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After Arrest, Italian Police Widen Search for More Terror Suspects


In Italy, police are carrying out searches across the country following the arrest in Rome of a man believed to have been involved in the bombing attempts in London July 21.

Italy's interior minister, Giuseppe Pisanu, said Saturday at least 15 searches were under way in different parts of Italy following the arrest of the 27-year-old suspect. Providing the first details about the arrest Friday evening in a Rome apartment, he said the man held dual British and Ethiopian citizenship.

Speaking in the lower house of parliament, Mr. Pisanu said the man, whose name is believed to be Osman Hussain, is accused of trying to explode a device on a subway train heading to the Shepherd's Bush section of London. He is one of four top suspects tied to the failed July 21 attacks on London's transport network.

The interior minister said the authorities were able to track the suspect down by tracing calls on his cell phone. He said that five days after the attempted bombings the man went by train from London to Paris.

Investigators followed his movements from London to Paris to Milan and then Rome, where he took refuge at his brother's home. Mr. Pisanu added that the suspect tried to avoid capture by using contacts in Italy.

"From the investigations, it has been possible to identify a dense network of individuals belonging to the Eritrean and Ethiopian communities in Italy [who are] believed to have helped him cover his tracks," he said.

The minister said "important investigations" are being conducted in Venice, Salerno and other Italian cities from north to south. He said police in Milan raided a building where forged documents were made for illegal immigrants. The materials they seized are now being examined by authorities.

Mr. Pisanu also said that the man arrested Friday had been in contact with East Africans in Milan and Brescia in northern Italy.

Anti-terror prosecutors want to learn all they can about his contacts and movements in this country and determine if there are any plans for an attack in Italy. So far, it appears the suspect has been cooperating.

Meanwhile, Britain has requested his extradition. It's expected that a decision will be taken soon on when the man will be handed over to the British authorities.

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