ISIL has failed to make a serious attack within Italy
Why Hasn't ISIS Blown Up Rome?Apparently, the mafia does not want Middle Easterners poaching on their turf so they tend to turn them in. It also seems clear that the Snowden effect has not been embraced the Italians.
First, Italian intelligence, especially domestic intelligence, is a lot better than you might imagine. They are exceptionally good snoopers, since the state knows that the citizens don't much like the powers-that-be, and so the agents of the state are forever peeking and listening. Sometimes I have believed that the snoopers listen in on every telephone conversation and even face-to-face chats. I've spent a lot of time reading Italian court records, in which I've found transcripts of conversations in bars, in restaurants, and even in taxi cabs.
Keep in mind that the Italian word for "privacy" is "privacy." They lifted ours because the concept isn't in the native language. Wittgenstein, along with Bill Clinton, will tell you if there is no word for it, it doesn't exist.
The system is most famously used by the Treasury police, and they're trying to catch tax evaders, but all are grist for their mill, so they identify all manner of criminals, including terrorists. And, contrary to the stereotype most of us have of the Italians-sweet, gentle souls-they are actually tough guys. Italy has the longest uninterrupted tradition of political assassination in the West, and possibly globally. Moreover, the complicated legal code makes it possible to arrest most anyone, and hold him under preventive detention for many years. Or to expel most any non-citizen. The Italians have thrown out many an imam in the past few years.
Second, Italian authorities have a lot of experience dealing with clandestine criminal organizations. Think mafias. Terrorists have long been in cahoots with drug smugglers-which in Italy means mafias, especially the big three based in Sicily, Calabria and Naples. The Sicilian Mafia has been considerably weakened in recent decades, and while the same cannot be seriously maintained for the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta and the Neapolitan Camorra, there have been plenty of arrests. That tells us that the state has infiltrated the networks, and that there are traitors within them.