Tuesday, December 7

La Fondazione ICSA (Intelligence Culture and Strategic Analysis) avvia domani a Roma, a Palazzo Marini in via della Mercede 55

“Protezione delle infrastrutture critiche in Italia” è il titolo del convegno con cui fondazione Icsa (Intelligence Culture and Strategic Analysis) avvia domani a Roma, a Palazzo Marini in via della Mercede 55, una riflessione sulla sicurezza delle infrastrutture critiche, esaminandole nei diversi comparti. Si inizia quindi con il mondo dei trasporti coinvolgendo non solo esperti della materia, ma relatori coinvolti direttamente nella gestione.
Per quanto riguarda il pericolo informatico a fattor comune, il professor Marcello Pistilli, componente dell’ Associazione Italiana delle Infrastrutture Critiche (Aiic), illustrerà il grado di dipendenza dei grandi sistemi di trasporto ai sistemi di elaborazione dati e farà comprendere come il fattore umano sia determinante ai fini della sicurezza. Nel settore del trasporto aereo, il dott. Raffaele Di Lella si soffermerà sulle concrete misure da attuare per un efficace miglioramento della protezione del settore. Sempre in materia di trasporto aereo verrà affrontato il tema della ristrutturazione degli spazi aerei europei in accordo al concetto del Single European Sky. Quale impatto avrà sulla sicurezza una nuova distribuzione dei flussi di traffico e una nuova geografia delle aree di competenza delle regioni di controllo del traffico? A questo quesito darà una risposta il dott. Francesco di Maio, responsabile della sicurezza dell’Enav. Sono stati fatti invece passi da gigante nel settore marittimo, soprattutto nell’attività di protezione delle strutture portuali e delle navi nonché nelle operazioni di sorveglianza e monitoraggio del traffico. L’ammiraglio Ferdinando Lolli, già Comandante Generale delle Capitanerie di Porto, le illustrerà nel dettaglio. Il dott. Franco Fiumara, Security manager delle Ferrovie dello Stato aprirà una finestra sulla complessità del sistema della rete ferroviaria di trasporto ai fini di una sua protezione illustrando le misure già poste in essere e quelle possibili e necessarie per una maggiore protezione. Parteciperà infine al convegno, con un indirizzo di saluto, il Consigliere Militare del Presidente del Consiglio, Ammiraglio Alessandro Picchio, il quale riunisce in sé le due responsabilità fondamentali: quella della competenza a coordinare le attività di protezione delle Infrastrutture Critiche e quella di Presidente del Comitato Interministeriale per la Sicurezza dei Trasporti con i relativi compiti di alta sorveglianza sui tre Comitati Interministeriali di ogni singolo comparto (aereo, terrestre e marittimo).

Sunday, October 31

L'ELEGIA DELLA "MENDACIO PLANETARIA": IL TERRORISMO!!

ECCO UN ESEMPIO "ITALIANO" DAL:Il Sole 24 Ore 31 ottobre 2010

It's not only the economy, stupid. L'antico adagio elettorale clintoniano secondo cui tutto dipende dall'economia andrebbe aggiornato. Lo stato dell'economia è fondamentale per il futuro delle nazioni e sicuramente avete letto il più ampio dibattito internazionale per interpretare la crisi, analizzarne le conseguenze e individuare gli strumenti per uscirne. Ma tra le cose decisive di questa epoca c'è ancora il terrorismo. Quello vero. Quello che mette le bombe, uccide e vuole limitare le nostre libertà. Non possiamo dimenticarlo, anche se ci piacerebbe interessarci d'altro. Il materiale esplosivo inviato dallo Yemen in America per colpire due obiettivi ebraici a Chicago ha segnalato alla stanca America che si accinge al voto di midterm come l'emergenza cominciata ben prima dell'11 settembre 2001 non sia ancora finita. Questa settimana l'FBI ha smantellato un piano per far saltare in aria la metropolitana di Washington. A Natale dell'anno scorso è stato sventato un attentato su un aereo in volo su Detroit. A maggio è stata evitata una strage aTimes Square. Ogni giorno i Servizi d'Intelligence di tutto il mondo e i nostri soldati impegnati in Afghanistan prevengono, spesso silenziosamente, carneficine di ogni tipo e combattono con coraggio l'ideologia dell'odio religioso.

It's also the terrorism, dude. Non c'è dubbio.

Wednesday, October 27

RILETTURA E PENTIMENTO. SOLDI BUTTATI. RISORSE DEPAUPERATE. E GRAZIE A LORO, L'ITALIA PRIMO OBIETTIVO DEL TERRORISMO IN EUROPA.

relazione del Prefetto Alessandro Pansa Direttore centrale dell’immigrazione e della Polizia delle frontiere

L'attuazione di Strategie efficaci di Coordinamento Nazionale e la Cooperazione regionale nella lotta contro il Terrorismo saranno i temi della Conferenza per la regione dell'Europa sudorientale, che inizierà oggi a Sarajevo. ALTRA PRESA IN GIRO!!! DOPO LA PRESA IN GIRO DI LISBONA DEL 2008!!!

ESTRATTO DA: I temi della PESC e della PESD all’interno del Trattato di Lisbona

U.S. Midterm Elections and IRAN

By George Friedman
We are a week away from the 2010 U.S. midterm elections. The outcome is already locked in. Whether the Republicans take the House or the Senate is close to immaterial. It is almost certain that the dynamics of American domestic politics will change. The Democrats will lose their ability to impose cloture in the Senate and thereby shut off debate. Whether they lose the House or not, the Democrats will lose the ability to pass legislation at the will of the House Democratic leadership. The large majority held by the Democrats will be gone, and party discipline will not be strong enough (it never is) to prevent some defections.
Should the Republicans win an overwhelming victory in both houses next week, they will still not have the votes to override presidential vetoes. Therefore they will not be able to legislate unilaterally, and if any legislation is to be passed it will have to be the result of negotiations between the president and the Republican Congressional leadership. Thus, whether the Democrats do better than expected or the Republicans win a massive victory, the practical result will be the same.
When we consider the difficulties President Barack Obama had passing his health care legislation, even with powerful majorities in both houses, it is clear that he will not be able to push through any significant legislation without Republican agreement. The result will either be gridlock or a very different legislative agenda than we have seen in the first two years.
These are not unique circumstances. Reversals in the first midterm election after a presidential election happened to Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. It does not mean that Obama is guaranteed to lose a re-election bid, although it does mean that, in order to win that election, he will have to operate in a very different way. It also means that the 2012 presidential campaign will begin next Wednesday on Nov. 3. Given his low approval ratings, Obama appears vulnerable and the Republican nomination has become extremely valuable. For his part, Obama does not have much time to lose in reshaping his presidency. With the Iowa caucuses about 15 months away and the Republicans holding momentum, the president will have to begin his campaign.
Obama now has two options in terms of domestic strategy. The first is to continue to press his agenda, knowing that it will be voted down. If the domestic situation improves, he takes credit for it. If it doesn't, he runs against Republican partisanship. The second option is to abandon his agenda, cooperate with the Republicans and re-establish his image as a centrist. Both have political advantages and disadvantages and present an important strategic decision for Obama to make.

The Foreign Policy Option

Obama also has a third option, which is to shift his focus from domestic policy to foreign policy. The founders created a system in which the president is inherently weak in domestic policy and able to take action only when his position in Congress is extremely strong. This was how the founders sought to avoid the tyranny of narrow majorities. At the same time, they made the president quite powerful in foreign policy regardless of Congress, and the evolution of the presidency over the centuries has further strengthened this power. Historically, when the president has been weak domestically, one option he has had is to appear powerful by focusing on foreign policy.
For presidents like Clinton, this was not a particularly viable option in 1994-1996. The international system was quiet, and it was difficult to act meaningfully and decisively. It was easier for Reagan in 1982-1984. The Soviet Union was strong and threatening, and an aggressive anti-Soviet stance was popular and flowed from his 1980 campaign. Deploying the ground-launched cruise missile and the Pershing II medium-range ballistic missile in Western Europe alienated his opponents, strengthened his position with his political base and allowed him to take the center (and ultimately pressured the Soviets into agreeing to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty). By 1984, with the recession over, Reagan's anti-Soviet stance helped him defeat Walter Mondale.
Obama does not have Clinton's problem. The international environment allows him to take a much more assertive stance than he has over the past two years. The war in Afghanistan is reaching a delicate negotiating state as reports of ongoing talks circulate. The Iraq war is far from stable, with 50,000 U.S. troops still there, and the Iranian issue is wide open. Israeli-Palestinian talks are also faltering, and there are a host of other foreign issues, ranging from China's increasing assertiveness to Russia's resurgent power to the ongoing decline in military power of America's European allies. There are a range of issues that need to be addressed at the presidential level, many of which would resonate with at least some voters and allow Obama to be presidential in spite of weak political support.
There are two problems with Obama becoming a foreign policy president. The first is that the country is focused on the economy and on domestic issues. If he focuses on foreign policy and the U.S. economy does not improve by 2012, it will cost him the election. His hope will be foreign policy successes, or at least the perception of being strong on national security, coupled with economic recovery or a plausible reason to blame the Republicans. This is a tricky maneuver, but his presidency no longer offers simple solutions.
The second problem is that his presidency and campaign have been based on the general principle of accommodation rather than confrontation in foreign affairs, with the sole exception of Afghanistan, where he chose to be substantially more aggressive than his predecessor had been. The place where he was assertive is unlikely to yield a major foreign policy success, unless that success is a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. A negotiated settlement will be portrayed by the Republicans as capitulation rather than triumph. If he continues on the current course in Afghanistan, he will seem to be plodding down an old path and not pioneering a new one.
Interestingly, if Obama's goal is to appear strong on national security while regaining the center, Afghanistan offers the least attractive venue. His choices are negotiation, which would reinforce his image as an accommodationist in foreign policy, or continued war, which is not particularly new territory. He could deploy even more forces into Afghanistan, but then would risk looking like Lyndon Johnson in 1967, hurling troops at the enemy without a clear plan. He could, of course, create a massive crisis with Pakistan, but it would be extremely unlikely that such an effort would end well, given the situation in Afghanistan. Foreign policy presidents need to be successful.
There is little to be done in Iraq at the moment except delay the withdrawal of forces, which adds little to his political position. Moreover, the core problem in Iraq at the moment is Iran and its support of disruptive forces. Obama could attempt to force an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, but that would require Hamas to change its position, which is unlikely, or that Israel make massive concessions, which it doesn't think it has to do. The problem with Israel and the Palestinians is that peace talks, such as those under Clinton at Camp David, have a nasty tendency to end in chaos.
The European, Russian and Chinese situations are of great importance, but they are not conducive to dramatic acts. The United States is not going to blockade China over the yuan or hold a stunning set of meetings with the Europeans to get them to increase their defense budgets and commit to more support for U.S. wars. And the situation regarding North Korea does not have the pressing urgency to justify U.S. action. There are many actions that would satisfy Obama's accomodationist inclinations, but those would not serve well in portraying him as decisive in foreign policy.

