Italy Arrests 2 Terror Suspects, Plotted Attacks in Rome, London

BARI, Italy (Reuters) -

Italian police arrested two people on Tuesday, as part of an investigation into a terror cell suspected of planning attacks in Rome and London, an investigative source said on Tuesday.

The cell had been established in Puglia, in southeastern Italy, “to carry out violent attacks with the purpose of international terrorism, in Italy and abroad,” the arrest warrant read.

Although Rome and London were the main focus of their efforts, the organisation was also active in France and Belgium, the order said.

In all, the warrant calls for the arrest of five people –  four Afghans and a Pakistani, three of whom are still at large. They all officially reside near Bari, the main city in Puglia, but two are currently in Afghanistan, the source said.

Three of the suspects are accused of international terrorism and two of aiding illegal immigration.

The group, whose members were arrested in Bari, are suspected of acting as a local unit or providing logistical support to an international organization linked to Islamic State, investigators wrote in the arrest order.

Police confiscated the suspects’ phones, on which they found footage of presumed targets including airports, ports, shopping centers, and hotels. Investigators also found recordings of prayers and images of weapons and dead U.S. soldiers.

Italy has not suffered deadly Islamist attacks like those in France and Belgium, but a number of people have been arrested on suspicion of planning attacks.