Italy expels nine suspected Islamist militants

He said five Tunisians, one Turk, one Egyptian, one Moroccan and one Pakistani, all of whom had longstanding residence permits, had been expelled. Two had been preparing to travel to Syria to fight with Islamist militant groups, he said.

Alfano, who met his Spanish counterpart Jorge Fernandez Diaz in Madrid on Saturday, said Italian security services had been stepping up cooperation with other European countries.

Italian media reported that around 100 suspected Islamist militants were under surveillance in Italy but Alfano said the actual number of cases was higher.

“There is no black list. There is surveillance work but the numbers concerned are much bigger than 100,” he said.