The Iranian Option

This leaves the obvious choice: Iran. Iran is the one issue on which the president could galvanize public opinion. The Republicans have portrayed Obama as weak on combating militant Islamism. Many of the Democrats see Iran as a repressive violator of human rights, particularly after the crackdown on the Green Movement. The Arabian Peninsula, particularly Saudi Arabia, is afraid of Iran and wants the United States to do something more than provide $60 billion-worth of weapons over the next 10 years. The Israelis, obviously, are hostile. The Europeans are hostile to Iran but want to avoid escalation, unless it ends quickly and successfully and without a disruption of oil supplies. The Russians like the Iranians are a thorn in the American side, as are the Chinese, but neither would have much choice should the United States deal with Iran quickly and effectively. Moreover, the situation in Iraq would improve if Iran were to be neutralized, and the psychology in Afghanistan could also shift.
If Obama were to use foreign policy to enhance his political standing through decisive action, and achieve some positive results in relations with foreign governments, the one place he could do it would be Iran. The issue is what he might have to do and what the risks would be. Nothing could, after all, hurt him more than an aggressive stance against Iran that failed to achieve its goals or turned into a military disaster for the United States.
So far, Obama's policy toward Iran has been to incrementally increase sanctions by building a weak coalition and allow the sanctions to create shifts in Iran's domestic political situation. The idea is to weaken President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and strengthen his enemies, who are assumed to be more moderate and less inclined to pursue nuclear weapons. Obama has avoided overt military action against Iran, so a confrontation with Iran would require a deliberate shift in the U.S. stance, which would require a justification.
The most obvious justification would be to claim that Iran is about to construct a nuclear device. Whether or not this is true would be immaterial. First, no one would be in a position to challenge the claim, and, second, Obama's credibility in making the assertion would be much greater than George W. Bush's, given that Obama does not have the 2003 weapons-of-mass-destruction debacle to deal with and has the advantage of not having made such a claim before. Coming from Obama, the claim would confirm the views of the Republicans, while the Democrats would be hard-pressed to challenge him. In the face of this assertion, Obama would be forced to take action. He could appear reluctant to his base, decisive to the rest. The Republicans could not easily attack him. Nor would the claim be a lie. Defining what it means to almost possess nuclear weapons is nearly a metaphysical discussion. It requires merely a shift in definitions and assumptions. This is cynical scenario, but it can be aligned with reasonable concerns.
As STRATFOR has argued in the past, destroying Iran's nuclear capability does not involve a one-day raid, nor is Iran without the ability to retaliate. Its nuclear facilities are in a number of places and Iran has had years to harden those facilities. Destroying the facilities might take an extended air campaign and might even require the use of special operations units to verify battle damage and complete the mission. In addition, military action against Iran's naval forces would be needed to protect the oil routes through the Persian Gulf from small boat swarms and mines, anti-ship missile launchers would have to be attacked and Iranian air force and air defenses taken out. This would not solve the problem of the rest of Iran's conventional forces, which would represent a threat to the region, so these forces would have to be attacked and reduced as well.
An attack on Iran would not be an invasion, nor would it be a short war. Like Yugoslavia in 1999, it would be an extended air war lasting an unknown number of months. There would be American POWs from aircraft that were shot down or suffered mechanical failure over Iranian territory. There would be many civilian casualties, which the international media would focus on. It would not be an antiseptic campaign, but it would likely (though it is important to reiterate not certainly) destroy Iran's nuclear capability and profoundly weaken its conventional forces. It would be a war based on American strengths in aerial warfare and technology, not on American weaknesses in counterinsurgency. It would strengthen the Iranian regime (as aerial bombing usually does) by rallying the Iranian public to its side against the aggression. If the campaign were successful, the Iranian regime would be stronger politically, at least for a while, but eviscerated militarily. A successful campaign would ease the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, calm the Saudis and demonstrate to the Europeans American capability and will. It would also cause the Russians and Chinese to become very thoughtful.
A campaign against Iran would have its risks. Iran could launch a terrorist campaign and attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz, sending the global economy into a deep recession on soaring oil prices. It could also create a civil war in Iraq. U.S. intelligence could have missed the fact that the Iranians already have a deliverable nuclear weapon. All of these are possible risks, and, according to STRATFOR's thinking, the risks outweigh the rewards. After all, the best laid military plan can end in a fiasco.
We have argued that a negotiation with Iran in the order of President Richard Nixon's reversal on China would be a lower-risk solution to the nuclear problem than the military option. But for Obama, this is politically difficult to do. Had Bush done this, he would have had the ideological credentials to deal with Iran, as Nixon had the ideological credentials to deal with China. But Obama does not. Negotiating an agreement with Iran in the wake of an electoral rout would open the floodgates to condemnation of Obama as an appeaser. In losing power, he loses the option for negotiation unless he is content to be a one-term president.
I am arguing the following. First, Obama will be paralyzed on domestic policies by this election. He can craft a re-election campaign blaming the Republicans for gridlock. This has its advantages and disadvantages; the Republicans, charging that he refused to adjust to the electorate's wishes, can blame him for the gridlock. It can go either way. The other option for Obama is to look for triumph in foreign policy where he has a weak hand. The only obvious way to achieve success that would have a positive effect on the U.S. strategic position is to attack Iran. Such an attack would have substantial advantages and very real dangers. It could change the dynamics of the Middle East and it could be a military failure.
I am not claiming that Obama will decide to do this based on politics, although no U.S. president has ever engaged in foreign involvement without political considerations, nor should he. I am saying that, at this moment in history, given the domestic gridlock that appears to be in the offing, a shift to a foreign policy emphasis makes sense, Obama needs to be seen as an effective commander in chief and Iran is the logical target.
This is not a prediction. Obama does not share his thoughts with me. It is merely speculation on the options Obama will have after the midterm elections, not what he will choose to do.


Read more: U.S. Midterm Elections, Obama and Iran | STRATFOR

Tuesday, October 26

NON MONTATEVI LA TESTA! SOLO una soffiata dei Servizi segreti ha consentito l'arresto di Messina,

La pista giusta per arrivare al latitante l'ha offerta l'AISI, il Servizio segreto civile. Com'è prassi in questi casi, l'Agenzia di informazioni e sicurezza interna ha passato la notizia sia ai vertici dell'Arma che della Polizia di Stato: lo spunto d'indagine era inedito per entrambi. Risultato: alla Procura di Palermo sono arrivate due richieste per stringere le ricerche su Favara. La Procura ha dato il via libera ai carabinieri, per una sorta di par condicio. Nel giugno scorso, erano stati invece i poliziotti della squadra mobile di Palermo a lavorare su un'altra notizia offerta dai Servizi segreti, che fu determinante per l'arresto del superlatitante agrigentino Giuseppe Falsone.Per l'AISI è un momento d'oro. Non è mai accaduto nella storia della lotta alla mafia che i Servizi offrissero così tanti spunti utili per l'arresto dei latitanti.

PANETTA'S SUCCESS AND PETRAUS DEPRESSION




Former al-Qaida military chief Saif al-Adel spent the last nine years under house arrest in Iran.

