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TERRORISM

Deported Tunisian man ‘planned Italy attack’

A Tunisian national deported from Italy on Thursday was planning an attack in the country, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Deported Tunisian man 'planned Italy attack'
Italy has stepped up security since the terror attack in Berlin on Decemmber 19th. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

The 23-year-old, who had been living in Brescia, a city in the northern Lombardy region, allegedly received instructions in mid-November “to carry out attacks in Italy, similar to ones in France and Belgium, in retaliation for Italy's operations in Libya”, the statement said.

He also had contact, via social networks, with a Moroccan foreign fighter. The man returned to Italy on August 15th “after a prolonged period in Tunisia” , “showed clear signs of radicalization” and had “expressed his intention to leave Italy as soon as possible and join the Islamic State”, the ministry added.

He was deported from Rome's Fiumicino airport on Thursday morning.

The deportation brings the number of terror suspects expelled from Italy to 132 since January 2015. Sixty-six have been deported since January 1st 2016.

Italy reinforced security measures after the terror attack in Berlin on December 19th, in which 12 people were killed when a man ploughed a truck into the crowd at a busy Christmas market. The suspect, a Tunisian named Anis Amri, was shot dead by Italian police in Milan during a routine identity check in the early hours of December 23rd. 

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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