'Jihadist' imam who preached in Italy arrested

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Over the past few years, Bilal Bosnic reportedly preached at mosques in Cremona, Motta Baluffi, Bergamo and other Italian cities.
16:20 CEST+02:00
An imam who has preached in several Italian cities was arrested in Bosnia on Friday morning accused of recruiting combatants to fight for Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (Isis), Italian media has reported.

Bilal Bosnic and 15 others were arrested on Friday morning by Serbian police in Bosnia, as part of an operation conducted collaboration with police from Cremona and Bergamo, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

Police also found a large quantity of weapons in various Bosnian cities during the investigation.

Bosnic is accused of recruiting combatants to Syria and Iraq to fight for Isis.

Over the past few years, Bosnic reportedly preached at mosques in northern Italy including those in Cremona, Motta Baluffi, Bergamo.

In August, The Local reported that five people in the northern Italian region of Veneto were being investigated for alleged links to jihadist militant groups.

The five residents were suspected of being close to jihadist groups, with some thought to have recruited fighters for Iraq and Syria. 

And earlier that month it was reported that around 50 Italians had been recruited by Isis, the majority from non-immigrant families.

The latest arrest in Italy comes as the US announces plans to form a “core coalition” to fight Isis militants in Iraq.

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Italy was invited to join as well as Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Denmark and Poland.

"We need to attack them in ways that prevent them from taking over territory, to bolster the Iraqi security forces and others in the region who are prepared to take them on, without committing troops of our own," US Secretary of State John Kerry said at a Nato summit in Wales on Friday, according to Reuters.

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