MILAN – Italian authorities have arrested 13 suspects in a high-speed migrant trafficking ring operating between Tunisia and Sicily whose members espoused radical jihadist views.
Italian financial police in Sicily said Tuesday that a wiretapped conversation between two traffickers revealed one saying he intended to travel to France and carry out a suicide attack and asking for prayers.
The trafficking group allegedly organized transport from the Tunisian port of Nabeul to Trapani in Sicily aboard rubber dinghies equipped with high-speed outboard motors and trained navigators for 3,000 euros ($3,690) to 5,000 euros per person. The traffickers also carried contraband cigarettes for a total value per trip of up to 70,000 euros, with the capacity to run two trips a week.
Police said the suspects were Italian, Tunisian and Moroccan.