03

"We have to thank our Intelligence Service and its ability to operate in cooperation with operational Units on the ground for the positive results of our mission (Nibbio Contingent) in Afghanistan" Mr. Martino, Defence Minister of Italy has gratulated the italian Military Intelligence SISMI for its activities just concluded in Afghanistan, and ongoing in Iraq,Middle East and Balkans.

Informations collected on the ground have indeed proven useful for investigations on international terrorism and organized crime in Italy and Europe.

In Bosnia and Kosovo, according to a SISMI memorandum to the Defence Minister, extremist groups could carry out attacks against italian Forces stationed there, following the recent treaths from Osama Bin Laden.

As Afghanistan and Iraq are , according to Miltary Intelligence analysis, a jiahidist"united front" against western Forces, SISMI is strenghtening the security cordon around italian military Forces and installations in Iraq. SISMI precence in Iraq is long established (it predates the present conflict) and proves fruitful.

Italy has around 800 officers in Afghanistan operating within ISAF (mostly in Kabul at present), and 2500 in Iraq (mostly around Nassirija, where SISMI has helped to locate 5 ground-air missiles SA9-Gaskin.

In the Nassirija area extremist Shiite groups are engaged in a growingly violent campaign and SISMI has detected a reorganization of armed networks like El-Dawan and Shaaban, with some degree of support from Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

In Afghanistan SISMI has monitored Taleban and criminal activities in Khost (where Italian Special Forces where stationed) Ghazni, Gardez,Kunar and Kandahar, and presently in Kabul and the Baghram Airport area.

SISMI informations are attentively scrutinized at the political level as the United States might soon ask the Italian Government to extend the Mission in Iraq.

Extra Forces might also be required in Afghanistan, notwithstanding the ongoing activities in the Balkans.