MILAN – Italy's interior minister says police have arrested on a European warrant an Iraqi identified by French and Belgian authorities as having contact with terrorists.
Angelino Alfano said the Iraqi was arrested Tuesday near Naples, but he did not elaborate on whether the connection was directly related to the attacks in Brussels, or the November attacks in Paris. He said investigators were working to determine more about the suspect's terror contacts and activities in Italy.
Alfano told reporters after a meeting of security officials that he will sign in the coming hours additional expulsion orders for foreigners "who demonstrated to not respect the rules of our country."
Since the beginning of 2015, he said Italy has expelled 74 people, including five imams, as part of terrorism prevention measures aimed against "subjects who showed advanced signs of radicalization or for having given ideological support" to Islamic State. He said 396 people had been arrested since the beginning of 2015 as part of anti-terrorism investigations, which included searches against 2,249 people suspected of religious extremism.
Alfano added that intelligence officials are working 24 hours a day, "but no country can be at zero risk and the tragic facts of these days unfortunately are evident demonstrations."