Suspected Isis recruiter deported from Italy

Italy has deported a man suspected of recruiting on behalf of the Isis extremist group.

Suspected Isis recruiter deported from Italy
The man was flown from Milan to Albania's Tirana airport. Photo: Gent Shkullaku/AFP

The man, named by Ansa as Alban Elezi, was arrested in March and sent back to his home country of Albania by the Brescia prefecture on Monday.

Elezi had been in jail since his arrest but was released on Friday after a court ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.

He was flown from Milan to Tirana, the Albanian capital, on a commercial flight. Elezi is forbidden from re-entering Schengen territory for the next five years.

The expulsion follows the arrest last week of a Moroccan man in Pisa, on suspicion of spreading jihadist propaganda and inciting terrorism.

Italy raised its terror alert level following the deadly attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait in late June.

In February, Italy's cabinet approved a slew of anti-terrorism measures, including jail terms of up to six years, for “foreign fighters” as well as those who recruit would-be jihadists.


Italy expels Tunisian tied to Berlin Christmas market attack

Italy's interior ministry said on Saturday it had expelled a Tunisian national linked to the man who carried out a deadly 2016 attack on a Berlin Christmas market.

Italy expels Tunisian tied to Berlin Christmas market attack
The aftermath of the Berlin Christmas Market attack. Image: DPA

Montassar Yaakoubi, described by the ministry as “an associate of the Tunisian terrorist Anis Amri,” was flown to Tunisia on a special flight, the ministry said in a statement, without specifying when.

It was Italy's first such expulsion of a foreign national on state security grounds since such repatriations were suspended due to the coronavirus emergency, it said.

READ: Berlin remembers victims of Christmas market attack

Yaakoubi hosted Amri in Italy before the latter's move to Germany in 2015, the ministry said.

On December 19, 2016, Amri — a rejected asylum seeker from Tunisia and known radical jihadist — hijacked a truck, ploughing into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin and killing 12 people.

Amri, 24, managed to flee Germany after the attack but was shot in Milan by police four days later. In the past five years, Italy has expelled 482 foreign nationals on security grounds, including 21 in 2020.