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Italy Arrests Italian, Moroccan for Planning ISIS Attacks

Italy Arrests Italian, Moroccan for Planning ISIS Attacks

Wednesday, 17 April, 2019 - 09:45
A local police officer patrols on a roof in Rome, Italy, November 20, 2018. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Italy police on Wednesday arrested two men planning attacks in the name of the ISIS terrorist group.

The 25-year old Italian, Giuseppe Frittatta, and 18-year old Moroccan, Ossama Gafhir, met over the Internet and were preparing to fight with ISIS in Syria.

Sicilian prosecutors who ordered the arrests Wednesday said investigators had identified Frittatta from social media posts. They included extremist propaganda as well as photos of himself holding a knife with a 26-centimeter (10-inch) blade calling for deaths to "all westerners."

Gafhir is alleged to have induced Frittatta toward extremism and was following stringent fitness routine to prepare for combat.

Frittata - a Sicilian who changed his name to Yusef - allegedly was in contact with extremists in Italy and abroad. The arrests were carried out in northern Italy.

The pair were "ready to attack", according to media reports citing prosecutors, which said they had been plotting an attack on Italian soil after their plans to travel to Syria to fight were thwarted by the defeat of ISIS.

The suspects had downloaded video instructions on how to carry out bombings and suicide attacks, police said.

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