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Italy: North African jihadists pose 'biggest' terror threat


Italy faces its "biggest terrorism risks" from North African jihadists, including some linked to Islamist networks in the Balkans, the Middle East and Central Asia, according to a report by the Italian secret services.

"Collaboration and synergies" exist between radical groups within the North African community in Europe and Italy and "events in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria", the secret services said in the latest update of a periodical report presented to the Italian government on Wednesday.

The report comes just over a week after police arrested three Moroccans - including a local imam - in the central city of Perugia on suspicion of running a "terror school".

The imam was found in possession of chemicals that investigators said could be used to manufacture explosives and poisonous substances.

"Certain nationalist and neo-[Muslim] fundamentalist factions, in opposition the governments of their [North African] coutries of origin, have developed new initiatives aimed at building a profile in Europe so as to influence the [numerically] substantial [North African] immigrant communties", in Italy and Europe, the report said.

The Italian secret services also warned of a possible resurgence in left-wing terrorism, that bloodied the country during much of the 1970s and 80s.

The existence of such a threat was evident, the report said, in the February arrests in northern Italy of 15 suspects allegedly involved in plotting assassinations and other attacks in the name of the Red Brgiades, historically one of Italy's most active leftist terror groups.

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