Crotone

Iraqi arrested in terror probe (6)

'Slit unbelievers' throats' says in wiretap

Iraqi arrested in terror probe (6)

Crotone, June 19 - A 29-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker was arrested for suspected terrorism Monday in an operation hailed by Interior Minister Marco Minniti. Hussein Abs Hamir is suspected of spreading pro-ISIS propaganda and instigating some inmates of the SPRAR asylum-seeker reception centre in Crotone to join the so-called Islamic State and carry out acts of violence. "There's no need to go to Iraq or Syria to wage jihad," he says in a wiretap, "you can stay in Italy to redeem the unfaithful, whose throats must be cut". Police found photos of police stations and police officers on his phone. "The system of prevention worked," said Minister Minniti, congratulating Calabrian police and prosecutors who worked on the case. Catanzaro Chief Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri said "we had to intervene because we believed the suspect posed a concrete flight risk. "We were afraid, as has already happened on other occasions, that the subject might leave Calabria to carry out a terrorist attack". Gratteri called the probe that led to Hamir's arrest "an important investigation, the fruit of the incessant and careful work of the DIGOS security police in Crotone, of assistant prosecutor Giovanni Bombardieri and prosecutor Paolo Petrolo. Gratteri said "we constantly monitored his movements and contacts, we saw him exult at the Machester attack on May 22. "His radicalisation had become increasingly dangerous," said the Catanzaro chief prosecutor, one of Italy's top anti-mafia and anti-terror investigators. Prosecutor Bombardieri said "the evidence gathered showed that the suspect spread propaganda for ISIS not only in the SPRAR centre he was hosted by but also by trying to infiltrate the Crotone mosque". He said Hamir came to Europe in 2008, first in Norway, then Finland, Germany and Denmark, before finally coming to Italy in 2012, landing on the coats of Puglia and putting in an asylum application. Bombardieri highlighted "two worrying episodes": firstly a March visit to Rome, in which he "tried to gauge the potential police response by going around with a white plastic bag; and secondly the "dangerous" material found on the suspect's cellphone. Crotone Police Chief Claudio Sanfilippo described the case as showing a "dangerous dossier" and he stressed the "enormous intelligence work that the Crotone anti-terror unit carries out on a daily basis". Crotone DIGOS chief Francesco Meduri said Hamir was "a highly dangerous and violent subject, who always carried on him a box-cutter and sometimes threatened other SPRAR inmates because in his view they were not following the precepts of Islam".

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