Friday, 23 July 2021

PM Expects Additional Reports on Last Year's Terrorist Attack on Government Building

ZAGREB, 23 July 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday he expected additional reports from all security services about last year's terrorist attack on the government building in St Mark's Square in Zagreb, because he doubted that the attacker did not have any accomplices.

"This matter is too important and too serious and it was not discussed much. If it happened in any other country, believe me, no stone would be left unturned until it was found who got this person to do something like that," Plenković told reporters during a visit to the southern island of Hvar.

The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office (DORH) said on Thursday that the 12 October 2020 attack, carried out by 23-year-old Danijel Bezuk, was an act of terrorism but that the attacker did not have an abettor or instigator. 

Commenting on DORH's decision, Plenković said that he had seen footage of the attack, recalling that the perpetrator had twice returned to shoot at the government building and police.

"This incident was unprecedented. The perpetrator was young. This act cannot be described otherwise than a terrorist attack because it was an attack on an institution," the prime minister said.

He added that it was hard for him to believe that such a young person had committed such a crime for no reason and unprovoked.

"I think additional efforts should be made to see who are the people who influenced such a young person, who indoctrinated him and led him to do something like that. I don't think that he himself made the gun that he used, or that he learned to shoot on his own, or that he came to that decision on his own. I doubt there were no abettors or instigators," Plenković said.

He said he still stood by his statement that the attacker was influenced by "certain political parties".

"I will not be naming any names now, but I mentioned them the other day," Plenković said, alluding to parties that accuse his government of being a "Croatian-Serbian trading coalition". 

He said that he supports tolerance and respect for ethnic minorities and is against an exclusive and aggressive Croatia, stressing that parties like that will never be partners to his HDZ.

Asked how long St Mark's Square, the seat of the Government and Parliament, would stay fenced off, Plenković said that this decision rested with the Ministry of the Interior and security services. 

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Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Global Terrorism Index 2020: Croatia is a Completely Safe Country

ZAGREB December 2, 2020 – Croatia is a completely safe country, according to the latest figures from the Global Terrorism Index

According to the Global Terrorism Index, Croatia is a completely safe country. Their findings are reported annually by the Institute for Economy and Peace. In their most recent report (published late November 2020), from the year beginning 2018 and ending in 2019, Croatia scored an index rating of 0.0 on the impact of terrorism. This means that, in regards to the threat of and the fallout from terrorism, Croatia is a completely safe country.

In the report, terrorism affects most the citizens of three countries: Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria. Terrorist groups are powerful and active in these three nations. On a daily basis, they affect and change the lives of all the people who live in these countries, particularly those who inhabit larger population centres.

The situation is particularly tragic in Afghanistan (with an index rating of 9.5). 41% of all fatal victims of terrorist globally live in that one country alone. The second country most-affected on the list is Nigeria with 9%. Afghanistan and Nigeria were the only two countries which each suffered more than 1,000 deaths from terrorism.

Global-Terrorism-Index-2019.jpgA map showing the impact of terrorism globally. The figures were compiled in a one year period between 2018 and 2019, published as an annual report in late November 2020 © Institute for Economy and Peace (IEP)

Globally deaths from terrorism fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2019 to 13,826, a 15 per cent decrease from the prior year. The peak of deaths from terrorism occurred in 2014 and this coincides with the high point of influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL). The figures from 2019 show a decrease of 59% since then.

A total of 63 countries recorded at least one death from terrorism in the most recent report. Although dismal reading, this is in fact the lowest number of countries to have reported such since 2013.

The global economic impact of terrorism was US$16.4 billion in the twelve-month period covered by the report, a decrease of 25 per cent from the previous year. However, the true economic impact of terrorism is much higher as these figures do not account for the indirect impact on business, investment, and the costs associated with security agencies in countering terrorism.

ISIS (or ISIL)'s centre of activity has been shown to have moved to sub-Saharan Africa in the period. Total deaths by ISIL in the region have increased by 67%. ISIL and their affiliates were also responsible for attacks in 27 countries in the year period ending 2019.

