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Strategies of Secession and Counter-Secession

Lone Actor Radicalization in the Italian Neo-Fascist Milieu: The Case the Florence Shootings 2011

Political Violence
 
Terrorism
 
Southern Europe
 
Presenter
Pietro Castelli Gattinara
Universitetet i Oslo
Authors
Francis O'Connor
Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
Pietro Castelli Gattinara
Universitetet i Oslo
Lasse Lindekilde
Aarhus Universitet

Abstract
Although Italy has a bloody history of recent political violence and terrorism, it has heretofore avoided, with one notable exception, any lone actor attacks. In 2011, a Casa Pound sympathizer went on a shooting spree which killed a number of the Senegalese community in Florence. Recent research on Lone Actor Extremism has emphasized that many attackers are guided by the doctrine of Leaderless Resistance, which holds that individual militants have a personal onus to autonomously carry out attacks. Casseri’s pattern of radicalization and type of attack coincides directly with the Autonomous Lone Actor typology identified by Malthaner, Lindekilde & O’Connor (forthcoming). This paper will discuss why the burgeoning Italian fascist milieu, unlike its international far-right counterparts, has not made more substantial recourse to strategies of Leaderless Resistance. The case of Casseri confirms that notwithstanding a strong sense of collective discipline, that the Italian far-right milieu does also produce individuals inclined toward Lone Actor violence. It will draw on the authors’ recent research on patterns of Lone Actor radicalization, their deep knowledge of the Casa Pound movement, including primary sources obtained during extensive fieldwork, and their firsthand experiences as residents in Florence at the time of the attack. It will conclude with a discussion on the prospects of further Lone Actor Violence in Italy in the future.
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