Two Tunisians have been expelled from Italy as they were found to have links with the Islamic terror network, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano announced here on Saturday.
Alfano said in a statement the Tunisians are two brothers aged 29 and 30 who were very active on social media networks where they used to publish and consult jihadist materials.
One of two brothers, Jouini Ghazi, was found to have exalted the Islamic State (IS) on the web last February when a video was published by the IS showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians.
Following an investigation, the Italian intelligence recovered six laptops and several mobile phones in the brothers’ home in Verona, a city in northern Italy not far from Venice.
Police said the two men did not have a job and used to often go to a local mosque.
Jouini had a regular residence permit in Italy, while his brother had made request to have one a year ago but had not obtained so far due to the ongoing investigation.
Alfano said the recent expulsions “respond concretely to the process of weakening the network of connections, especially via the Internet, which can be sources of risk at any level.”
“As many as 32 people linked somehow to Islamic terrorism have been expelled since last December,” the statement added.
Among the most recent expulsions there was a 41-year-old Moroccan, also with a regular permit, who “had joined a fundamentalist practice of religion with a vocation for terrorism.”
Alfano said number of anti-terrorism forces have been deployed across Italy and security has been tightened around public offices, places of worship, embassies and monuments in Italy’s major cities.
The center-left government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has introduced a decree to boost anti-terrorism legislation in the aftermath of January’s deadly attacks in Paris and later in other countries.
Under the new package, which has already been implemented but is going through parliamentary vote to become law, those found guilty of recruiting or supporting so-called foreign fighters would face tougher jail sentences.
The package also introduces new penalties for illegally owning explosive or related raw materials and allows authorities to extend to terror suspects some preventive measures and tighter controls on the web. Enditem