Italian police arrest Chechen suspected over Grozny attacks

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 08, 2017 7:26 AM

ROME (Reuters) - Italian police said on Saturday they had arrested a Chechen man suspected of being a militant of Islamic State and involvement in attacks in the Chechen capital Grozny in 2014.

The 38-year-old man is accused of crimes of international terrorism and is now in prison in the southern town of Foggia, a police statement said.

The investigations started out of a collaboration with Belgium, where the man was part of a network of people who recruited foreign fighters.

Some 450 people have left Belgium to fight in Syria and Iraq, the highest country contribution in Europe on a per capita basis. Returning Syria fighters have also been involved in militant attacks in Belgium, France and elsewhere in Europe.

The man, whose name was not made public, is believed to be linked with 2014 clashes in the capital of Russia's southern province of Chechnya, in which media offices and a school were burnt and which left at least 20 dead, the police said.

The statement added that the investigations were led by the country's special operations police and is part of a broader effort to search for foreign fighters from Chechnya.

(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Stephen Powell)