Abu Qatadah (Photo from the jihadist site Jihad Unspun)
“We want to hit Italy because that dog Berlusconi has supported that dog Bush.” In other words, it worked in Spain, why not in Italy? From AFP, :
Italian police have found a video tape, thought to be from Al-Qaeda, containing threats to destroy Rome, right-wing weekly magazine Panorama said on Friday.
“The person who will destroy Rome is already preparing his swords. Rome will not be conquered by words but by force and weapons,” Panorama quoted the message on the tape as saying.
The video was discovered at a flat in the northern city of Cremona suspected by investigators of being used as a base for an Islamic extremist group, the magazine said.
The threats came from Sheikh Abu Qatadah Al Falastini, a Jordanian accused of belonging to Al-Qaeda who was being held in prison in Britain, it added.
“Rome is the cross and the West is the cross. And the people of Rome are the patrons of the cross. Muslims’ target is the West. We will open Rome,” the message continued.
The interpreter who provided the anti-terrorist police with an Italian version of the tape said “open” was a historic term meaning “seize through force and bloodshed by destroying and subjugating the people”, Panorama continued.
Daily newspaper La Stampa said investigators were taking the threats seriously. They come nine days before the Christian world celebrates Easter.
Panorama said the video had been discovered at a flat that Italian investigators believe to be the headquarters of an Islamic extremist group led by a Tunisian called Mohammed Trabelsi. The 35-year-old had been arrested in Cremona in 2003 and was being held in prison in Milan, it added.
Panorama alleged Trabelsi had warned: “We want to hit Italy because that dog Berlusconi has supported that dog Bush”, in references to the Italian and US leaders.