Italy deports four, arrests one on suspicion of terrorism

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-27 06:45:52|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ROME, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Italy on Friday deported four foreign nationals and arrested one man for reasons of national security, an interior ministry statement said.

Among the deportees was a 46-year-old Moroccan woman who lived near the city of Como in the northern Lombardy region, of which the capital is Milan.

She is married to an Egyptian extremist who fought in the 7th Mujahideen (Islamist fighter, in Arabic) Battalion in Bosnia during the 1990s war in the former Yugoslavia, the statement said.

The Milan division of Italy's DIGOS anti-terrorism police arrested the husband on Friday on charges of belonging to an extremist organization, the ministry said.

The couple's son is on a national security list of so-called foreign fighters, or European residents who join the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in the Middle East.

He left Italy in the summer of 2014 for Syria, where he is "still active in the ranks of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (jihadi) organization", according to the statement.

The woman "fully shared" in her son's decision to become an extremist combatant, and she supported him economically.

Also on Friday, Italy expelled a 31-year-old Egyptian national who was in jail for property crimes in the northern city of Parma.

Penitentiary staff had reported him for "aggressive and threatening behavior", trying to radicalize fellow inmates, distributing extremist propaganda calling for "the conquest of Rome" by IS, and pledging to carry out an "impressive action" as soon as he was let out of prison.

As well, Italy deported two Macedonian cousins aged 45 and 43 who lived near the northern city of Treviso.

They had been under investigation since 2016. They were found in possession of sermons by radical Muslim clerics and jihadi propaganda, and to be in contact with IS recruiters as well as other known extremists from the Balkans.

They also expressed "strong resentment towards Italian institutions and culture", to the point of stating that becoming Italian citizens would "constitute a pact with the unbelievers", the ministry statement said.

Friday's expulsions brought to 242 the total number of deportations since Jan. 1, 2015, of "subjects involved in religious extremism," according to the statement.

Italy's unusual policy of deporting suspected terrorists before they get a chance to act has been credited with preventing the kinds of terrorist attacks that other European countries have suffered in recent years.