GTI-2020-twitter-2020-41-per-cent-ISIL-sub-saharan.jpg© Institute for Economy and Peace (IEP)

The GTI uses a number of factors to calculate its score, including the number of incidences, fatalities, injuries and property damage. The Taliban remained the world's deadliest terrorist group in 2019; however, terrorist deaths attributed to the group declined by 18%. ISIL's strength and influence also continued to decline. For the first time since the group became active, it was responsible for less than a thousand deaths throughout the year.

It is not yet known whether the attack on government buildings in Zagreb in 2020 will affect Croatia's rating on the index published next year. Although a lone endeavour, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković is the most high-profile commentator (of many) to have said the attack had elements of terrorism. The global increase in threat from domestic attacks is clearly evident within the rest of the most recent report.

In North America, Western Europe and Oceania, terrorist attacks by groups or individuals involved in far-right politics have increased by 250 per cent since 2014. They are now higher than at any time in the last 50 years. There were 89 deaths attributed to far-right terrorists in 2019. In the USA, white supremacists and other rightwing extremists have been responsible for 67% of domestic terror attacks and plots so far this year.

SaintMark'sChurch.jpgSaint Mark's Square in Zagreb, scene of a shooting in 2020, perpetrated by a Croatian citizen © Marc Rowlands

There have so far not been any terrorist actions attributable to fundamentalist Islamic groups in Croatia, unlike other European countries such as Spain, Germany, France and the UK. Eastern and southern Europe have experienced more civil unrest in direct correlation with the rise of far-right politics in the region. The popularity of far-right politics has risen ever since the 2008 financial crisis and has continued through the economic recession which followed.

Such trends are expected to continue because of the anticipated and extended economic downturn caused by COVID-19, which is likely to increase political instability and violence. Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020, preliminary data suggests a decline in both incidents and deaths from terrorism in most regions in the world. However, it is expected that the pandemic is likely to present new and distinct counter-terrorism challenges.

Of Croatia's neighbours, Bosnia and Herzegovina recorded the largest improvement in the whole of Europe with their 2019 index rating (followed by Austria and Sweden). Only two terrorist attacks were recorded in the country in 2019, compared to six the previous year. Slovenia also scored a 0.0 rating, meaning it can say that it, like Croatia is a completely safe country.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Government: St Mark's Square Designated a Guarded Area

ZAGREB, November 26, 2020 - The government on Thursday amended the decree on designation of protected persons and buildings, designating St Mark's Square, the location of the buildings housing the government offices, parliament and the Constitutional Court, as a category 1 guarded area.

The amendment came after a 12 October shooting incident in which a police officer guarding the entrance to the government building was shot and wounded and the perpetrator later committed suicide.

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said that the designation of the area as a guarded area created the legal grounds for stepping up security measures in order to reduce the possibilities of direct access and undermining the safety and security of the persons and buildings concerned.

He said that the rights to public assembly and peaceful protests would not be restricted and would be in compliance with the relevant legislation.

Access and movement for all persons, employees, office-holders, lawmakers, Constitutional Court judges, people living in the buildings in the square, worshippers visiting St Mark's Church and participants in public rallies will not be restricted.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

PM Brands Zagreb Square Shooting as Act of Radicalization

ZAGREB, Oct 14, 2020  - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Wednesday that Monday's Zagreb Square shooting, when a 22-year-old man opened fire at policemen protecting Government House, hinted at radicalization, which should make institutions and the society think about the motives and reasons for that act.

"This is a serious situation that should make institutions and all of us as a society think why this happened," Plenkovic told a news conference at the government in reference to Monday morning's shooting in St Mark's Square when a police officer sustained serious injuries and the 22-year-old gunman later committed suicide.

This is something that crossed the line and brought us into a situation in which we are supposed to change the security frameworks for the work of the government and media coverage in St. Mark's Square, said the premier.

The whole society needs to ask itself what has led to this radicalization and why, and this is an act of radicalization, Plenkovic said.

The behavior of that 22-year-old man was definitely impacted by the information to which he was exposed, and he was also under the influence of somebody, sources which prompted him to try to kill (policemen). We will see who is responsible for that, Plenkovic said.

