Milan probes Syrians for international terrorism

Prosecutors in Milan have accused six Syrians of international terrorism and other charges, following a series of violent incidents in northern Italy, national media reported on Thursday.

The six people accused of international terrorism are part of a group of 13 Syrians investigated by Milan authorities over violent incidents in 2011 and 2012.

They include an attack against two Syrian bar owners in Cologno Monzese, a town close to Milan, in which they were seriously injured and their bar trashed.

The victims were thought to be supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whereas their attackers were allegedly allied with the opposition Free Syrian Army, Il Sole 24 Ore said.

The attack was linked by Italy’s security police (Digos) and special operations unit (Ros) to a number of other violent incidents against Syrians in northern Italy.

In addition to the Cologno Monzese incident, Assad supporters were reportedly also targeted in the Italian towns of Brugherio, Parabiago and Busto Garolfo.

One of the people facing terrorism charges was named as Haisam Sakhanh, a Syrian electrician who had been living in Cologno Monzese. He is believed to have left for Syria in 2012 and may be one of the rebel fighters since filmed killing Syrian soldiers.

Ammar Bacha is thought to have gone to Syria at the same time, while the other four people accused of international terrorism are believed to have only been active in Italy. The majority of those accused have, however, now left Italy and are untraceable, Il Sole reported.

The group may have taken night vision equipment and other material to Syria, in addition to their possible involvement in preparing chemical weapons, the newspaper said.