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Italy: Imam Detained for ‘Planning’ Terror Attack


A Somali imam has been detained in Italy on a suspicion of carrying out an attack on Rome’s central Termini train station on Wednesday. The 22-year old man, who came as a refugee was detained in Campobasso in Central Italy. He was going to leave the refugee centre and carry out attack on the train station.

However, the move was still in the planning stages.  And he had no required materials to carry out an attack, said authorities.

The imam was living in the City of Campobasso, in the southern Italian region of Molise. His arrest came following a two-month investigation, in which police installed a hidden camera in his room and intercepted phone conversations to monitor his activities. Counter-terrorist agents helped to carry out the investigation.

During his stay in the centre, the imam tried to convert the fellow asylum seekers. He preached extremist ideologies, prompting some people not to attend the prayer meetings. He also supported extremist organisations like ISIS, Al-Qaida and Al-Shabab. He was also inciting people to join the Jihad.

According to the Breitbart News Network, the Iman told other guests staying at the same centre that he is connected with the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab and was preparing an attack in Rome.

In one of  the recordings, he said: “This month the Prophet is preparing soldiers against the idolaters, fighting against the enemies of God. So take advantage of this month, and race to be the first. God has ordered us to kill his enemies and make jihad in his name, preach religion and Sharia and punish the sinner.”

Referring to Charlie Hebdo’s attack in Paris last January, he said: “Charlie Hebdo was just the beginning, the war continues”. The attack claimed 12 lives, reports RT.

In one of his services, he was preaching that using guns was not effective when “you can use a bomb and blow yourself.”  Police said that his extremist ideologies prompted many worshippers to leave his services.

The Italian Minister of the Interior Angelino Alfano praised Italy’s move to prevent such attacks. He said: “The arrest in Campobasso shows that the system of prevention works. We have a very strict, technically equipped monitoring system in all the centers and places where proselytism can occur and where recruiting could theoretically take place.”

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