Italian Intelligence Warns Jihadist Threat Still High With Pope and Colosseum Targets

Roman Coliseum at sunset, summer view with no people, Italy.
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A new report from Italy’s intelligence apparatus suggests the nation remains a major target of Islamic Jihadist terrorist groups, with the report noting that terror groups have spoken among themselves of attacking Rome.

The Dipartimento delle Informazioni per la Sicurezza (DIS) report claims that Italy also faces a risk from returning foreign Jihadist fighters who may return under false aliases to the country through illegal immigration routes, and notes that of the 200 or so Italians who travelled to fight for terror groups, 56 have died.

Italy also appears to be a major target of Islamic groups according to the report, which notes that there has been a revival of talk among Islamist extremists of targeting Rome and other Italian symbols, including the Colosseum, the Pope, and the Vatican, Il Giornale reports.

The DIS also claims that groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) have begun to reorganise and regroup, stating, “at the global and regional level, both al-Qaeda and ISIS have continued in the reorganization of their respective structures which, in both cases, has led to a decentralization of command and control structures and a consequent multiplication of fronts.”

The global Jihadist network has also reportedly taken inspiration from the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban last year.

Since the fall of the Islamic State, many members, including foreign fighters, Jihadi brides and their children, have been held in prison camps in Syria. While some countries, like Sweden, have repatriated some of those held in the camps, other countries in Europe have refused to take back Islamic extremists who travelled to join the Islamic State.

The DIS states in its report that the prison camps have become a base for Islamic State and the group has used the camps as a way to strengthen its operational base. Earlier this year, Islamic State militants attacked the al-Sinaa prison in an effort to free their members, with the members inside the prison revolting against guards and using children as human shields.


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