Saif al-Adel enjoys a truly outstanding reputation among Islamic militants around the world. The Egyptian, whose nom-de-guerre means "sword of justice," is considered a seasoned operational planner and an experienced field commander. He is often mentioned together with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Among other things, the United States accuses him of involvement in the bombing of two US embassies in Africa in 1998. The last position Saif al-Adel held within Osama bin Laden's terror network was that of a very senior al-Qaida military chief, a role which put al-Adel at the very pinnacle of international jihadist terrorism. However, after 9/11, he simply disappeared. Later it emerged that he was being kept north of the Iranian capital Teheran under a kind of protective house arrest together with dozens or possibly hundreds of al-Qaida fighters and their families, who had fled the US invasion of Afghanistan in December 2001 and were being prevented from traveling further by the Iranian authorities. But now Saif al-Adel is back. "It is almost certain that Saif al-Adel has been released, that he is currently in the Pakistani province of North Waziristan, and is operating as al-Qaida's military chief," said Noman Benotman, a senior analyst at the London-based Quilliam Foundation counter-extremism think tank. The Libyan is one of the world's leading experts on al-Qaida. Before his spectacular about-turn in 2002, Benotman was himself a trainer at jihadi military camps in Afghanistan, where he led the Libyan mujahedeen. He says his sources on Saif al-Adel are reliable. Benotman isn't alone in this claim. "Saif al-Adel has left Iran and is currently somewhere in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan," a European intelligence officer told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "It's likely that he has hooked up with terrorists structures."
This summer, an Afghan newspaper speculated that Saif al-Adel had been released in exchange for kidnapped Iranian diplomats. However, the rumor couldn't be corroborated at the time. But Benotman said his sources in the region have indeed confirmed the swap. Saif al-Adel's return is probably the biggest break al-Qaida has had in a decade. In fact, al-Adel is considered such a potential threat that according to information received by SPIEGEL ONLINE, US intelligence services have regularly discussed how dangerous it would be if Iran recruited him to organize retaliation attacks in response to a potential bombing of its nuclear facilities. "With someone like Saif al-Adel, you don't even need him to be active himself. What he has in his head is enough," said Benotman. Al-Adel is considered to have helped organize terror attacks in Saudi Arabia while in Iran -- proving not only his reach, but also the freedom he was apparently given during his alleged house arrest. Australian terrorism expert Leah Farrall, who is writing her doctoral dissertation on al-Qaida's command structures, told SPIEGEL ONLINE: "Not only would Saif al-Adel's return to the field greatly bolster al-Qaida's operational capability, and bring a rigour to its external operations, but his longstanding connections to groups whose relations with al-Qaida have been subject to tension could herald a new era in operational cooperation for attacks against the West." Al-Adel has a reputation for being a pragmatist who isn't particularly worried about ideological differences. Given the threat of CIA drone attacks, Farrall said, such an attitude could help facilitate collaboration in planning attacks. Al-Qaida has not yet commented on the return of its military chief -- possibly to prevent him from becoming the focus of drone strikes. The organization is at pains to protect its key figures at present. After all, unmanned aircraft and their rockets have literally blown enormous holes in al-Qaida's leadership structure. One of these air strikes killed al-Qaida ideologue Attiyat Allah earlier this month, Benotman says his sources have confirmed. It is a loss the organization will find hard to compensate for. The Libyan was one of the few intellectuals among its higher-ranking members, and he was extremely influential. He regularly mediated in conflicts that were important to al-Qaida members and sympathizers. A drone also killed Mohammed Uthman this month. The man from Punjab was Osama bin Laden's personal courier and likely one of the few people who knew where the al-Qaida leader was hiding, as Benotman points out. It's not clear if the US knew who they were targeting. A similar strike in May 2010 killed Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, al-Qaida's chief in Afghanistan and something akin to the terrorist organization's chief of staff. The rising death toll from remotely controlled aircraft has prompted the rise of second-tier members of al-Qaida to senior positions. Benotman calls it "forced evolution," a sign of decline. But al-Qaida can still draw on a number of experienced fighters. In recent months, there have been growing indications that the terror network has reorganized. However it could be al-Qaida's last stand: If these men die, there are only a handful of well-known people who could step into their shoes. Nevertheless, it remains a fearsome troop. Benotman's said his sources claim that Ilyas Kashmiri is one of the most important figures rising up al-Qaida's ranks. Kashmiri, born in 1964, is a guerrilla warfare expert who earned his jihadi spurs as a young fighter in Kashmir, the disputed border province straddling India and Pakistan. Today, the one-eyed man with the red-dyed beard is considered the mastermind behind some of the deadliest terrorist attacks in India and Pakistan. He also acts as the commander of the secretive Brigade 313, a unit sometimes described as al-Qaida's Pakistani arm, sometimes as a special combat taskforce, and sometimes as an opaque jihadi unit that co-operates with al-Qaida but is not part of its command structures. Now, Benotman says, al-Qaida has decided to upgrade Brigade 313 by tasking it with the planning of operations outside Afghanistan and Pakistan -- namely in India and other southeast Asian countries and in Europe. Kashmiri is considered brutal and goal-oriented. Just like Saif al-Adel, he cares little about ideological differences and has considerable experience cooperating with other militant groups. In Kashmiri's case, these include Lashkar-i-Taiba (the terror group that carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks) and the Pakistani Taliban (which ordered the failed Times Square car-bombing in New York in May 2010). "I'm not a traditional jihadi cleric who is involved in sloganeering", he said in an interview in 2009. "As a military commander, I would say every target has specific times and reasons." Adnan al-Shukri Juma is another figure who appears to have risen up the ranks because of the loss of more senior members. Al-Shukri Juma spent a long time living in the US. He is also considered the man behind a failed attack on the New York subway. US authorities are therefore particularly suspicious of him. It is more than likely that he, too, is now in North Waziristan. The Long War Journal blog calls him al-Qaida's "operations chief for North America," suggesting that although Kashmiri occupies a secondary position in the hierarchy, he is responsible for a central portfolio. Al-Shukri Juma was assisted in planning his New York attacks by a man whose role may also have become more significant: Although Rashid Rauf belongs to the Pakistani group Jaish-i-Mohammed, he is now seen as an al-Qaida leader. He is also suspected of involvement in the failed attacks on passenger aircraft in London in 2006. Another member of this tier of the organization could be Saad Bin Laden, the oldest son of the al-Qaida leader, who is also said to have moved to Waziristan from Iran so that he can be by his father's side. It's hard to say what effect this restructuring will actually have. The pressure on al-Qaida and similar organizations has risen, drone attacks are becoming ever more frequent and the terrorists have little room for maneuver and few resources. Nevertheless, there is no serious shortage of recruits -- some of them from the West -- and intelligence agencies around the world are convinced these acolytes are more than willing to attempt another spectacular attack on the West. Analysts believe the chances of success of such an attack depend largely on two factors: The quality of the training the would-be assassins receive, and the cooperation between different groups in order to maximize their resources. In theory, Saif al-Adel and Ilyas Kashmiri are perfectly suited for both tasks. In practice, however, the skies of North Waziristan are constantly filled with the humming of unmanned drones.

L'INIZIO DELLA "FINE" DEL MONTENEGRO

L `UE apre la porta alla Serbia. Grazie all`Italia. Premiato l`impegno personale del ministro Frattini, tra i più decisi a spingere Belgrado al compromesso anche sul Kosovo per giungere al traguardo europeo. L`ultimo ostacolo: la piena collaborazione perla cattura del criminale di guerra Mladic Roberto Fabbri M Il cammino della Serbia verso l`integrazione nella Unione Europea è stato avviato. Nella riunione di ieri a Lussemburgo, i ministri degli Esteri dei Ventisette hanno infatti sbloccato la domanda di adesione di Belgrado, che sarà quindi trasmessa alla Commissione europea. In ambito diplomatico, si sottolinea che si è così voluto ricompensare gli sforzi che Belgrado ha concretamente dimostrato dopo la svolta politica filoeuropea del 2008, ma che questo dovrà in pratica avere una contropartita: l`impegno serbo all`arresto di Ratko Mladic e Goran Hadzic, i due grandi criminali di guerra ancora latitanti. Il governo italiano, che ha svolto un ruolo di forte incoraggiamento a questo obiettivo con l`impegno personale del ministro Franco Frattini, ha espresso soddisfazione per la svolta, che per il nostro ministero degli Esteri rappresenta «un giusto segnale» che arriva «al momento giusto perla Serbia e per l`intera regione balcanica». L`Italia sta estendendo i suoi rapporti con la Serbia anche in campo economico, come dimostrano le recenti mosse delal Fiat: ora è pronta a partire la seconda linea di credito di 20 milioni per le piccole e medie imprese del Paese balcanico, finanziata dalla direzione generale per la Cooperazione allo sviluppo della Farnesina, mentre d`intesa con Confindustria si sta studiando il modo migliore per diffondere presso il mondo imprenditoriale italiano le opportunità d`investimento che offre il mercato serbo. Con la svolta decisa a Lussemburgo, la Serbia potrebbe ottenere lo status di Paese candidato già l`anno prossimo e aspirare a una piena adesione all`Unione nel 2016. Ma c`è appunto di mezzo la questione dei criminali di guerra: nel testo di compromesso finale siglato dai ventisette ministri degli Esteri dell`Ue si legge che «la piena cooperazione con il Tribunale Penale internazionale è una condizione essenziale per l`adesione all`Unione Europea» e che «la prova più convincente degli sforzi della Serbia e della cooperazione con il Tribunale» sarà appunto l`arresto di Mladic e di Hadzic. La domanda di adesione di Belgrado era ferma dallo scorso dicembre. La situazione è stata sbloccata dall`atteggiamento costruttivo dimostrato dal governo serbo il mese scorso in occasione dell`elaborazione della risoluzione dell`Onu sul Kosovo, l`exprovincia serba a maggioranza albanese la cui indipendenza autoproclamata e riconosciuta da alcune decine di Paesi occidentali tra cui l`Italia non è mai stata digerita a Belgrado. In quell`occasione la diplomazia serba ha agito in stretta collaborazione con l`Ue, dimostrando progressi reali sulla via del non facile dialogo con Pristina. A questo punto il principio della futura adesione della Serbia all`Unione è acquisito, anche se resterà fortemente ancorato agli impegni di Belgrado soprattutto sul generale Mladic, che è ricercato dal 1995 per crimini di guerra commessi in Bosnia e in particolare per il sanguinoso assedio di Sarajevo e per il massacro a sangue freddo di ottomila civili musulmani inermi a Srebrenica, la più grave tragedia avvenuta in Europa dopo la seconda guerra mondiale. Non tutti i governi europei hanno avuto una posizione concorde su questa scelta. La Svezia premeva per una maggiore elasticità, considerando importante premiare i progressi dimostrati da Belgrado: e l`Italia era concorde su queste posizioni. L`Olanda invece ha assunto una posizione molto più rigida, minacciando un veto. Si è così giunti a un compromesso, che il ministro degli Esteri olandese Uri Rosenthal ha così commentato con soddisfazione: «A ogni tappa di avvicinamento all`Europa, la Serbia dovrà provare che coopera pienamente con il Tribunale dell`Aia». I vertici dello Stato serbo assicurano che questa cooperazione ci sarà. Ieri il presidente Boris Tadic ha ribadito che gli sforzi per arrestare il generale Mladic «non cesseranno mai». La Procura serba per i crimini di guerra ritiene che il famigerato latitante si trovi nel Paese e non esclude che nel 2008 fosse effettivamente rifugiato presso Belgrado come ha scritto il New York Times.

