Italian jihadists arrested in anti-terror operation

(AGI) Milan, July 1 - Several suspects have been arrested in anoperation against international terrorism carried out in Italyon Wednesday. For the first time, a cell linked to ISIS alsocomposed of Italian converts to Islam was uncovered in Italy.Milan and Rome prosecutors had ordered the operation, which wascarried out by special police squads. Milan magistratesissued 10 arrest warrants. "This was the first investigationinto Islamic State in Italy and one of the first in Europe,"said prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli, adding that the cell "wasnot planning attacks in Italy" but several members were ready

(AGI) Milan, July 1 - Several suspects have been arrested in anoperation against international terrorism carried out in Italyon Wednesday. For the first time, a cell linked to ISIS alsocomposed of Italian converts to Islam was uncovered in Italy.Milan and Rome prosecutors had ordered the operation, which wascarried out by special police squads. Milan magistratesissued 10 arrest warrants. "This was the first investigationinto Islamic State in Italy and one of the first in Europe,"said prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli, adding that the cell "wasnot planning attacks in Italy" but several members were readyto move to Syria. Four Italians were arrested, as well as fiveAlbanians and a Canadian man. They have been charged withmembership in a terrorist organisation and of organisingtransfers for the purposes of terrorism. The suspects aremembers of two families. The central figure is Maria GiuliaSergio, 28, who converted to Islam after marrying a Muslim man,Aldo Kobuzi, and moved with him to Syria. She persuaded hermother, father and sister to support the jihadist cause. Moresearches and arrests were made in Bergamo, Grosseto and inAlbania. Communications between the suspects and an ISISrecruiting coordinator who was acting from Turkey and organisedtransfers to Syria were intercepted during the investigation.The man and other people close to him "speak several languages.They select those who want to join the Caliphate," theinvestigators pointed out. Two North Africans were detainedin Rome, accused of conspiracy with the aim of internationalterrorism, aggravated by the transnational character of thecrime. A third suspect was already detained for crimes ofterrorism in Morocco. The investigation was the first in Italyinto the al-Qaeda-linked organisation that was created between2000 and 2005 by supporters of the organisation founded by BinLaden. The Tunisian Ahmed Masseoudi had registered the internetdomain "i7ur.com", an Arabic acronym of "Ashak al-Hur" or"Lovers of Virgins". A highly symbolic name, since the 'Hur'are virgins in paradise who are assigned to martyrs who died inbattle. Investigating magistrate Stefano Aprile wrote in thearrest warrant that "no evidence was found that members of theassociation that manages the forum have planned an attack, inItaly or in other countries". However, the forum alternatedpurely "ideological" with "operational" content, like textsthat justify terrorism and comments that praise thoseresponsible for terrorist attacks in order to induce others tofollow in their footsteps.. .