• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Paris attack suspect known to Italy: Alfano

The Local · 9 Jan 2015, 11:38

Published: 09 Jan 2015 10:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Jan 2015 11:38 GMT+01:00

Speaking in parliament two days after the deadly shooting, Alfano said Italy was aware of one of the suspects’ links to extremism in Iraq.

“One of the killers in Paris was known to Italian police,” he said. “But he was never in the national territory.”

France on Thursday named two Parisian brothers - Cherif and Said Kouachi - as the chief suspects in the Paris killing spree. Alfano did not specify which of the brothers was known to Italian authorities.

Cherif, 32, was in 2008 jailed in France for helping send jihadists to fight for terrorist organization al-Qaeda in Iraq.

He was also linked to a former member of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), which carried out a series of attacks in France in the 1990s, and suspected of attending military training with French jihadist Djamel Beghal.

READ MORE: What we know about the Charlie Hebdo suspects

Less is known about 34-year-old Said, who along with his brother was still at large on Friday morning. The duo was thought to have been aided in the attack by 18-year-old Mourad Hamyd, who has handed himself into police in France.

Photo by AFP

In response to the Charlie Hebdo killings - described by Alfano as a “cruel attack against democratic values” - Italy plans to implement a new law against would-be jihadists.

Fresh legislation will target “foreign fighters” who seek to travel from or through Italy en route to join Islamic fundamentalists. The intention is to “restrict their ability to go into the field”, the interior minister said, with the new law enabling the Italian government to take away suspects’ passports.

Italian intelligence has already pinpointed 53 foreign fighters who have departed from or transited through the country.

Alfano also drew on the dangers of “homemade” terrorism and web radicalization, saying Italy needed greater access to conversations between extremists online.

Help is needed from the world’s largest internet companies to give the Italian government access to such data, creating a “black list” of those who pose a security threat.

Alfano’s proposal will likely raise alarm bells among those opposed to governments encroaching on people’s online privacy in the name of national security.

Story continues below…

The threat posed by extremist groups was identified as the greatest danger to Europe during Italy’s recent EU presidency, Alfano said.

Combatting terrorism needs a “spirit of unity” within the EU and international cooperation, said the interior minister, ahead of a top-level meeting in Paris on Sunday.

Alfano will be joined by his EU counterparts and US representatives for the anti-terrorism talks, which he said “represent a symbolic moment to show support for France” following this week’s attack.

SEE ALSO: Live coverage of the Hunt for Charlie Hebdo gunmen

Photo by AFP

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Italy earthquake
Italy earthquake death toll revised down to 241
Volunteers join rescue services in Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

UPDATED: The death toll from a powerful earthquake in central Italy was revised downwards to 241 on Thursday but officials cautioned it could rise again as rescuers continued a grim search for corpses, as powerful aftershocks rocked the devastated area.

Italy quake: Probe opens into building collapses
Collapsed buildings in central Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation into building collapses in the Lazio towns of Accumoli and Amatrice following Wednesday’s earthquake.

Italy earthquake: Here's how you can help
Rescuers continue to hand for survivors. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The earthquake on Wednesday, which claimed the lives of at least 247 people, has had a devastating impact on four Italian towns.

Italy must do more to reduce earthquake risk: experts
Rescue workers survey the ruins of Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

"An event like yesterday’s in Japan or California would never have caused the same amount of carnage."

Italy earthquake
Restaurants donate for servings of famous pasta dish
The famous Amatriciana dish derives from Amatrice, where over 200 died in the earthquake. Photo: ZanPei/Flickr

Italian restaurants around the world have been asked to make €2 donations for every plate of Amatriciana pasta served towards Amatrice, one of the towns devastated by Wednesday’s earthquake.

Italy earthquake
Quake hit in one of Italy's most seismically-prone areas
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The deadly earthquake that struck central Italy before dawn on Wednesday occurred in a notorious seismic hotspot, and dangerous aftershocks are possible, scientists said.

Live: Italy earthquake death toll rises to 247
Residents of Amatrice survey the damage to their homes. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

At least 247 people have died after a powerful earthquake struck a remote area of central Italy on Wednesday, said Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, warning that the figure could still rise.

At least 120 dead in central Italy earthquake
Rescuers carry a man in Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

A powerful earthquake that rocked central Italy on Wednesday left 120 people dead and the total is likely to rise, the country's civil protection unit said in the first official death toll.

Italy earthquake: What we know so far
Rescuers carry a man through the rubble of damaged homes. Photo: AFP

At least 247 are reported dead as rescuers work to save those trapped in the rubble.

A long history of deadly earthquakes in Italy
Photo taken on May 17th 1976 of a nun showing a church destroyed by the Friuli-Venezia earthquake. Photo: AFP

At least 73 people were killed after a powerful earthquake struck central Italy early on Wednesday.

Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Culture
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Culture
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
National
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
Society
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
National
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Culture
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Sport
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Politics
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Politics
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Lifestyle
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
National
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
2,507
jobs available