“Chaos in the Mediterranean: Defend Europe’s covert manoeuvres around the ‘Iuventa’ investigation”

A very interesting article written by Andrea Palladino for this week’s issue of “Famiglia Cristiana”.

Chaos in the Mediterranean: Defend Europe’s covert manoeuvres around the “Iuventa” investigation.

Photo taken from the article on “Famiglia Cristiana”

There is a link between the court investigation into the NGO vessel “Iuventa” and the European far-right “Defend Europe” initiative.

This link is the relationship between the private security agency “IMI Security Service”, owned by Cristian Ricci — that is the group of contractors that reported the “Iuventa” for “irregularities”, prompting the start of an inquest by the Prosecutor’s Office in Trapani (Sicily) — and the former Italian Navy officer Gian Marco Concas, one of “Generazione identitaria” (Identitarian movement)’s spokespersons.

An expert seaman and skipper, Concas is styled as the “Technical Director” of the naval enterprise of the European anti-migrant network, whose “C-Star” ship is currently entering the “Search and Rescue” area near the Libyan waters.

Mr Concas appeared in a video towards the end of July, in which he read an official statement by the Identitarian movement which mentioned in a mocking tone several anti-racist associations, the Italian left-wing association ARCI and “Famiglia cristiana”’s editorial staff.

Concas’ name is listed in the security agency’s official online “social” group. It was this same agency which, in October 2016, informed the Italian military intelligence agency AISE (and later the Italian police in Trapani) about the “suspicious” movements of the German NGO ship “Iuventa”, which would be later detained (2nd of August) by the authorities in Trapani.

The online “social” group, directly linked to the official IMI Security Service website, is not open to the public: you can only access it after being admitted by an administrator.

The members’ list, however, is freely available: It lists several contractors, many of whom with active military experience detailed in their CV.

We’re talking about the same background to the British mercenary agency which provided the “C-Star” ship — currently en route towards the Libyan coasts — to the Identitarian movement.


The examining magistrate (Gip) in Trapani, in a recap of the early stages of the investigation into the German NGO Jugend Rettet’s ship “Iuventa”, quotes from the statements by two contractors linked to the security agency IMI:

“In particular, Montanino Lucio and Gallo Pietro, operators aboard the “Vos Hestia” ship (belonging to the “Save the Children’’ NGO,) temporarily employed by “IMI Security Service”, and whose statements prompted the start of the ongoing criminal procedure…”.

They are the first to flag “certain irregularities in the “Search and rescue” effort carried out by the “Iuventa”, concerning the crucial phase of the rescue action at sea, often taking place in proximity of the Libyan coasts.”

Their statements are made during an interview which takes place on the 14th of October, 2016.

That is the moment when the “Iuventa” investigation is started by the Prosecutor’s Office in Trapani.

As a matter of fact, the two contractors had already shared their views with the Italian intelligence services.

The article goes on to quote from the men’s interview, in which they explain how, during a rescue operation on the 10th of September 2016, they had noticed a dinghy leaving the area with 2 men in the direction of Libya. They add that they reported what they had seen to the Italian military intelligence agency AISE.

Back to Andrea Palladino’s article:

In the wake of this first interview, the magistrates in Trapani decided to tap the phones of the two contractors and of IMI’s owner, Cristian Ricci.

Thanks to the phone tapping, Mr Ricci is heard mentioning a number of details of the ongoing inquiry, speaking on February 27th, 2017 […]


What is quite surprising is the convergence of that initial complaint to the authorities and the Identitarian movement’s plan of action.

On the 3rd of August, while all the newspapers were filling up with the details of the Trapani investigation, a post appeared on the “Generazione identitaria” Facebook wall:

“The intelligence work carried out by Gian Marco Concas, Captain of “Defend Europe”, on the actions of the NGO’s has started to bear fruit”.

“While the C-Star is yet to reach her destination, we’ve already managed to catch the “Open Arms” and the “Golfo Azzurro” ships red-handed, operating inside Libya’s territorial waters, as evidenced by the range marker data.”

That post is published with two screenshots dating back to late July. One of the two, in particular, has some remarkable — if not disturbing — aspects.

Photo taken from the article on “Famiglia Cristiana”

It shows the route on sea charts of the “Open Arms” vessel, all the way to the coast of Libya.

The date indicated is the 23rd of July, 2017.

A very similar route — also referring to the “Open Arms” ship and its claimed presence near the Libyan coast — had been published by the organization’s Twitter account, dated 25th July.

That information was however untrue, ex explained by “Famiglia Cristiana” after receiving input from Marine Traffic, the digital hub which collects and publishes navigation data.

The “Open Arms” ship’s transponder had been tampered with, as confirmed by engineers, by unknown hackers.

IT security experts contacted by “Famiglia cristiana” explained that such an operation is not only possible but often carried out, particularly for insurance fraud purposes.

And that’s not all.

Those same experts explained how a more sophisticated attack is possible, with the use of a special type of software, whereby a ship’s navigation systems can be remotely sabotaged, simulating a radio communication as if it was coming from sea authorities.

The original article can be found here: http://www.famigliacristiana.it/articolo/caos-mediterraneo-quel-link-occulto-tra-defend-europe-e-l-operazione-iuventa.aspx

(Extracts translated by @AnpiBrescia)