11 November 2014

UPDATED: Arrests made in Rome in connection with the Islamic State

There is disturbing news today in the Eternal City as two men from Tunisia have been detained in connection with a possible ISIS plot:
The pair, said to be from North Africa, first came to the attention of officials when a car, believed to have been driven by them, sped past traffic police on Rome’s ring road on Sunday night, Corriere reported.

The car was later found abandoned, with two guns inside.

Police then traced the owner of the car, which led them to an apartment in Infernetto, a hamlet between Rome and Ostia.

There they found the extremist group’s black flag, and a map of Rome with various locations encircled.

The discovery comes less than a month after Isis published a photo of its flag superimposed on the obelisk in St Peter’s square on the front cover of its propaganda magazine, ‘Dabiq’ [more].
If you read Italian, La Repubblica also has an article on the arrests. The news does not seem to have yet hit the English press.

Regarding ISIS' threat last month against the city of Rome - and, really, against the Vatican City State - consult this brief article from ANSA or this one from the International Business Times.

As I went about the city today, I noticed nothing out of the ordinary.

UPDATE (11-12-2014, 6:50 a.m.):

So far as I can tell, The Telegraph is the only Western news publication have covered this news, with an article on the arrests containing a little more information:
Angelino Alfano, the deputy prime minister and interior minister, has said that Italy is on high alert for terrorist attacks but conceded that no specific threats had been received.

He said that around 50 Italians, or immigrants who had lived in Italy, were believed to be fighting for Isil, which has established a modern-day caliphate across large areas of Syria and Iraq.

Although there was no specific intelligence about a terrorist plot, Italy was a target because of Rome's status as the "seat of Christianity", the minister said [more].
I did not realize Italy is on high alert.

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