Marracino

Ieri mattina il ministro della Difesa era a Milano quando l`Ansa ha battuto la prima anticipazione delle sue interpretazioni su due messaggi di WikiLeaks. Ignazio La Russa non ha nessun dubbio: «Non devo aprire nessuna inchiesta, perché sulla morte di Marracino e sulle battaglie di Nassirya ci sono state inchieste della magistratura, ci sono state le relazionideli`Esercito, ci sono le testimonianze di soldati e ufficiali». Interpretazioni che in uno dei due casi, quello delle «battaglie dei ponti», vengono considerate semplicemente «fuorvianti» allo Stato maggiore Difesa: «Le agenzie titolano "da ambulanza nessuno sparò sugli italiani", ma nei messaggi americani non c`è nessun riferimento a nessuna ambulanza, e soprattutto non c`è nessuna affermazione secondo cui gli iracheni non spararono su di noi».  L`altro caso, quello della ricostruzione della morte del sergente Salvatore Marracino, ha ricevuto invece smentite ufficiali e molto più secche. L`Ansa scrive alle 11,56 «Marracino è stato colpito», come se fosse stato colpito da un altro soldato. Ma il sergente paracadutista è morto mentre batteva il suo fucile a terra nel tentativo di sbloccarlo: ci sono le testimonianze dei suoi colleghi e l`esito dell`inchiesta della magistratura. Ieri sera lo ha ripetuto ilpubbiico ministero che ha seguito il caso, il dottor Marco De Paolis: «E morto per un colpo partito accidentalmente mentre provava a sbloccare l`arma che egli stesso stava maneggiando, non vi sono responsabilità colpose di altri militari». Anche la famiglia del paracadutista si affida alla legge, allo Stato italiano: «La famiglia respinge categoricamente ogni ricostruzione dei fatti che diverga da quella ufficiale della Procura della Repubblica Militare di Roma, ricostruzione assolutamente compatibile con le testimonianze, il riscontro autoptico e l`esame balistico, svolti all`epoca», dice l`avvocato Mauro Valente, il legale della famiglia. La Russa, che proprio ieri presentava a Milano il nuovo programma di Sky «Buongiorno Afghanistan» dedicato alle missioni dell`Esercito, ha detto di aver chiesto al suo stato maggiore di raccogliere tutti i documenti: «Sto esaminando con attenzione le informazioni di WikiLeaks, anche se sono molto precedenti al mio mandato. Mi sembra non ci sia nulla di nuovo che possa far cambiare il giudizio estremamente positivo sull`operato delle nostre forze armate, anche negli episodi in questione». Oggi La Russa ha un nuovo appuntamento con la stampa, per presentare le celebrazioni del 4 novembre: in mattinata verrà aggiornato sugli ultimi messaggi messi in rete da WikiLeaks, avrà gli ultimi dettagli sulle battaglie reali e su quelle virtuali dell`Esercito italiano.

U.E.:Sistemi giudiziari. Rapporto 2010 ITALIA

Rapporto 2010 della Commissione per l`efficienza All`Italia primato europeo nella spesa per la giustizia Pesa la voce degli stipendi In due anni tagli del 7% Marina Castellaneta t L`Italia è il Paese che spende di più per il funzionamento complessivo del sistema giudiziario in termini assoluti, anche se il dato è poi ridimensionato in percentuale, tenendo conto del numero degli abitanti. Dal rapporto della Commissione europea per l`efficienza della giustizia 2010 (dati relativi al 2008) risulta che il budget complessivo in Italia è stato pari a 7.278.169.362 euro, con una diminuzione del 6,9% rispetto al 2006. Un decremento in controtendenza rispetto agli altri Stati: dal balzo in avanti del 65,2% in Armenia all`aumento del 26,8% della Spagna. I tagli nel budget hanno coinvolto, oltre all`Italia, Regno Unito e Scozia (con un meno 42,3% complessivo), Islanda (-22,1%) e Svezia (-1,6%). Un trend - si precisanel rapporto - che è una costante degli ultimi cinque anni per Italia e Regno Unito. La fetta più grande del budget dell`Italia, peri tribunali (pari a 3.008.735392 curo), va agli stipendi (2.390.027.432 euro), 73.987.488, invece, sono stati destinati alle spese per l`informatica, 287.571.836 perle spese giudiziarie, 253.913.969 per la manutenzione delle strutture e gli edifici, 857.675 per la formazione. In percentuale, tenendo conto dell`intero budget annuale con esclusione degli importi destinati alle procure e al gratuito patrocinio, l`Italia supera, con il 5o,5%, la media della spesa pari al 37%, ma si colloca dopo il Principato di Monaco, San Marino, Svizzera, Slovenia, Andorra e Paesi Bassi, Rispetto ai dati 2006, l`Italia ha tagliato del 17,3% le spese per le procure, ha aumentato dell`8,1% quelle per i tribunali e del 17,6% quelle per l`assistenza giudiziaria gratuita. La crisi economica ha poi portato ad aggiustamenti del budget in tutta Europa, con una riduzione dei salari: in Italia è stata del 15% nel 2009 per tutto il personale e del 27% per i giudici nel 2010. Per quanto riguarda i giudici (nel rapporto i pm non sono inclusi in questa categoria), l`Italia, che ha fornito i dati relativi al 2009, conta 6.109 giudici toga- ti ai quali vanno aggiunti 4.754 onorari. Fa meglio solo la Federazione russa (34.390), la Polonia (9.890), la Turchia e l`Ucraina con oltre 7.000 giudici. In rapporto però al numero di abitanti l`Italia crolla al di sotto della media europea che è di 20,6 giudici per ioo.ooo abitanti (l`Italia ne conta 10,2) ed è superata da Paesi Bassi, Belgio, Austria, Lussemburgo, Norvegia. Identico effetto anche per il numero di pm che vedono l`Italia in buona posizione considerando il dato assoluto, ma scendere in rapporto al dato percentuale. L`Italia surclassa tutti, invece, per il numero degli avvocati, pari a 198.000. Che vuol dire una percentuale del 32,4% rispetto al numero dei giudici togati e, in pratica, 332,1 avvocati per 1oo.ooo abitanti.

Santa Sede nella «white list»

La lettera è arrivata da Parigi alla Segreteria di Stato vaticana alla fine della settimana scorsa e segna l`inizio della procedura di ingresso della Santa Sede nella «white list», l`elenco di Paesi che assicurano scambi di informazione e aderiscono alle normative antiriciclaggio. Le tre pagine spedite dal «Gruppo di azione finanziaria internazionale» dell`Ocse sono la risposta alla «manifestazione di volontà di aderire alle raccomandazioni del Gafi» firmata dal cardinale Tarcisio Bertone, Segretario di Stato, e mandata a Parigi a metà settembre. «Un atto irreversibile», spiegano Oltretevere. Ora Parigi ha accettato la «volontà» della San ta Sede e la procedura può iniziare. Non che sia una cosa semplice, peraltro. Entro un mese, si fa sapere in Vaticano, il presidente dello Ior Ettore Gotti Tedeschi ed il direttore generale Paolo Cipriani torneranno nella sede parigina del Gafi - dov`erano già andati in primavera ad impostare l`operazione - per ricevere e discutere il «questionario» al quale la Santa Sede dovrà rispondere. La procedura è molto complessa e ci vorranno settimane, si tratta ad esempio di chiarire quali sono gli organi vaticani che operano movimentazioni, di che tipo, in quali Paesi, con quali altre istituzioni o banche e così via. Un passo decisivo del «nuovo corso» voluto dal Papa e dal suo Segretario di Stato, la «linea di trasparenza» per la quale alla fine del 2009 venne chiamato Gotti Tedeschi. Davanti alle indagini della Procura di Roma sullo lor, del resto, Oltretevere hanno assicurato che «tutto verrà chiarito» ma insieme spiegato che «in dieci mesi è stato fatto più che in vent`anni» e «ci sono decenni di abitudini da cambiare». Proprio per rispondere al «questionario» e completare le procedure è stata istituita una commissione presieduta dal cardinale Attilio Nicora, presidente dell`Amministrazione del Patrimonio della Sede Apostolica. Ma non basta: lo stesso Nicora è stato designato alla guida dell`Autorità di Vigilanza che potrà partire dopo l`ingresso nella «white list» e avrà, cosa mai accaduta, il compito di controllare tutte le attività finanziare della Santa Sede - dall`Amministrazione allo lor a Propaganda Fide. Il cardinale, a ulteriore garanzia di trasparenza, diventerà una sorta di banchiere centrale del Vaticano.

