Official: Italian Organized Crime Linked to Terror

Italian mobsters and Islamic terrorist groups have forged links in arms and drug trafficking, Italy's top anti-Mafia investigator said.

Pierluigi Vigna (search), Italy's national anti-Mafia prosecutor, singled out a Naples mob known as the Camorra (search), which deals in arms and drugs, among other rackets.

"There are ties without doubt," Vigna told reporters Monday at a briefing at the Foreign Press Association. "We have evidence that Camorra groups are implicated in exchange of arms for drugs with terrorist groups," Vigna said.

Asked if these were Islamic terrorist groups, he replied, "Muslim terrorist groups."

He said judicial secrecy prevented him from describing the evidence. But Vigna suggested that the collaboration might have begun when a Camorra member who converted to Islam met fellow Muslims jailed in Italy. He didn't identify any of the inmates or elaborate on how they may have worked together.

Vigna, who wants his office to handle terror probes as well as organized crime investigations in Italy, said there were already examples of mobsters working with foreign groups — such as Italian criminals dealing with Colombian FARC (search) guerrillas in cocaine trafficking.

Vigna said prosecutors in Sicily and Calabria, both strongholds of organized crime, have excluded that mobsters there have made alliances with foreign groups trafficking in illegal immigrants.