The Islamist phenomenon, understood as the political use of Islam to pursue goals that often embrace an extremist view clashing with pluralism, human rights and constitutional values, has been present and active in Europe for decades, with dynamics and strategies that can change in relation to the context of interest, may it be national or local. The political and social dynamics in Europe are very different from the ones in Middle-Eastern countries and so are the strategies implemented by Islamists for their lobbying.
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.