(photo credit: REUTERS)
ROME - Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando received bullets and a threatening letter written in Arabic in the post on Thursday, a ministry spokeswoman said.
The letter and the two bullets for a Kalashnikov have been sent for analysis along with the envelope they arrived in, which was addressed to the minister and stenciled in English.
Neither Orlando nor the ministry had received threats of this kind in the past, the spokeswoman said.
Sending bullets by post is a way that Italy's organized crime groups have traditionally threatened their enemies.
Last week, police in the southern Italian city of Bari arrested an Iraqi man suspected of helping 11 foreign Islamist militants come to Italy, from where they had moved on to France, Belgium and other European countries.
Special operations police named the man as Majid Muhamad, 45, who they said had obtained false passports to enable the suspected militants to enter Italy between March and September this year.
The police said Muhamad, who was released last year after serving 10 years in jail for international terrorism, had also found temporary accommodation for the suspected militants, who came from Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Morocco and Turkey.
Police said the man was tied to an imam who had lived in the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, but they did not say there were any direct links to the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. Italy has significantly ramped up security after the Islamic attacks.