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Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2005, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Italy ready to expel 'extremists'
By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

A police officer patrols the street near Milan's Islamic centre
Police patrols have been beefed up since the London attacks
Italy is preparing to expel six alleged Islamic extremists under new laws aimed at curbing international terrorism.

Italian news reports say at least one is an imam. Names have not yet been released, but the BBC has learnt they are from Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt.

The expulsion orders will be carried out in northern Italian cities.

Five have been under investigation by anti-terrorism police after telephone intercepts or alleged declarations of support for extremist Islamic groups.

Appeals

Until the new anti-terrorism laws were enacted this month, these people would not have been punishable under Italian law. Now, they face summary expulsion.

The new law allows an appeal within two months of an expulsion order being issued, but the person concerned has to leave the country while the appeal is being considered.

Italian police carried out a major dragnet operation on suspected Islamic cells all over northern Italy shortly after the first London bombings in July.

They carried out over 200 searches of premises, including mosques, and checked the identities of over 400 people.

The six people who face expulsion orders authorised by the interior ministry are among these.


SEE ALSO:
Italy expels Muslim 'preachers'
02 Aug 05 |  Europe
Italian anti-terror law enacted
30 Jul 05 |  Europe
Italy's Muslims under pressure
28 Sep 04 |  Europe


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