In democracy, the label of “member of a criminal organization” for anyone using, against the community, terror in an organized framework, would better define the problem. This would also take away the romanticism that some want to attach to extreme violence acts for so called ideological purposes. Art. 83 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (2007) deals with organized crime and terrorism. It associates the last to other forms of crime with transnational aspects, listing “serious crimes,” terrorism included that, due to ontological characteristics, manifest themselves under the framework of “criminal organizations”.
Together with globalization, terrorist organizations moved progressively through history not only towards sharing methods of action and financing of organized crime, using the same operating trans-national networks, but also towards the same objective: increasing their power, under whenever ideology, all over the world. The surge of extremist forms of nationalism within ever more NATO Member Countries underlines the nature of the threat.
In many geo-political contexts, the highly feared merger has materialized in permanent terms. Organized crime does not hesitate to use terrorist actions to pursue its own objectives. Meanwhile, terrorist organizations work and operate not only with organized crime but according to models and in sectors borrowed or rented from it.
Phenomenology demonstrates that terrorism indicates basically a method, the pursuing of objectives through terror, by which different purposes can be pursued, political, ideological, separatist and religious, but also economic. The relationship between such criminal organizations and States are characterized by an alternation of phases of conflict and dialogue, sometimes coexistent.
The fight against this global threat against democracies should be based on coordinated and responsible enforcement actions, within the criminal law in peace time, taking into account the level of the threat, according to the rule of law and international conventions. Global threats need to be dealt with by a government of laws, not by a Government of men.
This has been and remains in Italy the method to deal with subversive organizations, both “mafia” and “terrorist” phenomena, The Italian regulations, article 39, last paragraph, law of 3 August 2007, n. 124 on Information System for the Security of the Republic and the new Regulation of Secrecy should apply in any substantial democracy: “Under no circumstances news, documents or things related to both actions of terrorism and subversion against the constitutional order or offences referred to in articles 285, 416-bis, 416-ter and 422 of the Penal Code, can be covered by the official State secret”. Secrets of mafia can in no way be considered as States' secrets…