Populist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has outlined proposals for the security services to do more to observe and root out extremism in the country’s Islamic cultural centres.
Salvini made his case for increased security measures during a press conference this week at the Interior Ministry, highlighting the recent Sri Lanka terror attack that killed some 250 people over the Easter weekend, saying that Italians needed more clarification on the extremist elements within the Islamic community, Il Giornale reports.
The populist League party leader also singled out an incident that occurred in Rome this week in which a Muslim migrant had stabbed a homeless Georgian man on a bus after noticing his crucifix necklace. “Rome does not deserve certain scenes,” Salvini said in reference to the incident and added that it did need more security.
“According to the data of the updated census of Islamic presences in Italy to date there are 1,382 Islamic cultural associations, of which 1,068 are also used as a place for prayer,” Salvini said and added, “Obviously it is full of good people but there are also realities underlined by the police to identify the presence of fanatics and extremists.”
One of the proposed measures will see police and security services take more time to find out what is being preached inside mosques and cultural centres in order to have better control over forms of extremism and avoid radical hate preaching.
The populist Italian coalition government has already been particularly effective at combatting terrorist plots and has led Europe in the number of deportations of migrant jihadists.
In January, police also managed to bust a migrant smuggling network of 15 individuals believed to have been facilitating the illegal entry of Islamic jihadists into Italy.
Earlier this month, a Moroccan migrant and an Italian Islamic convert were arrested by police in northern Italy after they were caught exchanging messages with each other about plotting terror attacks.