Via Guerzoni is a quiet street on the outskirts of Milan in a former industrial neighborhood that is somewhere between decrepitude and redevelopment.
High walls line both sides of the road for about 100 yards as it runs between a park and a half-abandoned plant nursery. If you’re in the business
of making people disappear—call it kidnapping or maybe counterterrorism or, in the Bushian jargon of the moment, “rendition”—then Via Guerzoni
is a good venue. Few people are around, and many of those are Muslim immigrants who want as little to do with the police as they can.
So whoever snatched an Egyptian-born imam known as Abu Omar off Via Guerzoni in broad daylight on Feb. 17, 2003, had planned well. And if their
tradecraft had been a little bit better, the incident could have been kept very quiet and forgotten quickly. But they screwed up, and soon, possibly
as early as next week, you can look for the abduction of Abu Omar to emerge as a major embarrassment to President George W. Bush and Italian Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Too bad, from the kidnappers’ point of view, that a woman walking out of the park on Via Guerzoni that chilly February afternoon in 2003 saw two men
spray something in Abu Omar’s face and bundle him into the back of a truck. Even worse, for those who wanted to hush up the whole affair, Abu Omar
resurfaced—at least by telephone. On April 20, 2004, more than a year after he’d disappeared, the Italian cops listened in on a phone call he
placed from Egypt to his wife in Milan, telling her he’d been in prison, but was now under a kind of house arrest; he would send her money, and she
should be quiet. But Abu Omar didn’t take his own advice. He called another imam in Milan and eventually recounted the tale of how he’d been
abducted and where he’d been taken. Soon afterward, Abu Omar dropped out of sight again in Egypt, presumably re-imprisoned. A lawyer for the Jamaa
Islamiya, an Egyptian group to which Abu Omar belonged, says he has no idea where the imam is now, whether in jail, alive or dead.
'Last week, I passed through Milan and decided to visit the scene of the crime. As I walked the quiet roads between Abu Omar’s apartment and that
lonely stretch of Via Guerzoni where he was kidnapped, I kept thinking of something he was told by the mysterious visitor from Germany in that
conversation tape recorded back in the summer of 2002. In the Italian transcript, which I have, they talked about reorganizing the Hizb Al Tahrir
group after the post-9/11 arrests in Europe. They talked about money: where to get it (from Saudis); how to use it (to make more money). They talked
about “the youth” who could be used as martyrs. And toward the end of the chat, the Unidentified Man warned Abu Omar, as if from nowhere, “You
need to study the street, because war ought to be studied …” In the shadow world of terror and counterterror, even a quiet street like Via
Guerzoni can be a battlefront."
the war u see may not just be in Afghanistan or Iraq or in places where terrorism has being goin on like the Phillipines or Indonesia, it can be even
in a nice street like Italy, its like spy versus spy and u may not even know about.
[edit on 17-6-2005 by deltaboy]