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ISIS RESPONSIBLE FOR SHAH CHERAGH SHIA MOSQUE SHOOTING AND MAN ARRESTED IN BARI FOR TERRORISM

October 27 - November 2, 2022 | Issue 13 - Team: Behavior/Leadership (B/L)

Seif Harrasy, Sofia Staderini, Paula Ruiz Crespo, B/L Team

Marina Campos, Editor; Manja Vitasovic, Senior Editor

Shah Cheragh Shia Mosque[1]


Date: October 27, 2022

Location: Shiraz, Iran

Parties involved: Iranian government; Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi; Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi; Iranian police force; Iranians; Iranian protesters; Mahsa Amini; Iranian Sunni Muslims; Iranian Shia Muslims; ISIS; US

The event: Gunmen killed 14 and injured 50 at the Shah Cheragh Shia mosque on October 26. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, and Raisi has warned the government will respond.[2] 90% of Iranians are Shia, and it is the basis of Iran’s constitution.[3] The shooting occurred in parallel to protests marking 40 days since Amini's death in police custody, with Vahidi blaming protesters for setting a precedent for the attack.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The Iranian government will likely use the attack to justify violence towards protesters, very likely increasing arrests and civilian fatalities. The US will almost certainly condemn Iran’s human rights violations, likely increasing sanctions against the country. This will very likely challenge nuclear deal negotiations, likely threatening US national security as Iran will likely continue developing its nuclear program.

  • The Iranian government will likely implement discriminatory policies towards Sunni-majority regions due to ISIS claiming responsibility for the attack. Development investments will likely be low, likely increasing regional poverty. Socio-economic insecurity will very likely cause alienated Iranian Sunnis to commit violent crimes like armed robberies or to affiliate with extremist groups.

Date: October 27, 2022

Location: Sammichele di Bari, Apulia, Italy

Parties involved: Luigi Antonio Pennelli; Bari police; anti-terrorism police Bari Digos; Intelligence System for the Security of the Republic (AISE); Italian senator Liliana Segre; US hate group the Base; Italian far-right parties; Italian far-right supporters

The event: Bari Police arrested 23-year-old Pennelli on charges of international terrorism, propaganda, and incitement to commit racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination. Bari Digos and AISE traced a Telegram chat linked to the "Sieg Heil" channel, which Pennelli used to promote anti-Semitic, misogynistic, and neo-Nazi content.[5] Investigations showed Pennelli was ready to kill himself for "the defense of the white race" and commit violent actions, threatening holocaust survivor and Senator Segre. He is suspected to be a lone actor and also a The Base member. Digos found weapons in Pennelli’s home, including a carbine, a pellet gun, a crossbow, edged weapons, and Nazi SS-marked baseball bats.[6]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The Italian far-right’s popularity will likely increase due to the economic crisis stemming from the pandemic, with the far-right propaganda almost certainly exploiting the health emergency. Extremists will very likely increase their political activity, riots, and media visibility. Ideas like anti-immigration and anti-Semitism will likely spread, almost certainly fueling far-right radicalization in Italian rural and low-income areas. Far-right group membership expansions will very likely increase extremist threats and violence nationwide.

  • Far-right supporters will almost certainly use online platforms to spread neo-Nazi and extremist views. Extremist groups’ international recruitment and affiliations will likely increase, very likely expanding connectivity between them. Increased cooperation will very likely assist individuals when purchasing weapons and targeting victims through copycat tactics and advice. International intelligence will very likely fail to detect and deter far-right attacks due to joint threats and coordinated acts.

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[1] Shah Cheragh by Mostafameraji licenced under CC BY-SA 4.0

[2] Islamic State claims Iran shrine attack, Iran vows response, Reuters, October 2022

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/riot-police-deploy-iranian-cities-people-gather-aminis-memorial-2022-10-26/

[3] Sunnis and Shia in the Middle East, BBC News, December 2013 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25434060

[4] Islamic State claims Iran shrine attack, Iran vows response, Reuters, October 2022

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/riot-police-deploy-iranian-cities-people-gather-aminis-memorial-2022-10-26/

[5] “Terrorismo, arrestato a Bari seguace movimento suprematista Usa. Minacce anche alla Segre”, Skytg24, October 2022

https://tg24.sky.it/cronaca/2022/10/27/suprematista-usa-bari-arresto

[6] “Italian "white supremacist" arrested on suspicion of inciting hatred”, Euronews, October 2022

https://www.euronews.com/2022/10/27/italian-white-supremacist-arrested-on-suspicion-of-inciting-hatred

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