Even though there is no specific evidence of a planned attack, there were numerous references in Islamic propaganda to Italy being an “enemy” because of its ties with the US and Israel, the intelligence services said in their annual report to parliament on Wednesday.
The Catholic Church’s Holy Year, which got underway in November, also makes Italy vulnerable to a greater threat, the report said, as well as the proliferation of aspiring jihadists.
On Friday, a Macedonian man suspected of recruiting jihadists for the Isis extremist group was arrested in Venice.
Two other Macedonians were recently expelled from the country over their alleged involvement in a jihadist recruitment drive. The pair are among dozens of suspected Islamist radicals to have been banished from the country over the past year.
The intelligence services also cited the risk of terrorists arriving in Italy among the migrant flows, adding that there was a “more concrete” risk of them entering Europe through the Balkans route.
Security in Italy was tightened in the wake of the November terrorist attacks in Paris, 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.