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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Italy holds terror cell suspects
By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Italian police have arrested at least six North Africans in a crackdown against suspected Islamic militant groups in northern Italy.

Police raided premises before dawn around Milan and Turin, after more than a dozen arrest warrants were issued by magistrates in the industrial cities.

The charges include associating with international terrorist groups, faking documents, and money laundering.

A police official said two suspected terror cells were being targeted.

The Milan cell was believed to have organised attacks against buildings and police in Italy.

The other, based in Turin, was suspected of having links with a Moroccan fundamentalist group believed by the authorities in Morocco and Spain to have been behind bombings in Casablanca and Madrid.


Police said much of the information on which the arrests had been based was supplied by a Tunisian, who has already been sentenced for belonging to a militant Islamic group, and who is now collaborating with the Italian authorities.

Many of those for whom arrest warrants have been issued are either still at large, or are already in jail in Italy or Switzerland.

One of the suspects is an Egyptian imam from a mosque in Milan, whose offices were also searched.

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