Italian arrested for explosives possession after FBI tip-off

Italian police have arrested a 24-year-old man for possession of explosive materials, following a tip-off from the USA's FBI.

Italian arrested for explosives possession after FBI tip-off
File photo showing Italian police carrying out raids, in the Roman suburb of Ostia. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Police said on Thursday that the man was arrested “for possession of material which could be used for making explosives”.

The arrest followed a police search of the man's apartment in Viterbo, a city of around 70,000 people in the central Lazio region, where they found material used to create a pipe bomb.

This included powder, glue, and small coins, and police also found a rifle, two air pistols and other weapons including a knuckle-duster.

READ ALSO: A Facebook 'like' can constitute apology for terrorism, top Italian court rules

He was arrested and charged on Monday, but police only made a public statement about the arrest on Thursday after a judge extended the detention order. 

The investigation was prompted by the American intelligence and security service, which noted posts on the Italian's social media pages praising New York terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov..

Saipov is accused of carrying out a truck attack in the US city on October 31st last year, in which eight people were killed. He was arrested immediately after the attack and told investigators he was inspired by propaganda from the terror group Isis, though he pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and terrorism.

Before the FBI tip-off, the Viterbo man, reportedly of Latvian origin, was not known to police or security services for extremist views.

READ ALSO: How Italy keeps track of 80 terrorism alerts each day


 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

Italian police on Saturday arrested a mafia member suspected of killing two alleged Chinese prostitutes and a Colombian sex worker in Rome, local media reported.

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

The bodies of the two Chinese women were discovered in a residential building in the upmarket Prati district on Thursday morning, while the body of the South American was found in an apartment in the same neighbourhood an hour later.

All three victims were stabbed, according to Italian media reports.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, footage from surveillance cameras allowed police to identify 51-year-old Giandavide De Pau, who had been prosecuted in the past for drug trafficking and sexual assault.

The suspect is reportedly a member of a mafia clan headed by Michele Senese, who is currently serving a life sentence. De Pau is believed to have been one of Senese’s closest collaborators, acting as his personal driver and handyman.

In 2008 and 2011, the suspect had also spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

It is unknown whether the suspected killer was carrying out a mafia hit or acting alone, possibly under the influence of drugs, which were found at the home of some family members where he is believed to have sought refuge after the police manhunt got underway, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several newspapers had warned of a possible “serial killer” in the Italian capital.

The body of one of the Chinese victims was spotted by a neighbour where it lay, naked on a landing. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, had suffered head and stomach injuries, the newspaper said.

When police entered her apartment, they found the body of the second Chinese woman.

Nobody in the building appeared to have heard the murders take place, according to residents.

“Everybody knew there was a house of ill repute here, I’d see people arriving at 2:00 am, 3:00 am,” a woman who lived in the building told reporters.

The body of the Colombian, who was 65, was found by a friend, Corriere della Sera said.