Diritto penale contemporaneo
The case concerned a tunisian and a Pakistan national who had manifested, via the Internet, their adherence to the doctrine of so-called Islamic State (IS) and the will to carry out terroristic attacks in Italy. The First Assize Court in Milan convicted them for the offense of ‘participation in associations for terrorist purposes’ (Article 270 bis of the criminal code), on the grounds of the fact that this crime does not necessarily presupposes the actual commission of terrorist acts. The Article provides for a ‘crime of supposed danger’; it therefore covers, inter alia, any preparatory activity, such proselytism, the recruiting of others, terrorist training and auto-training, and so on. Given that IS encourages the ‘lone wolf terrorism’ (that is, terrorists acting in isolation, with only an ideological affiliation to the IS), said interpretation has become a necessity for anticipating repression. It remains that Italian law does not allow prosecution for, merely, the sharing of the IS purposes and objectives, without the evidence that preliminary activity has been carried out with terroristic intent (‘mens rea’).