Mexico's Drug Wars

STRATFOR published an analysis last Wednesday noting that a reliable source in Mexico informed us that the Sept. 30 shooting death of U.S. citizen David Hartley on Falcon Lake — which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border — was a mistake committed by a low-level member of the Los Zetas drug trafficking organization. The source also informed us that those responsible for Hartley’s death are believed to have disposed of his body and that the Zeta hierarchy was conducting a damage-control operation to punish those responsible for the death and to distance the cartel from the murder. The source further reported that the murder of the lead Tamaulipas state investigator on the case, Rolando Armando Flores Villegas — whose head was delivered in a suitcase to the Mexican military’s Eight Zone headquarters in Reynosa on Oct. 12 — was a specific message from Los Zetas to Mexican authorities to back off from the investigation.

* Tracking Mexico’s Drug Cartels

Since publishing the report, we have been deluged by interview requests regarding the case. Numerous media outlets have interviewed Fred Burton and myself regarding the Falcon Lake case. During the course of talking with reporters and customers, it became obvious to us that a solid understanding of the context within which Hartley’s killing occurred was lacking in media discussions of the case. Viewing the murder as part of the bigger picture of what is occurring in Mexico makes it far easier to understand not only why David Hartley was killed, but why his body will likely never be found — and why his killers probably will not be held accountable for their actions, at least in the context of the judicial system.


Read more: The Falcon Lake Murder and Mexico's Drug Wars | STRATFOR
In STRATFOR’s annual Mexican cartel report published in December 2009, we noted the growing fracture between the Gulf cartel and its former enforcement arm, Los Zetas, which had become an independent drug trafficking organization. We noted that Los Zetas were becoming increasingly aggressive and that the Gulf cartel was struggling to fend off these advances. In fact, it looked as if Los Zetas were about to swallow up the Gulf cartel.
(click here to enlarge image)
What had been a tense standoff between the two cartels erupted into open warfare in January when Zeta leader Sergio “El Concord 3” Mendoza Pena died in an altercation between Mendoza and a group of men reporting to Gulf cartel No. 2 leader Eduardo “El Coss” Costilla Sanchez. After learning of Mendoza’s death, Los Zetas No. 2 Miguel “Z-40” Trevino Morales gave Costilla an ultimatum to hand over those responsible for Mendoza’s death by Jan. 25. When the deadline passed without his demand being met, Trevino ordered the kidnapping of 16 known Gulf cartel members in the Ciudad Miguel Aleman area as retaliation. The war was on.
Fearing the might of Los Zetas, the Gulf cartel reached out to their longtime enemies, the Sinaloa federation, and asked for their assistance in dealing with Los Zetas. The leader of the Sinaloa federation, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, has no love for Los Zetas, who as the former military arm of the Gulf cartel engaged in many brutal battles with Guzman’s forces. Together with another enemy of Los Zetas, La Familia Michoacana (LFM), Guzman joined forces with the Gulf cartel to form an organization known as the New Federation. The stated goals of the New Federation were to destroy Los Zetas, along with the remnants of the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes (VCF) organization, aka the Juarez cartel. A move by the New Federation to destroy the remnants of the Arellano Felix Organization (aka the Tijuana cartel), now very weak, would allow the organization to dominate Mexican drug smuggling routes into the United States. If this New Federation consolidation were to occur (it has not happened yet), it would also likely result in a dramatic decrease in violence in the long term. But the VCF and Los Zetas have not yet been vanquished. This means that while the New Federation clearly has been able to gain the upper hand over the past several months, both Los Zetas and the VCF continue a desperate fight for survival and turf that in the short term means the level of violence will remain high.
The emergence of the New Federation was accompanied by the collapse of the Beltran Leyva Organization, a group formerly allied with the Sinaloa federation that broke away from Sinaloa and allied with Los Zetas and the VCF to fight against El Chapo and his allies. As these two developments played out over the first quarter of 2010, we found them to be so significant that we felt compelled to publish an update to STRATFOR’s annual cartel report in May to document the changes.

Los Zetas: Wounded, but Still Dangerous

(click here to enlarge image)
Since January, the Zetas have suffered significant organizational and territorial losses. By May 2010, Los Zetas reportedly had lost control of the strategic (and very lucrative) border crossing of Reynosa, Tamaulipas state, to the New Federation and had been forced to retreat north toward Nuevo Laredo and west toward the transportation hub of Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon state and Mexico’s third-largest city.
Significant incidents involving the Los Zetas organization since January 2010 include the following:
Jan. 18: Sergio “El Concord 3” Mendoza Pena killed by Gulf cartel, leading to rupture in Gulf/Zeta relationship. March 16: Jose “El Cuervo” Antonio Estrada Sanchez, Zeta leader of the Tabasco plaza, or port of entry for contraband, arrested. March 29: Erick “El Motokles” Alejandro Martinez Lopez, Zeta leader in Quintana Roo state, arrested. March 30: Roberto “El Beto” Rivero Arana, nephew of Zeta leader Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano Lazcano and reportedly in line to be the new Tabasco plaza leader, arrested in Tabasco. April: Twenty-five law enforcement officials in Nuevo Leon killed by the New Federation for allegedly cooperating with Los Zetas. May 12: Los Zetas ranch/training facility near Higueras, Nuevo Leon state, seized along with huge weapons cache. May 30: Hipolito Bonilla Cespedes, Lazcano’s accountant, arrested in Monterrey. June 9: Hector “El Tori” Raul Luna Luna, Monterrey Zeta leader, arrested. June 24: Manuel Antele Velasco, Puebla state Zeta leader, arrested. July 7: Esteban “El Chachis” Luna Luna, Monterrey Zeta leader, arrested. Aug. 14: “El Sonrics,” Monterrey Zeta leader, killed by military. Aug. 24: Discovery of 72 dead migrants killed by Los Zetas near San Fernando, Tamaulipas. Aug. 29: Juan “El Billy” Francisco Zapata Gallego, Zeta leader in Monterrey, arrested. Sept. 3: Twenty-seven Los Zetas die in firefight with military in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas. Sept. 26: Jose Angel “El Pelon” Fernandez de Lara Diaz, Zeta leader in Quintana Roo state hand-picked by Lazcano in June, arrested. Sept. 30: Gunmen linked to Los Zetas shoot and kill American David Hartley. Oct. 6: Jose Raymundo Lopez Arellano, local Zeta leader in San Nicolas de las Garza, Nuevo Leon (Monterrey metro area), arrested. Oct. 9: Seiky “Comandante Sierra” Ogata Gonzalez, Zeta leader in Tabasco, arrested.

Not Your Father’s Zetas

All of these recent losses by Los Zetas must be considered part of a longer timeline. As early as 2007, STRATFOR began to discuss the toll that the cartel wars were taking on the enforcement arms of the various cartel groups, such as Los Zetas. The life of a cartel enforcer is often quite brutal and short: Enforcers constantly are in danger of being killed or arrested. In 2007, we noted how Los Zetas were looking to bring in fresh muscle to bolster their ranks, to include other former members of the Mexican military and police, former Guatemalan special operations forces (known as Kaibiles), and even members of street gangs like Mara Salvatrucha, aka MS-13. These young street gang recruits frequently are referred to as “Zetitas” or little Zetas.
Such replacements come with a price, however. The original Los Zetas were defectors from Mexico’s Special Forces Airmobile Group (known by the Spanish acronym GAFE), and as such were very well-trained and well-disciplined. As evidenced from the paramilitary training camps uncovered in Mexico and Guatemala, and the fact that Los Zetas reportedly have hired military instructors from a variety of countries (including Americans, Israelis, and some Europeans), the organization has attempted to train their new recruits. But the new generations of Zetas and Zetitas are simply not as well-trained or well-disciplined as the original Zetas. This basic level of training for new recruits has also suffered in recent months as the group has been under tremendous pressure to replace members who have been killed while some of its training facilities have been seized by the authorities. This means the organization has been compelled to use enforcers with very little training who are far less tactically adept than their Zeta masters. They are little more than thugs with guns.
And this brings us back to the Hartley case. Intelligence reports we received indicate that a group of poorly trained Zeta enforcers working to keep the Falcon Lake smuggling corridor safe from encroachment by the Gulf cartel and their New Federation partners killed David Hartley. When viewed within the analytical framework of what has happened to the Zetas over the past year, the intelligence fit. It makes sense to us that the Zetas would be employing poorly trained individuals for such duties, that those performing those duties would be jumpy and that these gunmen likely did kill Hartley without orders from the Zeta hierarchy.
Although some media outlets have portrayed the murder of an American citizen by a Mexican cartel organization as an unusual event, it is really quite common. In fact, 79 American citizens officially were reported murdered in Mexico in 2009, according to U.S. State Department figures, and the State Department notes that there were probably other cases that went unreported. For 2010, the State Department reports 48 American citizens have been murdered in Mexico through June 10. Our research has uncovered at least another six reported deaths since June 10 (including David Hartley), so unofficially the number of American citizens reported murdered in Mexico is approximately 54 for the year to date. While many of the Americans murdered in Mexico are undoubtedly involved in some way with the drug trade, others have no apparent link.
Two of the American citizens murdered in Mexico in 2010 were Lesley Enriquez, an employee of the U.S. consulate in Juarez, and her husband, Arthur Redelfs, a detention officer at the El Paso County Jail. Still, with more than 9,100 murders from cartel violence to date this year in Mexico, the 54 American murder victims comprise only a small percentage of the overall body count. Because of this, some of our contacts in the Mexican government are having a hard time understanding why the Hartley murder has elicited such an intense media reaction in the United States, which in turn resulted in diplomatic pressure on Mexican authorities from the U.S. government. At the same time Mexico is being pressured by the U.S. government about the death of one American citizen, it is also are trying to come to grips with the fact that the lead Mexican investigator in the case was kidnapped and beheaded. This turn of events provides a fairly good illustration of the security environment in Mexico today.
It must also be recognized that any attempt to quantify the death toll in the Mexican cartel wars is quickly complicated by the fact that the cartels have gotten very good at disposing of bodies. Many victims simply disappear, and their murders are never confirmed. For example, in December 2008, American anti-kidnapping consultant Felix Batista disappeared from a meeting at a restaurant in Saltillo, Coahuila state. Batista reportedly was murdered, but no trace of his body was ever found. In addition to dumping bodies in mass graves, using wood chippers or feeding them to vultures, Mexican cartels also have developed innovative ways to dispose of their victims’ corpses. Santiago “El Pozolero” Meza Lopez, a Tijuana cartel enforcer arrested in January 2009, admitted to Mexican authorities that he was responsible for dissolving at least 300 bodies in sodium hydroxide, a process known as making “guiso,” Spanish for “stew.” The cartels can either dispose of a body or mutilate it and leave it to be found, depending on the specific message they wish to send.
Given the well-honed ability of the cartels to dispose of bodies and the fact that Los Zetas reportedly went into damage-control mode following David Hartley’s shooting, it was not at all surprising to receive a report indicating that that the gunmen who killed Hartley reportedly disposed of the body to destroy any potential evidence. We also received reports that Los Zetas No. 2 man, Miguel “Z-40” Trevino Morales, was angry about the murder of Hartley by poorly disciplined Zeta gunmen acting without permission, and is very unhappy with the attention the case has focused on his organization and their smuggling route through Falcon Lake.
While under heavy pressure from the New Federation and the Mexican government, which Los Zetas claim is helping the New Federation against them, the last thing Los Zetas needed was heavy pressure from the U.S. government. This might result in police operations to capture Zeta members and interference with the group’s smuggling activities.
In addition to the loss of personnel on the battlefield, Los Zetas also have lost control of valuable smuggling corridors like Reynosa. This means that any remaining corridors they control are even more important to the group and its ability to make money, which is needed to buy guns and hire and train new gunmen to protect the group against outside pressure by the New Federation and the Mexican government. Intensive law enforcement operations looking for Hartley’s body effectively shut down the Falcon Lake corridor. Due to the losses suffered by the organization from this chain of events, it is not surprising that we have received reports that Trevino wants to execute the gunmen who killed Hartley. This means that the shooters in all likelihood never will be found by authorities, much less arrested or brought before a court of law.
As organizations such as the VCF and Los Zetas become increasingly desperate in the face of attacks against them by their New Federation enemies and the Mexican government, they will likely become even more paranoid — and more dangerous to those not directly involved in the Mexican cartel wars. As this occurs, there will almost certainly be more cases of innocents caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Read more: The Falcon Lake Murder and Mexico's Drug Wars | STRATFOR

