Italian prosecutors say two suspects arrested Wednesday who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group had among their targets an Italian military base near the northern city of Brescia that has a U.S. military presence.
Prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli told a press conference the two suspects did not have the capabilities to carry out an attack against the Ghedi air base or any other of the targets they had identified with a Twitter account, including Milan's Duomo or Rome's Colosseum.
Officials said the two men, a Tunisian and a Pakistani, were making plans to travel to Islamic State territory for military training while at the same time gathering information from the Internet on how to participate in a holy war.
"The Pakistani and Tunisian did not just show complete adherence to the Islamic State with plans to travel to Syrian territory to participate in military training with the mujahedeen, but at the same time they spoke with each other about possible terror attacks within Italy," Romanelli said.
Investigators said the pair had not yet procured any weapons but had obtained from the Internet a manual "How to Survive in the West," a 2015 guide for mujahedeen that includes a chapter on primitive weapons and bomb making, how to escape after carrying out an attack and how to avoid detection as an extremist.
Prosecutors said the two also were planning an attack against a food packaging company where one of the men worked.
The suspects were arrested in Brescia on suspicion of terror association and subversion and searches were being carried out throughout the Lombardy region. Both were long-time residents in Italy with families.