Three Moroccan terrorism suspects have been arrested in central Italy amid claims a local mosque was being used to recruit and train militants.
Police reportedly believe they have broken up a cell linked to al Qaeda. They are still hunting a fourth Moroccan national who is thought to be abroad. Security forces swooped on a building used as a mosque in the suburbs of the city of Perugia, detaining an imam and two of his aides. It is alleged the mosque operated as a training camp for international terrorism. Materials seized are said to include instructions on how to fly a Boeing 747.
Police say they found Internet files including instructions on handling poisons, explosives and sending encrypted messages via computer. They also say they found images showing militant training, claiming the premises had been used to recruit “terrorists” to operate abroad, possibly in Iraq. Italy’s Interior Minster Giuliano Amato congratulated police on the operation, saying the possible use of a mosque by militants was of serious concern.