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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Italy: Imam calling for destruction of Vatican arrested

By: V4 Agency

The radical imam, who was arrested on Thursday in the city of Alessandria, near Torino, has called on his believers to destroy the Vatican and slaughter the Jews in his preaching.

On Thursday, Italian police arrested a prison imam in Alessandria for allegedly declaring jihad and calling on believers to slaughter the infidels and destroy the Vatican.

The imam, a Moroccan extremist, has brought up the example of several terrorist attacks praising, among others, the assault on Charlie Hebdo, when Islamist radicals attacked the satirical weekly after the publication of some Muhammad cartoons.

The imam was charged with instigation to commit terrorist attacks, promoting ethnic discrimination, and incitement to carry out various criminal offenses.

Besides calling for the destruction of the Vatican and the Christian Church and branding Jews as “Islam’s enemies,” the imam has also praised Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the terrorist group he founded.

Between March and July 2021, the religious leader was seeking to recruit people willing to commit terrorist attacks, according to police sources. He was detained in the Novara prison pending his trial.

The fact that several prisons have been turned into recruitment centres by extremists, including jihadis, has posed a growing problem in Europe, the ISPI news portal reports. According to the article, this is because authorities have made more terrorism-related arrests in the past few years, leading to more radicalisation is prisons.Radical movements and terrorist organisations have always considered prisons to be an ideal place to recruit new members.

According to ISPI, guards have found objects suitable to convert or radicalise inmates on numerous occasions, such as extremist books or videos, which can be smuggled inside of detention centres, or made available to inmates. For example, Spanish authorities arrested a prison worker in February 2019, accused of smuggling mobile devices containing jihadist material in exchange for money.

Convicted terrorists usually spend time in jail with non-Islamic inmates sentenced for other offences, whom the extremists and prison imams both want to convert. Moreover, inmates tend to set up mini-groups on the basis of nationality and religion, and then harass others convicts outside of their groups.

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