Italy has expelled 35 Islamist terrorists in 2016: Alfano

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Italy's Interiror Minister, Angelino Alfano. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
10:36 CEST+02:00
Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Thursday told Parliament that 35 Islamists had been expelled from the country so far in 2016.

"Since January 1st, 2015, we have expelled 102 people, carried out checks on 106,000 terrorists, arrested 549 and placed 884 under investigation," Alfano added.

Of those expelled “all were found to be working to radicalize others and promote jihad in Italy,” Alfano said.

Speaking to just 20 MPs present in Italy's Parliament, the minister announced the latest two expulsions had occoured on Wednesday, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

The two most recently expelled were both Moroccan nationals: a 25-year-old who pushed over a gigantic 17th-century crucifix at a Venetian church earlier this month, breaking a clergy member's arm and a 67-year-old who interrupted a mass near Trento to make a hate speech against the Catholic Church.

Alfano promised the country would continue to take a hard-line against those who promote radical Islam and promised the government would work with the 1.6 million members of Italy's Muslim community to root out radicals.

“It's right and useful to separate people who would shoot from people who pray,” the minister said.

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“Prayer is an undisputed right, guaranteed to all by the Italian constitution. We can't alienate Italian Muslims, that would only create a climate of hate and a breeding ground for violent acts."

Italy is in the process of setting up a national council for Islamic relations, which will work to clarify the country's mosques are not receiving funding from foreign terror cells while ensuring Italian is spoken inside the structures.

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