Last week Italian police broke up a conspiracy by Islamic terrorists from Kosovo to blow up the Rialto Bridge in Venice. The cell was apparently discovered due to connections with mujahid who committed the vehicle-and-knife jihad attack in London last month.
Terror cell in Venice busted
Italian police busted a ring of Islamists active in Venice. Four Kosovars who had been living in Italy for years were arrested. They were radicalized in recent years, and, according to police, planned an attack on the Rialto Bridge in Venice.
As surveilled phone conversations reveal, the alleged Jihadis, among them one minor, planned to kill dozens of people with a suicide attack on the bridge. Two of those arrested were working as waiters in a restaurant in Venice, according to reports.
During the raids twelve houses in Venice, Mestre Treviso were searched. The arrests are the results of complex investigations, including anti-Mafia and anti-terror experts, according to reports.
Trio stopped at the last moment
Terror-Alarm in Venice: Islamists wanted to blow up Rialto Bridge
March 30, 2017
[photo caption: Operation at four in the morning: Three Jihadis arrested – they were hiding in this palazzo]
Police apparently prevented an attack on the famous Rialto Bridge in Venice by arresting four suspects. The information about the planned attack was gathered from a surveilled phone call, investigators announced on Thursday. It remains unclear whether the attack was imminent.
In an apartment in the lagoon city, officers found indications that the arrested persons were getting themselves into shape and watching videos by the Islamic State terror militia on knife attacks, State Prosecutor Adelchi d’Ippolito said. Three Kosovar suspects were arrested in Venice, according to reports.
One of the suspects is a minor
The operation took place in early morning hours of Thursday in a palazzo near the theater La Fenice. At 4 AM, a special unit of the police stormed the building. A fourth suspect fell into the investigators’ trap from a surveilled phone call. One of the four is, according to reports, a minor, his nationality initially unknown.
In the surveilled phone conversation, a voice says, accordiong to reports: “You will go straight to paradise for all the infidels in Venice. Imagine a bomb on Rialto [bridge].” The 16th-century bridge is one of Venice’s tourist attractions; it spans the Canal Grande.
The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, said all those arrested on early Thursday morning had valid papers for living in Italy.
Connection to the London attacker?
Apparently, there is a connection to the latest attack in London: the investigators found the terror cell in Venice by investigating Adrian Russell Ajao, the attacker from the British capital. The night-time operation was coordinated by Italian counter terrorism units.
Italy’s Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti, confirmed the arrests via Twitter […]
Hat tip: ESW.