Italian Police Charge Imam And 2 Aides With Training Terrorists

Italian police charge imam and 2 aides with training terrorists

By Peter Kiefer
International Herald Tribune
Published: July 22, 2007

ROME,: The Italian police were hunting for a fourth suspect on Sunday after arresting the imam of a mosque in central Italy and two of his aides over the weekend on suspicion of running a “terror school” that trained children in bomb making and guerrilla combat.

The police said they confiscated as many as 60 types of chemicals from the home of the imam, materials that they suspect could have been used for bomb making. All three of the men arrested were Moroccan.

The police identified the imam as Korchi el-Mostapha, 41, and his two aides as Mohamed el-Jari, 47, and Driss Safika, 46. The raid was part of a two-year investigation that involved monitoring of telephone and Internet communications.

Arturo De Felice, the police chief in Perugia, where the men were arrested, said investigators raided the mosque on Saturday morning. He said the imam's home was near the mosque.

The police said they found computer files including video and documents on weapons training and instructions on how to prepare poisons and explosives, pilot a Boeing 747 and send encrypted messages.