Italian far right group charged with terror plot against Jewish community
15 December 2011
Five neo-fascists belonging to the 'Militia' group have been charged with plotting terrorism against Jewish and other targets in Rome. The ANSA website reports:
Five members of a Rome-based far-right extremist group were arrested and 16 placed under investigation Wednesday on suspicion of planning attacks against Rome's Jewish community and other targets.
The group, Militia, had been planning a "revolutionary war", police said.
The five members of Militia, which has been convicted of vandalised public buildings in the past, would be charged with criminal conspiracy, spreading racial and ethnic hatred, defacing property and threatening institutions, police said. The extremist group had issued threats against the head of Rome's Jewish community, Riccardo Pacifici, Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanni, parliamentary speakers Renato Schifani and Gianfranco Fini, former US president George Bush and Romanian nationals, police said.
"A series of violent actions" had been planned against these targets, they said, including a bomb attack on Pacifici allegedly planned by two of those arrested.
The group had come to the attention of the police previously:
These alleged crimes took place over a three-year period, between September 2008 and September 2011, police said. Wednesday's police operation was the second against Militia in 18 months.
In May 2010 police raided offices, discos and gyms used by the group, scotching plans to hold a 'national rally' which 87 people from around Italy were expected to attend.
Four Militia members were placed under investigation for threatening Pacifici and vandalising a Rome monument commemorating victims of the Nazis, as well as daubing slogans against Alemanno including one that called him a "traitor" for attending events marking the WWII Resistance.
Far-right literature was confiscated in the raids as well as machetes, baseball bats and clubs.
At the time, police said Militia was planning to expand to northern Italy and link up with similar organisations in northern Europe.
After the mass murder by Anders Breivik in Norway in July, this is another reminder of the serious terrorist threat posed by the violent fringes of Europe's far right; a threat that has led to severalBritish neo-Nazis being imprisoned on terrorist charges in recent years. These and other actual and attempted far right terror plots are outlined in CST's unique report (pdf), Terrorist Incidents Against Jewish Communities and Israeli Citizens Abroad 1968 - 2010.