Tags: vatican | attack | islamic state | arrests

Vatican Plot: Attack by Islamic State Followers Foiled by Arrests

Vatican Plot: Attack by Islamic State Followers Foiled by Arrests

One of the arrests is captured in this image from a police video. (Polizia di Stato)

By    |   Friday, 29 April 2016 08:42 AM

Attacks on the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome discussed by six would-be Islamic State recruits may have been foiled when arrest warrants were issued for them on Thursday by Italian police.

The group reportedly was ordered by Islamic State to carry out atrocities in Italy “with particular attention to the city of Rome” and the Vatican, Milan prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli told reporters, according to Russian news site RT. He said there was no indication of an imminent attack.

Four of the suspects – a couple living near Lake Como, a 23-year-old-man and a woman, all of them Moroccans – were detained in Italy on Thursday, reported Reuters. The other two – a Moroccan man and his Italian wife – left Italy last year, traveled to Iraq and Syria and are still on the loose.

Italy's top anti-terror prosecutor on Friday said the four suspects arrested in northern Italy were "very dangerous," reported The Associated Press.

Speaking on a radio show, Franco Roberti said however that investigators hadn't found "any trace that attacks plans were starting to be carried out" by the four. He also said no arms or explosives were found.

According to RT, Abderrahim Moutaharrik, a kickboxing champion, and his wife Salma Bencharki were arrested in the Lombardy province of Lecco as part of a joint investigation by Italy’s anti-terrorism agency and a special operations group that is part of Italy’s carabinieri police force.

They were planning to travel to IS-held territory with their two  young children. Abderrahmane Khachia, 23, who was also planning to travel to the so-called ISIS caliphate, was arrested Thursday, said RT.

Authorities were seeking a 39-year-old Italian woman, Alice Brignoli, who changed her name to Aisha, and her husband Mohamed Korachi. Both are believed to have fled Italy to join jihadists in Syria, said RT.

Koraichi is believed to be an IS fighter and the one who initially communicated the orders to carry out attacks in Italy. He is also believed to be the person who was arranging a trip to ISIS-held land for the three of those arrested. The fourth arrest made on Thursday was of Koraichi’s sister, prosecutors said.

According to Reuters, transcripts of wire-tapped phone conversations between three of the suspects, contained in the arrest warrant and seen by Reuters, mentioned the possibility of an attack against the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in the Italian capital.

"I swear I will be the first to attack them in this Italy of crusaders, I swear I'll attack it, in the Vatican God willing," one of the arrested men is quoted as telling the man on the run in the transcript.

In a separate conversation with another of the suspects arrested on Thursday, the same man said he wanted to hit the Israeli embassy in Rome and had contacted an Albanian man to get a gun.

"The new aspect here is that we are not talking about a generic indication (of an attack) but a specific person being appointed to act on Italian soil," Romanelli said.

"Rome attracts attention because it is a destination for Christian pilgrims," the prosecutor added.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Attacks on the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome discussed by six would-be Islamic State recruits may have been foiled when arrest warrants were issued for them on Thursday by Italian police.
vatican, attack, islamic state, arrests
522
2016-42-29
Friday, 29 April 2016 08:42 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved