Italian Police Arrest Pro-Isis Trio Over Suspected Venice Bomb Plot
Italian police arrested three Kosovars sympathetic to the Islamic State (ISIS) on Thursday (March 30) on suspicion of operating a jihadist cell that had discussed blowing up the historic Rialto Bridge in Venice.
A minor from Kosovo was also detained to prevent him from interfering with the probe, police said. All had papers allowing them to live legally in Italy.
Up to three other Kosovars were also under investigation over their ties to those arrested, Venice's chief prosecutor Adelchi D'Ippolito said.
Police had been monitoring the group since last year. They tapped their phones, bugged their apartments and followed their online communications, and what emerged was "disturbing and worrying", the prosecutor said. The group had expressed an unconditional support for ISIS, he added.
Those arrested had celebrated after a deadly March 22 attack in London, D'Ippolito said, adding that one had commented: "Considering how many infidels there are in Venice, we could get to heaven right away by putting a bomb on the Rialto Bridge."
D'Ippolito said all the detained lived in the historic centre of Venice, an ancient city in the north of Italy famous for its many canals. Police also carried out 10 raids overnight in Venice, one in the neighboring town of Mestre and one in nearby Treviso.
More than 20 million tourists flock to the lagoon city every year.