Italy – Libya – Tunisia – Syria – Afghanistan – Nassim

Italy Warned about Milan-Based ISIS Cell, Expels Imam

Italy Warned about Milan-Based ISIS Cell, Expels Imam
Sun Aug 14, 2016 15:23:17

Libyan authorities have warned Italy about an Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) cell based in the Milan area with links to one of the terrorist group’s battle-hardened veterans, Italian media reported Sunday.

The existence of the network was reportedly revealed by documents seized by Libyan agents after government forces took over an ISIS headquarters in the city of Sirte earlier this week.

The Italy-based militants were said to be associates of Abu Nassim, 47, a Tunisian who lived in Italy for most of his 20s and subsequently fought in Afghanistan and Syria, before becoming an ISIS commander in Libya.

The reports came as concerns grow that ISIS fighters dispersed from Sirte could cross the Mediterranean on migrant boats and mount “lone wolf” terror attacks on Italian territory.

Security services have been put on a state of high alert for the peak holiday season and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has stepped up expulsions of suspected terrorist sympathizers.

Late on Saturday, Alfano said he had ordered the deportation of Hosni Hachemi Ben Hassem, a Tunisian imam based in a mosque at Andria in Puglia.

The 49-year-old imam had been cleared of charges of recruiting terrorists but Alfano expelled him anyway on the basis of suspected incitement to racial hatred.

The cleric is the ninth imam to be kicked out since the start of 2015 under a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to militancy which Alfano says has reduced the risk of a terror attack on Italian soil.

The center-right minister has signed a total of 109 expulsion orders since the start of last year, 43 of them in 2016, he said in a statement, AFP reported.

S/SH 11

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