Italian police have arrested four people in a foreign terrorist-fighter investigation, including a Moroccan-born man who had received Islamic State orders to attack Rome, prosecutors said.
Milan prosecutor, Maurizio Romanelli, said investigators intercepted the communication from within Islamic State territory, which ordered attacks in Italy, “with particular attention to the city of Rome” and focusing on the ongoing Holy Year pilgrimage.
There was no indication any attacks were imminent, and Mr Romanelli said authorities acted quickly to close the investigation, arresting four people and issuing arrest warrants for two others believed to be in IS territory.
He said: “This is a new profile, because it was not a generic indication, but an indication given to a specific person, who was invited to act within the territory of the Italian state.”
Authorities arrested the Moroccan-born man, identified as Abderrahim Moutahrrick, and his wife, Salma Bencharki, who were allegedly planning on travelling from their home, in Lecco, north of Milan, to IS territory, with their children, aged two and four.
Mr Romanelli said Moutahrrick had taken Italian citizenship and was an accomplished boxer.
Another Moroccan man who was planning to travel with them, identified as Abderrahmane Khachia, 23, was arrested in the northern city of Varese, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also issued arrest warrants for an Italian-Moroccan couple, who left to join IS last year with three small children.
Mr Romanelli said that man, identified as Mohamed Koraichi, had become an IS fighter and had communicated the orders to carry out attacks in Italy, while making arrangements for the other family to join IS.
The fourth arrest was of Koraichi’s sister, prosecutors said.
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