Venice, April 7 (IANS/AKI) Police near Venice on Friday ordered a mosque attended by members of an alleged cell that wanted to blow up landmarks in the northern lagoon city to close within three days because it was “unfit for purpose”.
City officials stressed that the order to close down the mosque in Mestre was not religiously motivated and said local Muslims were welcome to gather for prayers in other, suitable premises.
The mosque is run by the local Bangladeshi community. It was used by three Kosovars deported from Italy on Monday for alleged plotting bomb attacks on Venice’s iconic Rialto Bridge and churches in St Mark’s Square.
Police arrested the three Kosovars last week and held a fourth Kosovan suspect who is a minor during raids on 12 apartments in Venice, Mestre and the neighbouring province of Treviso.
The Kosovars viewed “numerous” jihadist propaganda videos showing ways of carrying out suicide attacks and shared the videos online with other extremists, the Italian interior ministry said.