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Italians Arrest Three Moroccans on Terrorism Charges


Italian authorities have arrested three Moroccans, including a Muslim imam, on terrorism-related charges.

Anti-terrorism police said Saturday they arrested imam Korchi El Moustapha and his two associates, Mohamed El Jari and Driss Sefika, outside the central city of Perugia. Police said they are looking for a fourth man who is believed to be out of the country.

Anti-terrorism police chief Carlo de Stefano says the men were part of a militant cell who ran a terrorist school out of a mosque, near Perugia.

Investigators accuse the men of recruiting and training terrorists to commit acts of violence abroad. They say the suspects used films and material downloaded from the Internet to teach terrorist tactics.

Investigators say the teaching material they found included instructions for hand-to-hand combat, using poisons and explosives and sending encrypted messages. There also were lessons on how to fly a Boeing 747 jumbo jet airliner.

Interior Minister Giuliano Amato congratulated the security forces on the arrests.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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