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Italian police arrest 2 on suspicion of plotting attacks

By Tomas Monzon
Italian police arrest 2 on suspicion of plotting attacks
Map location of Brescia, Italy. Image courtesy of Google Maps

BRESCIA, Italy, July 22 (UPI) -- Italian police Wednesday arrested two men accused of plotting attacks on landmarks and circulating threatening messages online in support of the Islamic State.

The men were identified only by their ages and nationalities -- one from Tunisia, 35; the other from Pakistan, 26.

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The Tunisian is accused of creating a Twitter account where he posted messages signed by IS and attaching images of Italian landmarks, such as the Colosseum in Rome and a cathedral in Milan. One of the messages said, "We are in your streets."

The account has since been deleted.

The men, who were living in Brescia, may have also been targeting the Ghedi Air Base, a military installation with a U.S. presence.

At a news conference Wednesday, officials said that the men had expressed a desire to enter territory controlled by the IS in order to receive military training.

Italian anti-terrorism prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli added that authorities had tapped phone conversations in which the men discussed attacks on several targets. Interior Minister Angelina Alfano lauded the arrest as the culmination of an effective use of the authorities' monitoring system.

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The arrest follows the July 1 arrest of 10 people suspected of planning to fly to Syria to fight for the IS.

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