Italy arrests suspected Isis recruiters

Italian authorities have arrested two people suspected of being involved in the recruitment of fighters for the Isis extremist group, and a third who was the alleged author of the Italian version of an Isis propaganda document.

Italy arrests suspected Isis recruiters
Alleged Isis militants stand next to an Isis flag atop a hill in the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab. Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP

The three were allegedly part of a militant cell that operated between Italy and the Balkans, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

The two suspected Isis recruiters are Albanian nationals. One was arrested in Turin and the other in Albania, the newspaper said.

An Italian of Moroccan origin, who investigators claim is the author of the Italian version of a 64-page Isis propaganda document that recently appeared online, was also arrested in Turin.

The two Albanians, said to be an uncle and his nephew, had allegedly found a would-be jihadist living in Como who they were preparing to send to Syria, Il Fatto reported.

The arrests come a week after a 30-year-old man from Pakistan was arrested in Brescia over alleged links to a terrorist network. He was deported last Thursday.

Anti-terrorism chief Mario Papa told parliament last week that 17 arrests and 33 expulsion orders had been made since the terror attacks on Paris in early January.

Security officials believe at least 65 Italian nationals or residents are currently fighting in Syria.

Italy's cabinet in February approved a slew of anti-terrorism measures, including jail terms of up to six years for "foreign fighters" as well as those who recruit would-be jihadists.

The measures also included confiscating the passports of suspected militants and giving more powers to Italy’s intelligence services.


Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

Prosecutors in Sweden are now treating the murder at the Almedalen political festival as a terror crime, with the country's Säpo security police taking over the investigation.

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

In a press release issued on Monday evening, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said that the 32-year-old attacker, Theodor Engström, was now suspected of the crime of “terrorism through murder”, and also “preparation for a terror crime through preparation for murder”. 

Engström stabbed the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren last Wednesday as she was on her way to moderate a seminar at the Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland. 

Although he was a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, police said his motive seemed to be to protest against Sweden’s psychiatry services, who he felt had treated his own mental illness badly. 

The release gave no details as to why the 32-year-old was now being investigated for a more serious crime, but terror expert Magnus Ranstorp told the Expressen newspaper that the shift indicated that police had uncovered new evidence. 

READ ALSO: What do we now know about the Almedalen knife attack? 

“The new crime classification means that they’ve either found a political motive for the attack which meets the threshold for terrorism, and that might be a political motive for murdering Ing-Marie Wieselgren,” he said. “Or they might have discovered that he was scouting out a politician, or another target that could be considered political.” 

Engström’s defence lawyer said last week that his client, who he described as disturbed and incoherent, had spoken in police interrogations of having “a higher-up target”.