The Italian authorities arrested 10 terror suspects over the past 24 hours in several cities including Rome and Milan. They linked two suspects to a planned terrorist plot on Italian soil and the rest to an ISIS recruitment ring.
“This is the first investigation in Italy concerning ISIS and one of the first in Europe,” prosecutor Maurizio
told journalists in Milan.
Most of those arrested were from Albania and North Africa, though two women were Italian converts to Islam. A Canadian female convert remains at large and is being hunted by the authorities.
Investigators managed to trace the suspect’s journey and gain key insights into the recruitment and movements of jihadists, according to the police. Intercepts by investigators in the probe had identified “an important ISIS figure” — who is believed to be a coordinator of foreign fighters from Europe, prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli told journalists.
Speaking to Aimen Dean, a specialist in Jihadi tactics and ex British intelligence spy said “I believe the threat level in Italy from potential terrorist attacks has increased significantly and this is due to the ISIS engagement in illegal migrant trafficking into Italy from their Libyan base in Sirte.”
“For the last three months the ISIS has used its base on Libya’s coast for trafficking illegal migrants purposes in order to generate income but also to smuggle their own operatives into Europe. They see the very real advantage of having operatives on European soil with no identity history or biometric data on European security agency computers” he added.
Dean, whose company 5 Dimensions consultants, produce regular update reports said “In our June 30th report we stated: ISIS participation in illegal immigration from Libya into Europe was not only designed to generate funds but also to provoke the EU and possibly NATO into action in Libya to stop the IS and other radicals from using the illegal immigration routes to infiltrate Europe. Therefore it is not beyond the realm of the possible for the ISIS to send attackers into Italy or elsewhere in southern Europe to commit a similar attack on Italian/southern European soil with the ultimate aim of provoking a military response.”
He firmly believes that ISIS in Libya considers Italy a target, alongside Tunisia and Egypt, and he assesses that “the arrests in Italy over the past 24 hours constitute the tip of the iceberg as far as ISIS plans for Italy are concerned.” Philip Ingram will continue to monitor and report on emerging threats.