THE SERBIAN TYCOON'S KING

Serbian Government is ready to accept proposal by businessman Milan Beko for compromise over Belgrade Port, ‘Blic’ learns. Our source from the Government points out that the condition is settlement of dispute with city authorities. Beko is ready to pay for the change of land purpose almost EUR 500 millions and also to give half of the profit from apartments constructed at that location.

It is expected that Beko shall build one million square meters of residential room and the whole deal is believed to be worth EUR 1.9 billions at least. His offer is that half of the profit goes into republican budget.
The Higher court in Belgrade ruled several months ago that Belgrade Port can register itself as the owner of more than 100 hectares of disputable city land. However, the city authorities may file a complaint to such decision what would put everything at halt. Milan Beko has obviously made a step further. He addressed the Government in which the majority constitutes the DS as in the City Hall. He actually tried to have the problem with city authorities solved. However, no guarantees for that have been given to him by the Government.
Another source told ‘Blic’ that representatives of Belgrade Port and Serbian Government negotiated about the land of almost hundred hectares which is not disputable and on which construction of the residential-business complex ‘City on Water’ is to take place. Belgrade Port yesterday issued a statement in which it is said that the company wants to be a developing and investment partner of Belgrade and Serbia in the ‘City on Water’ project. The Anti Corruption Council filed in May of 2010 criminal lawsuit against Milan Beko and another 16 people (including former minister Predrag Bubalo) for abuse of office at privatization of Belgrade Port.

SRBIJA: tycoons control 80 percent of economy

Serbia is still far from becoming investment heaven for foreign investors. Lower tax rates and labor cost, favorable credits and investments turned out to be insufficient to attract foreign investors. Poor infrastructure, legal insecurity, concentration of economic power in hands of about a dozen of tycoons are chief reasons that only Macedonia ended the last year with less direct investments than Serbia from all countries in the region. This is how foreigners explain their caution over investing in Serbia.

‘The reason is not in the Government’s policy but in the social structure in which 80 percent of economy is in the hands of a dozen of tycoons. It is nice to have special program for attraction of investors, but the rule of law is of primary importance. That is something easier to say than to do’, Gavin Rayan, a partner in the ‘World Europe Capital Management’ says. ‘The situation would be much better with better infrastructure and more simple administration’, Mirela Jovanovic, Financial Director of the ‘Henkel’ says. Zdravko Maric, State Secretary at the Croatian Ministry of Finance thinks that internal adaptation to investors is also very important. ‘If we want investors to come, we have to offer them something attractive’, Maric says.

There mustn't be any false tolerance

Society does not have to adopt cultural traditions and the laws of immigrants. There can be no compromise between the German rule of law and Sharia law, which has no place in Germany – a German politician told RT. The problem with the integration of immigrants into German life is that newcomers want society to adopt their culture – and not vice versa, insists Wolfgang Bosbach, a member of the Christian Democratic Union Party which is part of Germany’s leading coalition.
RT: When the Chancellor said multiculturalism had failed – what did she mean by multiculturalism?
Wolfgang Bosbach: Angela Merkel stated that “multikulti” has failed because in Germany we have too much co-existence rather than togetherness and there are only a few examples of successful integration. There are [actually] millions of examples of successful integration but there are too many examples of refusals and failures. Integration is so important for the improvement of life perspectives of immigrants in Germany. That's why we should not live separately next to each other, so to speak "multikulti", but together.
RT: A lot of the debate has focused on Muslim immigrants rather than the Polish, Italian and Greek population in Germany. Is that fair, to highlight just them as part of the problem?
WB: We've always had immigration in our history. We have immigrants today and will always have them in the future. Three hundred years ago, every third Berliner and Brandenburger was a French protestant. A hundred years ago, Polish immigrants came to work in mining and steel industries in the Ruhr area, but in recent years and decades, people from other cultural backgrounds came, for instance from Turkey, Northern Africa and Arabic countries. And a long time ago we understood that these people have far bigger problems integrating than those who come from our neighboring European countries.
RT: So when we talk about integration – what does your party actually intend to do to help integrate people who are clearly not so at the moment?
WB: First of all it's the task of the people coming here to integrate themselves into society. One can't come to Germany, sit down and say: government, please integrate me. Instead one has to make an effort to become part of this accepting society, and the state has to make offers to make integration work, especially language courses. Hundreds of thousands have visited language courses over recent years. This is a very encouraging result.
RT: There were top politicians addressing this issue of immigration with very strong wording. Do you think that this has tapped into people’s often deep prejudices about immigration and about the Islamic religion that they are actually pretty ignorant about?
WB: I don't think that harsh words were used but rather the right words. Sensible politics begins with looking at the reality. In this reality there are millions of examples of the best kind of integration but there also too many examples of failing and refusing to integrate. And the statistics say that the rate of unemployment among immigrants is double the average among the population. The quota of those receiving welfare among immigrants is three times as high as among the population. And it makes no sense talking around this issue. One must call things as they are, in reality. One cannot say: I find the system of social benefits in Germany very good but not the rule of law. Those who come to Germany must respect the law, the constitution and our cultural traditions.
RT: Could you clarify where the lines are being drawn and what will be accepted in this country and what won’t be? And also your views on the argument that there is now on the back of it the difference between assimilation and integration?
WB: I have no problem with the word "assimilation" whatsoever. It just means "to become similar" or "to become nearly similar". What is the problem with that? Assimilation is ultimately successful integration. It doesn't mean one has to cut their roots or deny their origin. But it means that one feels sheltered by this accepting society. It means it is one's new home country, one is at home here, and not half back in their native country sitting here on packed suitcases. Integration is fulfilled when one says ‘this is my new home country’, and you can also call it assimilation.
RT: The integration and assimilation are two separate things, are they not?
WB: For me assimilation is the ultimate form of integration. Assimilation doesn't mean that I forget what native country I came from, that I deny my origin. If translated word by word, assimilation means, "becoming similar to", and that means integration is fulfilled.
RT: Assimilation is asking people to play down perhaps some of their religious symbols and religious practices to fit in better in the country to which they went, whereas integration for a lot of people means tolerance on both sides, learning how to work together to get the best results. So they are two separate things. What is Germany asking of its immigrants? Is it asking from people not to have mosques, not to wear hijab and obvious religious symbols? Or it is just asking for a greater effort in learning German language and integrate in that way?
WB: I think there is a misunderstanding here. Naturally, there is freedom of religion in Germany but only within the framework of the law and constitution. One goes to church, another to the synagogue, a third to the mosque, and a fourth doesn't attend any house of God at all. What is the problem? But what is taught and what is preached mustn't contradict our law and constitution. That's why we have a special criminal law against so-called hate preachers. Especially at this point there mustn't be any false tolerance. Integration means integrating into accepting society, it means those who have come here must make themselves fit into society. It's not that society has to adopt cultural traditions and the laws of those who are coming. There can be no compromise between the German rule of law and Sharia law. Sharia has no place here in Germany – end of story.
RT: Immigration, especially with Turkish immigrants and the Arabic immigrants, has been happening for decades. Why has the issue become so important now?
WB: On the one hand it has to do with the big number of immigrants. In Germany we have four million Muslims, not only but mostly of Turkish origin. Their origin and beliefs are becoming more and more visible, for instance through the construction of huge representative mosques, which could as well be seen as a political symbol. There have been heavy clashes lately, in Cologne for example, over the construction of a huge mosque to replace a smaller mosque. It means Islam is getting more visible. On the other hand it has to do with the difference in the progress of integration between Muslims and non-Muslims. It is not necessarily to do with their origin and social state. One example, the children of Vietnamese contract workers in the former GDR, or the children of the so-called boat people, integrate very successfully. The proportion of those children attending the best high schools in Germany is 50 per cent higher than the number of German kids. Consequently it must have something to do with the origin of the parents and their enthusiasm for education. And that's why it's such a big issue now.
RT: Do you also accept that there is also the state's role and the government’s role to be providing the infrastructure to enable the integration to happen – are there any failings of the government as well?
WB: There has been a mistaken perception in German immigration policy that the second and third generations of immigrants would automatically integrate. And why? Because they grow up here, they attend school with our children. And we see more integration problems with the second and third generations now than with the first one. It has taken us a long time to start taking necessary measures, for instance there are nationwide language and integration courses. When it comes to voluntary attendance of these courses, our expectations are surpassed. That means there is high demand. But when it comes to mandatory attendance of such language courses, due to a lack of language knowledge, the results are rather disappointing, although these people have the highest need to attend. It means there are some more tough years ahead of us.
RT: Your party has been accused by critics of using the issue of immigration to deflect attention away from failings in dealing with other economic and social issues. Is your party playing political games?
WB: This statement is clear nonsense because we like to talk about the economic and social state of the country. And Germany is doing very well. In comparison to other nations our growth rate is above average, we mastered the aftermath of the financial crisis faster and better than others; we have significantly better figures on the job market; as far as I am concerned one could talk all day about the economic and social state of Germany. We talk about immigration and integration because we have very visible problems. Other parties are feeling embarrassed that we are raising this subject. They believe if you make a problem taboo, then you can solve it this way. It reminds me of Donald Duck who used to throw his bills into the fireplace thinking he has no more debts. When politicians hush-up problems they make radical right and left parties stronger. And that's exactly what we want to prevent. We don't want to make problems taboo: we want to solve them.
RT: For decades Germany has had immigrants from Islamic countries and this issue is only now coming to the forefront in such a strong way – why?
WB: It’s because we have been noting for years that we have examples of excellent integration but too many examples of refusals to integrate, and therefore significant problems in connection with that. We experience this with the lack of the knowledge of German in school. If someone doesn't have a good knowledge of German at school they will have difficulty graduating from high school. Without graduating from high school one cannot start vocational training. Without vocational training one has fewer chances on the job market. And we want to break this vicious circle. There is no sensible reason not to talk about it. But the one who is saying there is no problem is only going towards the next point on the agenda. But we don't want to hush-up problems, we want to solve them. And we won't allow anyone to stop us from doing so. People's lives are what matter, as well as how living with each other is perceived and felt about. There is a big difference between someone who writes a piece for a magazine and owns a penthouse in Berlin and watches the sunset with a glass of sparkling wine, and writes a nice article about multicultural living together, and the last remaining German tenant in a building complex who does not understand the language that is spoken there. And he can't talk with the neighbours any longer, and he feels like a foreigner in his own country. I can just give a piece of advice: take these people's worries seriously.
RT: Would you agree there is a growing nationalist sentiment in the country now?
WB: No.
RT: So, don’t you think there is more to do on both sides on the tolerance issue? There is a number of the population agreeing with very strong statements like Muslims are ‘doing down’ the country, why are there such quotes?
WB: I have to beg you cordially but one should not mix up nationalism and patriotism. A nationalist is somebody who thinks he is better than someone else because he belongs to a certain nation. Patriotism is love for your homeland. Loving your homeland is a good thing. Don't try to make me believe that it's nationalist to stick to your country, defend its laws and values and cultural traditions. It has nothing to do with nationalism. I'm happy for anybody who loves their home country but I want to love my home country as others do theirs, without others saying this is nationalist.
RT: Do you think your political party would be beneficial even if it is promoting extremist views?
WB: I cannot see any extremism at all here.

