MILAN - Italian magistrates have ordered the arrest of two Albanians and an Italian on suspicion of terrorism-related offenses and are searching several addresses in northern Italy, police said on Wednesday.
The two Albanians, a man living in Albania and his nephew in the region around Turin, are suspected of recruiting people for terrorism, while the third man, an 20-year-old Italian of Moroccan origin, is suspected of encouraging terrorism over the Internet, a police statement said.
The searches in Lombardy, Piemonte and Tuscany were focused on suspected sympathizers of Islamist militant groups and police and anti-terrorism officers were also working in the region around Tirana in Albania, it added.
Like other European countries, Italy has stepped up surveillance of individuals suspected of supporting Islamist State militants in Syria and Iraq after indications that a number of Italians had travelled to the region to fight.
In January, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said 59 Islamist fighters with some connection to Italy had been identified. Western countries fear radicalized nationals will return to launch attacks at home.