Three men were detained in northern Italy after police uncovered a stash of automatic weapons, a missile and material featuring Nazi symbols, officials said Monday.
The discoveries stemmed from an investigation into Italians backing pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, Turin police said.
One of the men, identified by Italian media as Fabio Del Bergiolo, had been linked to a neo-fascist Italian political party, police said. He ran unsuccessfully in 2001 as a Senate candidate for the Forza Nuova party, police said.
At his home in Gallarate, police found nine assault weapons, nearly 30 hunting rifles, pistols, bayonets, ammunition and antique Nazi plaques featuring swastikas.
Two others, identified by Italian media as Alessandro Monti and Fabio Bernardi, were detained after a French-made missile was discovered at an airport hangar, police said.
“During the operation, an air-to-air missile in perfect working order and used by the Qatari army was seized,” police said in a statement.
The suspects had tried to sell the missile via conversations with people on the WhatsApp message system, according to The New York Times.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.