Suspected Tunisian extremist deported

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Rome, March 7 (IANS/AKI) Italian authorities have expelled a Tunisian accused of religious extremism who was allegedly in contact with a foreign fighter from his homeland who was based in Syria, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

The 41-year-old suspect was deported aboard a flight to the Tunisian city of Hammamet from the Sicilian capital Palermo, the ministry said.

The Tunisian had been taken to Palermo airport from an expulsion centre in Turin, northwest Italy. He was arrested in June on the island of Linosa together with a compatriot, the ministry stated.

After his arrest, the suspect was made to serve a seven-month prison sentence for prior burglary and drugs offences, the ministry noted.

The man was previously deported from Italy in 2015 – at which time he was living in the northern city of Vimercate.

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Police investigators said the suspect had been in contact with a Tunisian jihadist in Syria and had “expressed hatred for Italy and readiness to carry out an extreme act”.

The Tunisian was the 26th suspected religious extremist to be expelled from Italy this year and the 263th since 1 January 2015, according to the ministry.

–IANS/AKI

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