Italian couple arrested for sending weapons to Isis

Italian police on Tuesday arrested a married couple on suspicion of sending weapons to a faction of terrorist group Isis.

Italian couple arrested for sending weapons to Isis
Police officers escort the couple into a police car. Photo: Carlo Hermann/AFP

Police believe the pair sent weapons including assault rifles, surface-to-air missiles and even helicopters to Iran and Libya between 2011 and 2015, despite an embargo. The couple in their 60's have been named as Annamaria Fontana and Mario Di Leva – known as Jafaar since their conversion to Islam, according to local paper Napoli Today.

Their son and the CEO of the Italian Helicopters Society were also reportedly arrested in connection with the weapons trafficking.

Fontana was well-known locally as a politician, having served two terms as a socialist councillor in San Giorgio a Cremano, Campania, in the 80's and 90's. 

In recent years she had moved away from politics and begun to visit the Middle East regularly with her husband, Il Corriere del Mezzogiorno reported, building up close ties with the Libyan government and meeting Iran's former premier.

The arrests were made following a nationwide operation coordinated by Italy's anti-mafia police department in Naple. Police had launched the investigation in 2011, following leads from an investigation into the Camorra mafia clan.



Champions League: Eight arrested after fans clash with police in Naples

Smoke bombs, flares, chairs, bottles and metal poles were thrown at police in Naples' historic centre on Wednesday, as Eintracht Frankfurt fans descended on the city despite a ban.

Champions League: Eight arrested after fans clash with police in Naples

Three German football fans and five Italians were arrested following violence in Naples before and after Napoli’s Champions League win over Eintracht Frankfurt, a local official said on Thursday.

Six police officers were injured in violence on Wednesday evening, according to Alessandro Giuliano, who is responsible for public safety in Naples.

Police were in the process of identifying 470 German fans who arrived in the city, and were scouring images to establish those responsible for the disorder, he told a press conference.

Dozens of supporters of Atalanta also joined forces with supporters of the German side, with whom they are twinned.

The first clashes occurred on Wednesday afternoon in Naples’ historic centre, and continued after the match, an easy 3-0 win for Napoli which took them through to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time.

Smoke bombs and flares, chairs, bottles and metal poles were thrown at police, who responded with tear gas. Later, Napoli fans were filmed by Italian media throwing objects at buses carrying Eintracht fans.

Naples mayor Gaetano Manfredi condemned the “unacceptable” violence, while opposition politicians have questioned the government’s handling of the situation, notably by Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi.

Napoli player Juan Jesus said the disorder was “bad for the city, and bad for football”.

“Because people come, then destroy, then leave, it’s not a good thing. It’s not possible to still see this in 2023, we are sorry to see these scenes,” he said.

The German supporters had travelled to southern Italy, with many arriving in Naples by train, even though Eintracht decided against selling tickets for the away section in Naples for the second leg of the last 16 tie.

Eintracht Frankfurt fans clash with anti-riot police after arriving in Naples despite not having tickets for their team’s Champions League decider with Napoli. (Photo by Ciro FUSCO / ANSA / AFP)

The Frankfurt club decided not to take up their allocation after the Naples prefecture decided on Sunday to ban residents of the German city from buying tickets.

A earlier Italian ban on Eintracht fans who lived anywhere in Germany was overturned.

Sunday’s decision came after violence in the first leg that was won 2-0 by Napoli in Frankfurt, which led to nine people being taken into custody.

Eintracht fans have been under close surveillance by European governing body UEFA since the pitch invasion which greeted the club reaching the final of the Europa League, which they won by beating Scottish club Rangers.