Deadline for arrest of Mladic end of 2011

At the same time it concluded that full cooperation with the Hague Tribunal is a crucial condition for the EU membership and that unanimous decision by all of the EU ministers that Serbia is cooperating in full with the ICTY shall be required for every future step that Serbia is to make on its path to the EU.
As ‘Blic’ learns from diplomatic sources in Luxembourg, thanks to efforts made by diplomacy chiefs of Sweden and Romania more favorable variant of the conclusion has been adopted according to which Serbia has been given time until the end of the next year to finalize cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, i.e. to arrest and extradite the remaining two war crimes suspects before being given a candidate status. The EU ministers requested from Serbia to implement all recommendations given to it in June of 2010 by the Chief Tribunal’s prosecutor Serge Brammertz. They pointed out that his reports over progress being made by Serbia to that respect shall be closely followed. ‘By this conclusion the EU Council of Ministers actually found a good balance between sending a message to Serbia that steps it made in recent months towards improved dialog in the region and initiatives for dialog between Serbia and Kosovo have been recognized on one side and the condition for full cooperation with the Hague Tribunal on the other’, Steven Vanackere, Belgium Foreign Minister and also chairing of the Council explained. According to Bozidar Djelic, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister readiness by Serbia for dialog with Kosovo shall also be evaluated as a condition. At yesterday’s meeting with the EU Enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuehle, Serbian delegation was told that the EC shall forward the questionnaire to Serbia at the end of November.

Thursday, October 21

Bruno Branciforte Capo di SMM

Mentre il dibattito politico sull`Afghanistan si concentra sulle trattative con i talebani e la dotazione di bombe sui nostri aerei, il dispositivo militare si arricchisce di tre nuovi elicotteri forniti dalla Marina. Ammiraglio Branciforte lei è capo di stato maggiore dellaMarina ma l`Afghanistan è lontano dal mare. Qual è il vostro impegno nella missione Isaf? Nelle aree di crisi la proiezione dal mare richiede l`intervento della Marina. È stato così nei Balcani, in Kosovo, in Libano e anche in Afghanistan. Siamo stati presenti a Kabul ed Herat con gli elicotteri SH3D e gli AB 212 ma in questo fine settimana entreranno in azione tre EH ioi con capacità di trasporto di 30 persone. È un mezzo nuovissimo utilizzato inAfghanistan solo dalle forze inglesi.
Complessivamente quanti uomini avete in Afghanistan? La componente elicotteristica tra piloti, tecnici e fucilieri di Marina arriva a 67 unità. Ci sono poi 6o incursoriComsubin che dipendono dal Comando Forze speciali, inseriti nella Task force 45, quella della quale faceva parte iltenente Alessandro Romani. Nel secon- do semestre del ton, nel quadro ,degli avvicendamenti, andrà in Afghanistan anche il Reggimento San Marco con compito iniziale di istruzione per le forze afghane. Alla luce degli ultimi attacchi ritiene che le regole di ingaggio Isafvadano cambiate? Questo non compete a me dirlo.
Noi rispondiamo solo al capo di stato maggiore della Difesa. Tutto il resto riguarda le autorità politiche e il Parlamento. Posso solo dire che tutti i nostri militari e le loro famiglie conoscono perfettamente l`impegno e rischi connessi alla missione.

ANTONIO CORTESE FUGGIVA VERSO LA EX JUGOSLAVIA

L`esecutore materiale degli attentati e delle minacce ai magistrati di Reggio Calabria è stato fermato al confine italo-sloveno. Si chiama Antonio Cortese ha 48 anni, ufficialmente è un commerciante di frutta, ma per la polizia è soprattutto il braccio destro di Antonino Lo Giudice il capo della famiglia di`ndrangheta con interessi nella zona nord di Reggio Calabria. Ad accusarlo è stato proprio il suo capo che, appena arrestato, lo scorso 7 ottobre, ha deciso di collaborare con la giustizia. Antonio Cortese avrebbe eseguito materialmente, su ordine di Lo Giudice, i due attentati, quello davanti alla Procura generale e sotto l`abitazione del procuratore generale Salvatore Di Landro. Sarebbe stato sempre lui a piazzare il bazooka nei pressi della Procura per intimidire il procuratore distrettuale Giuseppe Pignatone. Cortese è stato fermato mentre rientrava in Italia proveniente dalla Romania. Si era mimetizzato tra i passeggeri del bus, ma per la polizia di frontiera e per gli agenti delle squadre mobili di Trieste e Reggio Calabria non è stato difficile individuarlo. Nel suo bagaglio sono stati sequestrati un notebook e un telefonino con sei schede, due italiane e quattro romene. Gli inquirenti gli davano la caccia da una decina di giorni. I segugi della Mobile reggina hanno seguito le sue tracce riuscendo a localizzarlo in Romania. Il suo avvocato Giuseppe Nardo ha comunque fatto sapere che il suo cliente era pronto a costituirsi tant`è che l`intenzione era stata preannunciata a un magistrato della Procura reggina. Cortese è accusato di associazione a delinquere e oggi il gip di Trieste dovrebbe confermare il fermo. Spetterà invece alla Procura di Catanzaro, competente per territorio, indagare sulle responsabílítà di Antonio Cortese per quel che riguarda gli attentati ai magistrati reggini. Nei giorni scorsi la polizia aveva perquisito la sua abitazione: il commerciante non si era fatto trovare e probabilmente, hanno detto gli inquirenti, si trovava già all`estero, dove poteva contare su ottime amicizie. Fuggito forse più per paura di essere ucciso, che per l`arresto. In un`informativa dei carabinieri si legge che le cosche storiche di Reggio Calabria avrebbero scatenato una vera caccia all`uomo, un`«istruttoria» per conoscere il nome del mandante e del bombarolo che hanno terrorizzato Reggio Calabria in questi ultimi mesi. Il clan non avrebbero gradito la sfida contro lo Stato e le ripercussioni che questa strategia ha provocato. Addirittura con l`invio dell`esercito per vigilare sugli obiettivi sensibili. Procure, tribunali e abitazioni di magistrati.

