Italian interior minister calls maximum terrorism alert

(AGI) Rome, Jan 18 - The Italian Interior Minister, AngelinoAlfano, has called a maximum terrorism alert. "Since the end ofDecember, we have expelled 9 people and specifically fiveTunisians, one Turkish, one Egyptian, one Moroccan and onePakistani", he said. He went on: "I said we would furthertighten the expulsion mechanism and we did so ahead of theParis events". The suspects were people with long-termresidence permits. "My actions in this direction will not stopat expelling them and we will continue to be extremely strict",Mr Alfano said. Referring to the people expelled, the minister

(AGI) Rome, Jan 18 - The Italian Interior Minister, AngelinoAlfano, has called a maximum terrorism alert. "Since the end ofDecember, we have expelled 9 people and specifically fiveTunisians, one Turkish, one Egyptian, one Moroccan and onePakistani", he said. He went on: "I said we would furthertighten the expulsion mechanism and we did so ahead of theParis events". The suspects were people with long-termresidence permits. "My actions in this direction will not stopat expelling them and we will continue to be extremely strict",Mr Alfano said. Referring to the people expelled, the ministersaid that they had been in Italy for years and that two of themhad incited their respective families to go fight in Syria.Some of the people expelled were members of the Islamic State(IS) organisation and were very active on the Web, and that ishow they became radicalised. "We screened many more than ahundred people", the minister added, specifying that there isno black list and the monitoring is mostly based onconfidential information. "According to yesterday's update, theforeign fighters are now 59. Obviously not all 59 are in Italyalthough these are people who are in some way connected toItaly. Fourteen of these are already dead and five are Italianswho have gone to Syria", he said. Italy has done everythingnecessary to prevent a possible threat, with Italy's best menworking on the problem every day, he reported. "Our policedepartment is in a permanent state of alert and our securitysystem, which is based on prefectures, is on maximum alert", hesaid. "We are working in the shadow but relentlessly in orderto assure liberty and security to the whole Western world", theminister explained. He went on: "We are facing an immanentthreat that could materialise anywhere in our continent and isessentially unforeseeable. In the face of this potentialthreat, we have raised the degree of alert to the maximum levelpossible", Mr Alfano said. He expects there will soon be moreexpulsions but refrained from giving details so as not to givethese activists an advantage. "We are operating with greatdiscretion and we are screening individual positions ofsuspects so as to detect any sign that could give rise tosecurity problems", he concluded. . .