He underscored that at this moment he could not point an accusing finger at anyone. However, he said, society should ask who incites hatred in the political life of Croatia.

Even after this shooting, "persons like (Vukovar Mayor) Ivan Penava and Mrs. Karolina Vidovic Kristo (a Homeland Movement parliamentarian) are capable of making statements which deserve full condemnation, which are unacceptable, and unbelievable in the political sense, and which do not contribute to the culture of tolerance and normal behavior in a law-based society," Plenkovic said.

He called on media actors that incite hatred to start behaving responsibly, referring to "those that incite hatred between Croatians and the Serb minority in their broadcasts."

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Monday, 12 October 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Policeman Shot on St Marks Square in Zagreb

ZAGREB October 12, 2020 – Policeman shot on St Marks Square in Zagreb just after 8 am this morning...

UPDATE: 22-year-old Danijel Bezuk from Kutina has been identified as the Zagreb shooter. Read more...

Developing news: Policeman shot on St Marks Square in Zagreb just after 8 am this morning. As of 8.35 am, the perpetrator was still on the run. Some media outlets were reporting that the armed man was hiding inside one of the museums in the upper town. However, by 9 am, media outlets were reporting that the attacker was dead, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot. Unconfirmed reports say that a Kalashnikov was used in the shooting and that a burst of gunfire rang out at 8 am during the incident of the policeman shot on St Marks Square.

508088be-09ad-4331-8cde-76a5971998ee.jpgN1 TV screenshot. The broadcaster was one of the first to detail the incident of a policeman shot on St Mark's Square in Zagreb

The policeman shot on St Marks square in Zagreb was injured and has been taken to hospital. No details regarding his condition have yet been released. Armed police in bullet-proof vests have now replaced him and are surrounding government buildings in the Upper Town. The search for the shooter has now been called off. The Croatian Prime Minister has arrived at the government buildings in the Upper Town. He did not yet make any comment to reporters. He is said to have looked shocked upon arrival.

This is a very uncommon attack with a firearm in one of the best-guarded areas of the capital. This morning's incident of the policeman shot on St Marks Square in Zagreb is also an extremely rare incident of a gun being used against the police in the Croatian capital.

The policeman shot on St Marks Square underwent surgery at Zagreb's KBC Sestre Milosrdnice. The 31-year-old policeman works as a personal security officer for the government. His condition is now described as stable.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković addressed gathered journalists on St Marks Square at 10.30 am. No motive for the attack has so far been ascertained. It is thought the gunman intended to fire upon the buildings and that the guarding policeman shot on St Marks square was not the actual intended target.

This is a breaking news story and Total Croatia News will be updating this article as more details are released

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Monday, 7 October 2019

CRO Race: Adam Yates Overall Winner, Fedeli Fastest at Zagreb Finish Line

October 7, 2019 - British cyclist Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) is the winner of this year's edition of the CRO Race cycling tour, which finished at St. Mark's Square in Zagreb on Sunday.

HRT writes that Yates won with a time 22 seconds ahead of the second-placed Italian David Villella of Kazakhstan's Astana, and 29 seconds ahead of the third-placed Spaniard Victor De la Parte, a member of the US CCC team.

For the 27-year-old, who finished fourth at the 2016 Tour de France, this is his second victory in a stage race. So far, his best result was in Turkey in 2014. Earlier this year, Yates took second place in the "WorldTour" races "Tirreno-Adriatico" and "Volta a Catalunya".

“A win is a win no matter how big the race is. I can be pleased with the season even though it had its ups and downs,” Yates said.

In addition to the red jersey intended for the overall winner, Yates also won the green jersey as the best climber in the CRO Race. His team-mate from Australia, Alexander Edmondson (Mitchelton-Scott), won the blue jersey for best points, while Kazakhstani cyclist Vadim Pronski of Astana, who won the team title, wore the white jersey for best young cyclist. 

The best-placed Croatian cyclist was 40-year-old Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil), who finished in tenth place in the overall order,  2:09 minutes behind Yates.

The winner of the last, sixth stage, from Sveta Nedelja to St. Mark's Square in Zagreb, was Italian Alessandro Fedeli from the French team Delko Marseille, who finished two seconds before second-placed Slovenian Jan Tratnik from Bahrain-Merida and third-placed Austrian Florian Kierner from Felbermayr Simplon.

