Man who 'converted to Islam' arrested in Sicily

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The 43-year-old was arrested in Palermo, Sicily, as part of Italy's anti-terror operation. Photo: Xerones
14:49 CET+01:00
A 43-year-old ex-soldier who reportedly converted to Islam was arrested in the Sicilian capital of Palermo last night as part of Italy’s anti-terror sweep.

Amunition and warfare training manuals were found in his home, Corriere reported.

Videos and photos containing images of corpses wrapped in white cloth, alongside Arabic writing, were also found on his mobile phone, the newspaper said.

Police from Digos, Italy’s anti-terror squad, carried out 40 raids as part of an anti-terror operation launched after a shooting spree by Islamic extremists in Paris earlier this month in which 17 people died.

Security has been tightened since the attacks, while Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said more than 100 people were being closely watched on suspicion of sympathizing with or plotting to commit "jihadist, terrorist activities".

Nine foreigners have also been deported since December as part of efforts to prevent jihadist attacks, with more expulsions expected to follow. 

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Those deported included five Tunisians, a Turk, an Egyptian, a Moroccan and a Pakistani.

The Cabinet on Wednesday was due to consider a draft anti-terrorism bill, which includes measures such as jailing would-be jihadists for up to ten years, but the debate was postponed due to distraction over the vote for Italy's next president.

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