Terrorist suspect arrested in Italy
PARIS | Italian police have arrested a Frenchman suspected of links to a network recruiting fighters for Afghanistan, a French official said Sunday.
The man was arrested in Naples in southern Italy in early September, based on a French probe under way for several months into suspected involvement in a terrorist enterprise, the official said. The official was not authorized to be named publicly because terrorism cases are classified.
The official said the man is suspected of having fought in Afghanistan and belonging to a network for recruiting fighters.
Two Italian newspapers said the man is 28 years old, of Algerian origin and suspected of being a member of al Qaeda.
Il Mattino, a newspaper based in Naples, and the Naples editions of La Repubblica said Sunday that the suspect had notes and a kit for making bombs when he was arrested. The French official, however, said the material seized was “insignificant.”
Il Mattino said the arrest took place two weeks ago and became public only after a closed-door hearing in Naples that approved the suspect’s extradition to France.
Pope honors priest who fought Mafia
PALERMO | Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday hailed as a hero a slain priest who dared to challenge the Mafia in its stronghold, and he encouraged Sicilians not to resign themselves to deep-rooted evil on an island where organized crime has held sway for centuries.
“The temptation toward discouragement, to resignation, comes to those who are weak in faith, to those who confuse evil with good, to those who think that, faced with often profound evil, there is nothing to do,” Benedict told tens of thousands of faithful at Mass at a sunshine-drenched park alongside Palermo’s waterfront.
The pope later lamented the “barbarous” 1993 slaying of the Rev. Giuseppe “Pino” Puglisi, who stirred consciences with his anti-Mafia preaching in one of Palermo’s most heavily mobster-infested lower-income neighborhoods.
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