Terror: risk of an attack on Italy ‘very high’

The risk of a terrorist attack in Italy is still very high, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said during an interview on Sunday.

Terror: risk of an attack on Italy 'very high'
Italy is spending an additional €1 billion on security. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Italy has been on high terror alert since the Paris attacks in November.

While there has been “no specific or concrete information” about an attack, Alfano said “this does not make us rest easy”.

“We have information that shows the risk is very high; information and analysis that indicates the war in Syria and instability in Libya are dangerous for the whole of Europe,” he told RaiTre’s In mezz’ora.

Some 259 people were arrested on terror charges in Italy in 2015, with 67 of them being expelled from the country as a result. Several others have been arrested since the start of the year.

Alfano said that 86,000 people were checked in 2015. Security was tightened in the wake of the Paris attacks, with soldiers patrolling streets and key monuments. Security has also been stepped up at train stations, airports and borders.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said in November that Italy would spend an additional €1 billion on security.

“No continent has been spared over the last 15 years,” Alfano said.

“Italy’s strength is the prevention work being done to keep our country safe,” he added, while reiterating that there was no “zero risk” of an attack.


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.