Meloni demands immediate naval block

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right party, Brothers of Italy

NAPLES – In reaction to a Gambian man’s arrest for his ties to ISIS terrorists in Naples, right-wing leader Giorgia Meloni expressed Italy’s need to take immediate action with the hashtag #bloccoNavaleSubito (Immediate naval block) tweeted on her account Monday.

 “Gambian national, who landed in Sicily in 2017, accused of ISIS connection and ready to attack Italy. Thank goodness there’s no link between immigration and terrorism,” she goes on to say.

 The Brothers of Italy president’s strong words follow the right-wing trend of criticism in the latest debates concerning immigrants and their rights.

 As part of a group of immigrants who landed in Italy a year ago, 34-year-old Sillah Osman becomes the second Gambian national detained in the Neapolitan area after 21-year-old co-national Alagie Touray was stopped last April in Pozzuoli.

 Identified as members of a group linked to ISIS terrorists, Naples prosecutor Giovanni Melillo reported to journalists Monday that the two Gambian nationals have been involved in a possible terrorist attack somewhere in France or Spain.

 With a first arrest this spring, the prosecution office has been able to reinforce its investigation, using Touray’s key testimony offered to authorities.

 Both Osman and Touray belong to a well-organised group of violent terrorists who were radicalised in Libya and North Africa and are trained in the use of knives, explosive weapons and automobiles as battering rams.

 Touray allegedly published a video of himself pledging loyalty to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi via the Telegram online service. He allegedly received an order via the same service to ram a car into a crowd.

 After a long stay in the Puglia Region, where Osman was a guest at a reception centre for immigrants financed by the state, he was lured to Naples in connection to a possible and eminent attack that made authorities suspicious. After his detainment, he was soon placed into custody and imprisoned.

 Osman’s arrest comes after long-time surveillance that began after finding his name in Touray’s mobile phone.

 During the encounter with reporters, the prosecutor announced that in the days to come there will be further meetings and contact with French, Spanish and German authorities during which they will relay the information acquired during the Parthenope probe.