Italian far-left anarchist terrorist Roberto Cropo has been arrested in the French city of Saint-Étienne. He is believed to be a member of a terrorist cell that carried out a bombing in Rome in 2017.
The arrest of the 34-year-old suspected terrorist comes as part of a larger law enforcement operation in several countries named Operation Bialystok that saw six other far-left suspected terrorists arrested in Italy and Spain.
All of those arrested are believed to be members of the Santiago Maldonado Cell of the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), which took responsibility for a 2017 bombing on a police barracks in Rome in December of that year, France Bleu reports.
Far-Left Extremist Arrested in Connection with Salvini Party Office Bombing https://t.co/21bRiRuIVs
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 29, 2019
Explosives weighing 1.5kg (3lbs), packed in a thermos, discharged but did not cause any injuries to the ten officials inside of the barracks at the time.
Mr Cropo, a native of the city of Turin, was caught in his motorhome where he had been hiding for the last three years. He had lived alone and worked seasonal jobs. A Europe-wide arrest warrant led Paris anti-terror prosecutors to take the case and ultimately find him, according to the broadcaster.
The Santiago Maldonado Cell is believed to behind several other bombing attacks in recent years and took credit for the bombing of an office belonging to populist Matteo Salvini’s League in the city of Treviso in August of 2018.
Nearly a year after the bombing, Italian police arrested Spanish far-left extremist Juan Antonio Sorroche in connection with the attack. The 42-year-old had been on the run from Italian authorities since 2017.
Far-left anarchist Antifa violence has grown in recent years across Europe. This year alone Greece saw an attempted bombing of the home of a former government minister and France has seen both a plot to murder police officers and a bomb-making factory uncovered in Paris.
Last month, the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) warned that far-left extremists were becoming more violent in Germany. They said: “The step of deliberately killing a political opponent no longer seems completely unthinkable.”
French Police Raid Alleged Far-Left Antifa Bomb Factory HQ https://t.co/ipmxBhTXNV
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 22, 2020