Italy is conducting a ‘vast anti-terrorism’ operation this morning to arrest members of an armed Al Qaeda-inspired group they claim were ready to carry out attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
An ongoing series of raids largely focussing on the autonomous island of Sardinia is targeting 18 people, including two purported bodyguards for Osama bin Laden, investigators said.
Some of those being tracked by police have been arrested in Italy – including an imam suspected of being the group’s spiritual leader – but others are believed to have already fled abroad.
The group had ‘an abundant amount of weapons and numerous faithful willing to carry out acts of terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan before returning to Italy,’ Italian investigators police said.
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