Four Kosovars with ties to the Islamic State were arrested on Tuesday by police in Italy and Kosovo for being prepared to carry out direct threats they had made against the United States and Pope Francis I.
Police in Italy and Kosovo have detained 4 suspects that they consider to be terrorists for threats made against a United States diplomat as well as against Pope Francis I. The 4 suspects are from Kosovo and Albania and have known ties to the Islamic State. Police say that the men had made specific threats and that they were well armed and more than ready to have carried out their acts.
Italian police stated that the 3 Kosovars had direct ties to the Islamic State, reports The New York Times. They had been major recruiters for the Islamic State and had been heard publicly praising the attacks that happened in Paris. There have been 3 arrests in Italy. One of the men remains in Italian custody while 2 others have been let go and deported from the country. In Kosovo, police have arrested an Albanian who is accused of being the leader of the various plots. Italian authorities stated that deportation in these cases usually happened when police couldn’t compile enough evidence to take to a trial.
The 4 suspects are also known for spreading religious and racial hatred and being involved in what government authorities define as “terrorist” activities out on various social media platforms. Italian police carried out raids and searches in at least 4 Italian towns for additional suspects who may be related to the 4 being held.
Italian authorities believed that they had intervened at exactly the right time as the men were armed and ready to carry out various plans and threats. They all had a social media presence and often posed with weapons that are characteristic of the typical jihadi fighter. They also belonged to social media groups that are involved with the jihadist movements and radical Islam.
Authorities in neither country revealed the extent of the threats made against Pope Francis I or against a United States diplomat.