Fedeli was a member of the eight who stood out from the leading group at the very beginning of the stage in Sveta Nedelja, and by bravely driving through the streets of Zagreb, he was able to resist the peloton to the finish. Fedeli attacked his fleeing partners during the penultimate round of driving downtown Zagreb about 10 kilometers before the finish line. Although Kierner, Dutchman Stef Krul (Metec-TKH), and Austrian Florian Gamper (Tirol KTM) were always only 10 seconds behind, they failed to catch him, while the Bahrain-Merida-led peloton misjudged their attack and missed the 23-year-old Italian, who marked his fifth professional career victory.

Yates crossed the finish in Zagreb as seventh with five seconds behind Fedeli, but that was enough to increase his lead in the final order from 15 to 22 seconds ahead of Villella.

The final, sixth stage was driven from Sveta Nedjelja to Zagreb, and cyclists also visited several other cities in Zagreb County, like Velika Gorica, Dugo Selo, Vrbovec and Sveti Ivan Zelina during the 155-kilometer route. The race ended with two six-kilometer laps in the center of Zagreb. There were targets in Velika Gorica, Dugo Selo, and Vrbovec, while Sveti Ivan Zelina hosted the only hill in the stage.

Very soon after the start, eight cyclists stood out from the leading group - Austrians Florian and Patrick Gamper from the Tirol KTM team, Florian Kierner and Patrick Lehner from Felbermayr Simplon and the Dutch Dylan Bouwmans and Stef Krul (Metec-TKH), Italian Alessandro Fedeli (Delko Marseille) and Slovenian Matic Grošelj (Ljubljana Gusto Santic). Those eight quickly created an advantage of over four minutes, dividing all the prizes for hitting the goals, but as none of them were near the top in the standings to win first place in any of the three competitions (overall ranking, competition by points, competition for the best climber), these results did not affect the final ranking.

Although by the time they entered Zagreb, the leading group had fallen to only a minute and a half ahead, and though it seemed that the winner would come from the leading group of cyclists, young Fedeli had other plans and with a fantastic solo-run, he achieved a sweet victory.

RESULTS

6. STAGE:

1. Alessandro Fedeli (Ita/Delko Marseille)    3:22:14

2. Jan Tratnik (Slo/Bahrain)                                 +2

3. Florian Kierner (Aut/Felbermayr Simplon)        +2

4. Stef Krul (Niz/Metec-TKH)                                +2

5. Alexander Edmondson (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott) +5

6. Dušan Rajović (Srb/Adria Mobil)                       +5

7. Adam Yates (VB/Mitchelton-Scott)                    +5

8. Sjoerd Bax (Niz/Metec-TKH)                             +5

9. Benjamin Hill (Aus/Ljubljana Gusto Santini)     +5

10. Quentin Pacher (Fra/Vital Concept)               +5

-----------------------------------------------------

31. RADOSLAV ROGINA (HRV/Adria Mobil)           +24

51. JOSIP RUMAC (HRV/Androni Giocattoli)        +1:31

OVERALL RESULTS:

1. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)             20:57:05

2. Davide Villella (Ita/Astana)                      +22

3. Victor De la Parte (Špa/CCC)                   +29

4. Andrej Zajc (Kaz/Astana)                         +42

5. Domen Novak (Slo/Bahrain)                     +50

6. Alexis Guerin (Fra/Delko Marseille)           +1:09

7. Pierre Rolland (Fra/Vital Concept)            +1:25

8. Brent Bookwalter (SAD/Mitchelton-Scott) +1:42

9. Sjoerd Bax (Niz/Mrtec-TKH)                       +1:45

10. RADOSLAV ROGINA (HRV/Adria Mobil)     +2:09

---------------------------------------------------

37. JOSIP RUMAC (HRV/Androni Giocattoli)    +19:11

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Friday, 2 March 2018

When Croatian Politicians Retaliate with Hajduk in Zagreb (Video)

A Croatian politician has done what most people wouldn’t dare do in Zagreb.

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