Bin Laden allies suspected of Vatican plot arrested in Italy

More than 100 people were killed and over 200 injured in the 2009 bombing of the Meena Bazaar in Peshawar, Pakistan

Italian police said Friday they had dismantled an Islamist network they have linked to Osama bin Laden, one of Pakistan’s deadliest attacks and, more loosely, a possible plot to bomb the Vatican.

A total of 18 people were ordered arrested following a six-year investigation that began with a probe into an illegal immigration racket allegedly run from the island of Sardinia. Only nine of the suspects had been detained by Friday afternoon.

Prosecutor Mauro Mura told a press conference in Cagliari, Sardinia that members of the network had been in contact with two potential suicide bombers who came to Italy in 2010 and discussed the possibility of attacking the Vatican.

The men left Italy when they became aware they were under surveillance and the arrested suspects are not being investigated further on that score, Mura said…