Why Europe's avoidance of automatic penalties is a mistake

One of the cardinal rules of politics is that whenever a suboptimal decision is made, it should be praised all the more. True to this motto, on Tuesday senior Finance Ministry official Steffen Kampeter described the latest compromise as a "great success." The reason for the jubilation: Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had announced the previous evening an agreement to deal with and penalize nations that break European Union rules regulating national budget deficits. It is an agreement that paves the way for a reform of the much criticized EU Stability Pact, which EU finance ministers had been brooding over at the same time in Luxembourg. "Without a functioning German-French axis there wouldn't have been an agreement yesterday," said Kampeter. Experts are more critical of the proposed agreement. "Politicians have obviously not learned a thing from the crisis," Klaus Zimmermann, head of the German Institute for Economic Research, told  The new rules only made "marginal steps forward." Experts say the only success that can be claimed is that any agreement at all was reached on debt regulations within Europe's common currency zone. For a long time a consensus could only be reached on one point: that a debt crisis like the one in Greece -- which for a time seemed to threaten the entire euro zone -- must be avoided in the future. This was to be achieved with the help of a new improved stability pact. Now, though, opinions are divided over what reforms are necessary. Only one thing seemed clear: things couldn't go on as before. The so-called Maastricht criteria -- which euro zone member states and those aspiring to the common currency must adhere to -- proved themselves largely ineffective within the first years they were in use. According to the criteria, countries must keep their annual budget deficits below 3 percent of GDP and public debt cannot be more than 60 percent of GDP. Many observers blame the failure of member states to stick to these criteria on an ineffective punishment mechanism. Up to now, if a country accumulated too much debt, sanctions had to be decided upon by the European Council of Ministers. It's a complex process. In practice, this meant that member states running up large budget deficits had little to fear, even if they crossed the debt limit year after year. As a result, some countries went ahead and accumulated debts without restraint -- like Greece. Once the country was on the brink of collapse, many things suddenly became clear: EU stability regulations had to be fundamentally changed. Germany, for example, began calling for automatic penalties for those who had breached EU debt limit regulations. But other EU countries put on the brakes. Despite all the existing problems, France wanted politicians to remain in the driver's seat. In other words, it wanted penalties for offending member states to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Grozny attack named by Chechen

The Chechen Interior Ministry blames the Grozny attack on Tuesday morning on Hussein Gakayev, a new terrorist leader of the region. Gakaev recently left the group of terrorists headed by Doku Umarov, and is supposedly trying to show Al-Qaeda that he is capable of heading terrorist groups. Umarov is Number One on the list of people wanted by the Russian Federal Security Service, as he is the one who took the responsibility for the terrorist attacks in the Moscow Metro in March, 2010, that left 40 people dead. Doku Umarov was called an international terrorist, also linked with Al-Qaeda by US authorities. On Tuesday morning four militants drove into the parking zone of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic, following a car of one of the Parliament members. The militants opened fire, killing several security guides, broke into the building, where they got blocked. Both Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, and Rashid Nurgaliev, the Russian Interior Minister, reported the anti-terrorist operation to be short and successful. All the militants were killed, their bodies yet to be identified. The terrorists killed three people during the attack, including two militiamen and one civilian, and injured another seventeen people. There have been contradictory reports about the attack in Grozny. There was information, later denied, that one of the militants escaped with hostages. It was also falsely reported that the building was mined, and that one of the Parliament members was injured. The whole area around the place of attack is being cleaned, and today the Chechen parliament resumes its normal working hours. Victims of the attack and their families will be receiving compensation from the government. The security measures throughout Chechnya and on the borders with other republics have been tightened. Many terror attacks that have recently taken place in Russia were associated with international terrorist groups. Just a few months after the Moscow attacks, an explosion took place in the city of Pyatigorsk, with 30 people injured. Another major attack occurred in September, 2010, in Vladikavkaz, when a suicide bomber drove a car into the city’s central market, leaving 19 people dead and another 200 injured. In addition, Russian security forces not long ago arrested Aidar Khabibullin, who was spreading extremist literature just outside Moscow. He is the leader of an international terror group based in Turkey.

A Serb from CIA decorated for saving of American

The USA Government has finally decorated leader of saving operation of more than 500 members of American pilots whose bombers were downed by the Nazis above occupied Serbia. Djorjde Vujnovic (95) was given decoration as leader of the ‘Halyard’ mission carried out in then Yugoslavia in 1944.

Vujnovic was given the medal with bronze star 66 years after completion of the mission by Congressman Joseph Crowley in the Orthodox St. Sava Church at Manhattan on October 17. The pensioned trader living in Queens in New York said ‘Better ever than never’. Vujnovic was member of the Strategic services office (later CIA) in Italy when about 500 American pilots and other members of the crew were downed during air raids on Hitler’s refineries in Romania. Draza Mihailovic considered by Yugoslav communists as German collaborator, hid pilots in several villages in Serbia. Vujnovic, American of Serbian origin was at that time stationed in Bari in Italy. He had to persuade American officials to allow him to work with Mihailovic in favor of Yugoslav communist – the strongest guerilla force fighting against the German and Italian invaders.

Arrest of Mladic matter of time

‘I think it is only matter of time when Ratko Mladic shall be located and arrested. I want Serbia to be released from burden of war criminals, to become a candidate for the EU membership in full capacity and to turn to settlement of problems regarding everyday life of our citizens’, Serbia President Boris Tadic says for ‘Blic’.

‘I am convinced that majority of our citizens also think that war criminals should face the justice. I want to repeat that even if the ICTY would be closed tomorrow, this Government would continue with utmost efforts to search for Mladic. That is our obligation in the first place towards the victims and their families’, Tadic said.
Since the future cooperation with the Hague Tribunal shall drastically influence Serbia’s path towards the EU the question to be set is why the authorities have not done more regarding arrest of Mladic since 2008 when the actual Serbian Government was formed. 
‘As we all know, Mladic is not an ordinary fugitive but a soldier with huge war experience. According to our information, people who were hiding Mladic earlier were former retired officers with also considerable intelligence and security experience. All those proved to have been involved in sheltering Ratko Mladic shall be adequately sanctioned. All our activities in search for Mladic are coordinated with our European partners. We together are trying to find replies to Mladic’s hiding techniques’, Tadic added.
Q: Is he within reach of Serbian authorities as the Chief Tribunal’s prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in the Dutch Parliament?
‘We do not know where Mladic is but are doing everything we can to find his hiding place and arrest him. Both the USA and Europe gave recognition to Serbia for huge effort the country is making to arrest and locate Mladic and Goran Hadzic and extradite them to the Hague Tribunal. We are doing absolutely everything in our power’.

Pressures obstructing search for Mladic

All capacities of Serbian services are engaged on location and arrest of the war crimes suspects, ‘Blic’ was told at Serbian Government. ‘The actual power is determined to close that issue and there is not a single obstacle to such determination. Contacts with the Tribunal are on everyday basis and we are now focused on the final step which is arrest of Mladic’, Rasim Ljajic, President of the National council for cooperation with the Hague Tribunal said for ‘Blic’.

Latest appearance by the Chief prosecutor of the Tribunal Serge Brammertz in the Dutch Parliament introduced again a dose of suspicion in the readiness of Serbia to arrest the remaining two war crimes suspects Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic. Although it can be expected that Serbian application for the candidate status shall be given green light by the EU Council of Ministers on October 25, cooperation with the ICTY shall be set as a condition without which Serbia shall not be able to make a single step forward regardless of fulfilment of other conditions and total progress made. As of yesterday inclusive, Serbia has only three unfulfilled requests set by the Tribunal. ‘So far we have responded to 1,939 requests for various documents. The last three which have just arrived give us a month time to respond. Serbia has provided over 550 witnesses released from obligation of secret keeping. The Tribunal had 23 insights into the archive. All of these speak in favor of readiness by Serbia to cooperate’, Ljajic says. According to his words domestic security services have been cooperating with other security services all the time. ‘Those services are mainly giving high recognitions for what our services are doing. This refers to search actions, too. Tribunal is acquainted in details with each and every of our activities. Any kind of political pressure on Serbia over cooperation with the Hague Tribunal is counterproductive. We deserve recognition for what we have done in spite of very difficult circumstances instead of punishment which is returning us at the beginning’, Ljajic said.
Hillary Clinton, the USA Secretary of State strongly supported Serbia’s cooperation with the Hague Tribunal after her recent visit to Belgrade where she was acquainted with all details and facts of the so far cooperation.
 ‘Location and arrest of Mladic and Hadzic is a 24-hour work and all of our capacities are engaged to that purpose. The Prosecution is not exposed to any political pressure but has support of all institutions’, Vladimir Vukcevic, war crimes prosecutor says for ‘Blic’. Brammertz is to visit Belgrade on November 9 and he is expected to present his report at the beginning of December. Serbia President Boris Tadic said in his interview with the ‘Blic’ that he believed that ‘the arrest of Mladic is a matter of time’.