– MILAN SYNAGOGUE PLOT THWARTED
Italian police, on Thursday 03/15/2012, said they are investigating an alleged plot to blow up an Milan synagogue. The plans had taken shape in “super secret” Facebook groups. They have arrested a 20-year-old Moroccan – named by the Daily Telegraph in UK as Mohamed Jarmoune – who is accused of making a “detailed plan” for a terror attack on the Via della Guastalla synagogue in Milan (see also – Milan 11.12.09).
A 40-year-old woman, believed to be Yemeni, was arrested, probably simultaneously, in a pre-dawn raid, on Thursday 03/15/2012, at her home in south London. Italian police said she may have been in contact with Mohamed Jarmoune in Milan.
Italian Police reportedly found a document saved on Mohamed Jarmoune’s computer, “noting every detail in view of the planned attack on the Milan synagogue: security measures that were in place, police on duty, possible obstacles and possible access routes”.
Mohamed Jarmoune, a metal worker, was arrested in Brescia in Northern Italy amid claims from Italian police that he was using his “exceptional” computer skills to create “super secret” groups on Facebook to plot an attack.
Officers in Italy said the man had been living in the province since the age of six and “had the job of training people in the use of weapons and explosives for terror operations”. They added that months of undercover work had revealed that Mohamed Jarmoune had created “super secret” profiles on Facebook to discuss terrorism techniques that could be accessed only through a complicated system of controls that he had put on them.
“In this online arena, members could share instructions on how to assemble explosive devices, what chemical ingredients could be bought and the use of weapons,” a police statement translated into English said. “Anti-terrorism officers intercepted a message from the Moroccan in which he spoke of a ‘jihad mission’.”
The Yemeni woman is not thought to be directly involved in the alleged attack plot, but police in London said they were working with their counterparts in Italy to establish what role she had played. She was held under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act on suspicion of “possessing a document or record containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”.
Searches were carried out at the woman’s south London address as she was questioned. Scotland Yard said, “A search warrant was executed at a residential premises in connection with the arrest, and a search continues” they added.
Police reportedly took Mohamed Jarmoune’s computer from his flat in central Brescia, as well as detailed descriptions of how to build a car bomb and the quantities of chemicals needed to make an explosive. The flat has reportedly been part of several anti-terror investigations in the past (see – Brescia Arrests).
Brescia police chief Lucio Carluccio said: “We are not talking about a traditional criminal terror organisation, those groups are now fewer and fewer but what we are talking about is isolated groups springing up of young men who contact each other via the internet.”
The suspect had been under investigation for several months, but police moved to arrest him when they saw he was using Google maps to zoom in on areas around the synagogue in a way that suggested he was trying to check security, not browsing casually, Mr Carluccio added.
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