We all know for some time now that the typical Italian mobster is no longer a man wearing a crocked coppola (1) on his head with a sawedoff shotgun slung over his shoulder; a man who is not capable of seeing beyond the limits of his territory. Investigations “tell us” that it has been years since Cosa Nostra expanded its business far beyond the borders of Sicily, and that the ‘Ndrangheta aims at global leadership over narcotrafficking, after having conquered a sort of monopoly position in Italy. News informs us that hundreds of criminal organizations, which in terms of structure and rules remind us of “our” mafias, have arisen and are thriving. However, what we have lacked so far is a full picture of the criminal universe in the era of globalization and the web. What we need is a work that would give us an overall image of the mafias that now operate beyond the borders of their countries of origin and exploit cutting-edge technologies. Filippo Spiezia, a great connoisseur of the subject, tells us all this and gives us a vivid portrait of transnational organized crime while suggesting the “recipes” to deal with it effectively. An impressive, precious work, which gives us the tools to face with awareness and lucidity the reality of our time and to move
with a critical spirit within the enormous amount of information that causes us fears and insecurities.
The former vice-president of Eurojust wrote the first Atlas of crime 2.0. Spiezia shows us how the different criminal organizations are articulated. All of them: those who are dedicated to more traditional activities (such as drug trafficking), and those destined for terrorist activities, which sow fear in Europe. His book makes us discover the contiguity between the mafias and the world of terrorism, and then let us understand that what we have in front of us are not two distinctly separate realities, but illegal structures that often compete in the same traffics and sometimes come to collaborate.
Spezia’s essay, at times as exciting as a thriller but always characterized by scientific rigor, is addressed not only to experts in the field but to a wider audience of ordinary citizens: those who do not have enough knowledge to give a precise face to what strikes their fear and who are therefore induced to react emotionally and irrationally. This is what happens after terrorist attacks like the one at the Bataclan in Paris, or when crossing an unsafe neighborhood, or when watching on television the continuous arrival of irregular immigrants on our shores.
In Criminal Threats, Filippo Spiezia chooses the path of rationality and knowledge, instead of fixating on who shouts louder about the Islamization of our continent or the imminent ethnic replacement of the European population. His book gives us the exact terms of the problems facing today’s societies, but it also points out the way to go to overcome them. It takes us to a rational terrain, the only one that allows us to act with concreteness and foresight. And he explains how illusory is to think that we would be able to return to “small homelands”, when instead transnational mafias can be fought only with ever greater collaboration between European countries. Spiezia also demonstrates the importance of Eurojust in coordinating the investigations that are being carried out in each EU Member State; he tells us about the constant effort deployed in overcoming mutual
mistrust and the profound differences between the various systems. But he also recognizes the limits that remain and that should be overcome.
Despite his pro-European spirit, he does not ignore the issues: the author thinks, for example, that it was the inertia of the EU in facing the humanitarian emergencies that have broken out in Africa that offered to criminal organizations the opportunity to enrich themselves with trafficking in human beings.
Spiezia remains aware of the many signs of progress that have been made, even while critically observing the non-fact and the long road that still has to be taken to counter the “crime 2.0” with an increasingly cohesive and up-to-date Europe.
While speaking of the effectiveness of tools such as Eurojust and, more generally, of the need for collaboration between those who are committed to fighting against organized crime, the author finally underlines the importance of the insights of Giovanni Falcone, one of the firsts to understand the importance of judicial cooperation. Events
proved him right. The fact that there are men ready to carry out his ideas gives us hope for the future.
Table of contents
Foreword by Maria Falcone
European Union and criminal challenges
Some useful premises
Attack on Europe in 2015
An Atlas of European crimes
Crime and its global vocation: an unprecedented growth
An European “radiography” of organized crime
International cooperation and national languages
The role of European Agencies: not only Europol but also Eurojust
Where is the European Union going: what are the perspectives for the safety of citizens
The challenge of international terrorism: an unprecedented attack on the EU
The worst year for Europe: 2015 and the threat of foreign fighters
The threat spread from France to other European countries
The evolution: from Al Qaeda to Isis, all the way to the birth of individual terrorism
Islamic Terrorism and the web
Could the 2015 attacks be foreseen?
The cases of the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly
The attacks on November 13th, 2015: a project that was conceived and organized abroad
The flaws in the European information system
The new EU strategy after 2015: cooperation is the keyword
The role of Eurojust and the institution of the European
The latest attacks of 2020: the threat is still to be defeated
What to do to be safer?
The 2020 counter-terrorism Agenda
Mafia in Europe
The mafia “magma”: definitions and evolutions of the phenomenon
Drugs: endless wealth for the mafias
The evolution of the business model of mafias
Mafias in Europe and the reasons for their expansion
National and European laws: still many gaps to fill
A virtuous example: Pollino Operation .
Coordination can be winning, as long as…
Something is moving…
The third-millennium slavery in the heart of Europe
Smuggling and Trafficking: a distinction to better understand the tragedy
Human trafficking in the heart of Europe: shame is among us
Which responses of the European Union? Are law enforcement measures enough?
Migration crisis and the EU: the flaws of the system and the data of the crisis
The fight against migrant smuggling: the efforts of the European Agencies
Can traffickers be defeated? The example of the ‘Glauco operations’
The urgent need to make new choices: Europe can no longer wait
The last call for the EU: a new Pact on Migration and Asylum
The Final Frontier: crime travels on the web
The phenomenon: lots of victims, but who is responsible?
Crime 0: what are the challenges and can we defend ourselves?
Respect for human rights is not a less important matter
The EU response and its strategies
The role of Eurojust and the creation of virtuous models
The persistent issues
What should we do to improve our justice systems and citizen protection?
Covid-19: new opportunities for the EU or for criminals? The Pandemic: an opportunity to relaunch the European project?
Covid 19: criminals do not go into quarantine. Trends in progress
Counterfeiting medical products and Covid-19 vaccination
Cybercrime and Fraud schemes
Increased risk of infiltration of OCGs and mafia types criminal groups in legitimate companies
Drug trafficking: the business continues
Migrant smuggling and human trafficking: new handy profits
How to get out of the woods: Ideas for a new EU
Area of Freedom Security and Justice
We have been through a tough crisis
Europe is reacting: the reasons to relaunch the path
Afterword Redirecting the action at the European level by Franco Roberti