The 2023 spring season has been quite significant for Iranian pro-regime propaganda in Italy with five events held in different parts of the country. In at least three of them, the common denominator was the figure of Qasem Soleimani, the general of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards killed by a U.S. drone strike on January 3rd 2020 in Baghdad, presented in two different books: one published by the Rome-based Imam Mahdi Islamic Center and entitled “Qasem Soleimani un combattente di Dio” (Qasem Soleimani, a combatant of God) and the second one named “Coraggio e Fede” (Courage and Faith), authored by Hanieh Tarkian, coordinator for the Italian branch of the Qom-based al-Mustafa Institute of Islamic Studies. As, it will later be seen, both books promote an image of Soleimani that transcends his role of a military commander, giving him an aura of mysticism, idealizing his figure and displaying him as a martyr.
Please [Download the PDF file] for further reading.
Giovanni Giacalone is a senior analyst for the Italian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues and Managing Emergencies-Itstime (Catholic University of Milan) and for of the Kedisa-Center for International Strategic Analysis based in Athens, Greece. From 2014 to 2016, he was an associate researcher for Istituto Studi Politica Internazionale-Ispi’s “Observatory on Terrorism”. He is a graduate from the University of Bologna, MA in Islamic Studies from Trinity Saint David University of Wales and a further specialisation in Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism from the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism-IICT. Giacalone was a country-coordinator for the Globsec European project “From criminals to terrorists and back”, with the objective of analysing the crime-terror nexus among jihadist foreign fighters. He currently collaborates with the media and he is an author of several books and chapters on jihadism in Italy, the Balkans and Russia. He has lectured security managers and law enforcers on Italian soil. He is a contributor for the analysis website InsideOver and in 2020 he co-founded the Security and Terrorism Observation and Analysis Group.