Italy seeks imam and 10 other suspects in crackdown on terrorism financing

Italian prosecutors said Saturday they had issued arrest warrants for 10 people, including an imam, suspected of being part of a network financing terrorism. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 07 September 2019

Italy seeks imam and 10 other suspects in crackdown on terrorism financing

  • The iman being sought was based in the city of Teramo
  • The money “financed activities linked to radical Al-Nusra organization”

ROME: Italian prosecutors said Saturday they had issued arrest warrants for 10 people, including an imam, suspected of being part of a network financing terrorism.
The eight Tunisians and two Italians are suspected of having set up false bank accounts and businesses to move large sums of money and avoid taxes, said the prosecutors’ office in Aquila in the central Abruzzo region.
The iman being sought was based in the city of Teramo in the same region, the statement added.
The money “also financed activities linked to the radical Al-Nusra organization” formerly the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda, prosecutors said.
And some of the money was earmarked for imams in Italy, “including one convicted for association with a group linked to international terrorism.”
Prosecutors have already seized more than a million euros ($1.1 million) in money, property and other assets belonging to one of the 10 suspects, an Italian accountant, said prosecutors.
Investigators later told journalists that a Tunisian living in Turin, northern Italy, was believed to be the ringleader. He owned companies involved in construction and the carpet trade.
“We have reasonable cause to believe that the group... created secret funds that were transferred to Turkey, where they financed the departure of aspiring terrorists to Syria,” Aquila prosecutor Michele Ranzo told journalists.
Pasquale Angelosanto, a general in the para-military carabinieri police force, added: “In many recorded telephone conversations, the suspects spoke about Syria and Iraq, referring to an Al-Nusra unit toward which it directed aspiring fighters.”


London police charge homeless man with mosque stabbing

Updated 22 February 2020

London police charge homeless man with mosque stabbing

  • Suspect Daniel Horton stabbed London Central Mosque’s muazzin Raafat Maglad during daily prayers on Thursday
  • Horton will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing later Saturday

LONDON: London police on Saturday charged a 29-year-old homeless man with causing grievous bodily harm and possessing an illegal knife he used to stab a mosque leader during prayers.
Suspect Daniel Horton stabbed London Central Mosque’s muazzin Raafat Maglad during daily prayers on Thursday.
London police quickly ruled out a terror motive.
Maglad was treated at a London hospital and returned to the mosque for Friday’s evening service with his arm wrapped in a sling,
“I forgive him. I feel very sorry for him,” Maglad told reporters on Friday.
“To me, as a Muslim, I don’t need to put any hatred in my heart.”
Several regulars at the Regent’s Park area mosque in northwest London said they had seen Horton attend a few services in the past year.
Horton will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing later Saturday.