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TERRORISM

Italian man faces charges for fabricating foiled Isis attack

An Italian man is facing charges for claiming that the hactivist group, Anonymous, had foiled a New Year’s Eve terrorist attack in Italy.

Italian man faces charges for fabricating foiled Isis attack
The man claimed that the Anonymous group had foiled an Isis attack in Florence. Photo: Trioptikmal

The 29-year-old from Aosta took to Twitter on December 28th to announce that the group, a loosely connected international network of hactivists, had foiled the attack by Isis extremists.

He tweeted using the @OpParis account, created after the November 13th Paris attacks and which police claim was created by the computer expert.

The man wrote: “In this month we are working in silence. We have already foiled 1 attack #ISIS against #Italy, we hope to block others.”

He then repeated the claims, telling an Italian news website that Isis had planned the attack in Florence.

But Anonymous hactivists were quick to distance themselves from the claims.

“Our modus operandi has never been to release personal statements,” they wrote on Facebook, adding that if they had found any information about a potential attack then they would hand it over to police.

The man faces charges of criminal association for the purposes of illegally accessing and damaging computer systems.

Italy, the target of persisent threats by Isis, has been on heightened alert since the Paris attacks, with soldiers patrolling key cities and security tightened at borders, airports and train stations.

Read more: Could Isis terrorists really invade Italy? 

 

POLICE

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.

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