The threat posed by the extremist group is equal to that of terrorist organization al-Qaeda after the September 11th attacks against the US in 2001, the interior minister said.
“The most recent statements from the Islamic State [Isis], declaring threats against Italy and Rome, make it essential to raise the security level,” he was quoted in Rai News as saying.
Ongoing bombing raids against Isis positions in Iraq and Syria led by the US, with political support from Italy, “could trigger a reaction”, Alfano stated.
The security risk posed by Isis is now “comparable only to that of al-Qaeda after September 11th,” he added.
Over the past four months around 20 government warnings have been issued regarding possible threats against Italy from Isis, although Alfano said such threats were limited in their development.
“The result of investigations do not point to the existence of the specific ability to plan attacks against targets in our national territory, or the interests of our country abroad.”
Still, the government must not “disregard any sign of danger” and was continuing to monitor jihadist networks, he added.
Italy’s intelligence services have been paying particular attention to the online sphere, where aspiring militants can be recruited and incited to violence.