Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Saturday, 9 August 2008 15:06 UK

Italy holds five on terror charge

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome


Five North Africans have been arrested in Italy on charges of conspiring to commit acts of international terrorism.

Police in Bologna say they arrested four Tunisians and a Moroccan and are seeking a sixth man.

They are investigating an alleged international terrorist ring, which they say recruited suicide bombers for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Police raided houses and apartments in Bologna, Ravenna on Italy's Adriatic coast, and Como near Milan.

The North Africans are also charged with fraud. They are alleged to have collected money from phoney car accident insurance claims to finance their operations.

They recruited and trained people willing to sacrifice their lives in terrorist attacks in war zones, the police said.

The alleged leader of the terrorist ring was a former mujahideen colonel, of unknown nationality, who had fought in Bosnia during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Investigators had gathered information on the activities of the terrorist group through phone taps.


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