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Pakistanis Arrested in Italian Raid Deny Terror Links

The 28 Pakistanis arrested in a raid that turned up explosives and maps of a NATO base either have denied any links to terrorism or refused to answer questions during interrogations, lawyers said Sunday.

After an all-day hearing, a judge ruled Sunday that the suspects should remain jailed while the investigation continues, lawyer Gennaro Razzino said in a telephone conversation from Naples, where the Pakistanis were jailed.

Razzino said all 10 of his clients invoked their right not to answer questions during the first hearing in the case, which began Thursday when police raided a Naples house during a crackdown on illegal immigration.

Another lawyer, Giovanna Cacciapuoti, told Italian state television that those who did answer questions denied the charges.

"They denied having any knowledge about this explosives material and denied having any connections with, or any knowledge, about fundamentalist circles or terrorist circles," Cacciapuoti said.

No future hearing dates were set, Razzino said.

During Thursday's raid, police said they found a circled newspaper photo of Britain's military chief as well as a few pages of a map, ripped from the directory of city streets that all local telephone subscribers receive, of the area of Bagnoli, a suburb that is home to a NATO base.

Italian media Sunday reported that subsequent searches of the apartment turned up other maps, including of tourist spots like a Naples museum, the coastal town of Sorrento, the spa island of Ischia, and Ercolano, site of the ancient Roman city Herculaneum.

But a police officer familiar with the probe and speaking on condition of anonymity said only the map of the NATO base area was found in the raid.

Razzino, however, said prosecutors presenting evidence at Sunday's hearing produced a highway map of the Campania region, which includes Naples, that they said was found in a subsequent search of the apartment. The lawyer said no particular targets were marked on the map but that places like Pompeii and Positano, two top tourist draws, were circled.

A police official on Saturday confirmed reports that a Jan. 25 newspaper in the house had a photograph of British Adm. Sir Michael Boyce, who was expected to visit Naples next month, but declined to say if the admiral was a target.

In a statement Friday, Italian police said they had uncovered an Al Qaeda terrorist cell, but later a police official said officers "might have gotten ahead of themselves" in announcing such a link.