Italian police have arrested a Syrian on suspicion of
being a member of the so-called Islamic State (IS),
clapping him in cuffs shortly after he arrived by boat
along with hundreds of refugees, media reports said
The man, reportedly in his 20s, was arrested by
officers in Sicily after Italy's special operations
division discovered incriminating material on his
The suspect had videos and photographs which
appeared to be of IS attacks along with a text
message which read "Allah is great, but ISIS is even
better", according to the reports.
The local Corriere di Ragusa daily said the images
contained "corpses, wounds and lots of blood".
The Syrian arrived on December 4 on a wooden
fishing boat carrying 500 people, and had been
staying at the reception centre in the southeastern
Sicilian port before his arrest.
There have long been concerns in Italy and Europe of
would-be jihadists entering the country and the rest
of the continent on the rickety boats of migrants
crossing the Mediterranean from northern Africa.
At least one of the men involved in the Paris attacks
last month, which left 130 people dead, is believed to
have travelled through Italy on his way to France.
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano praised police,
describing the arrest as "proof of the prevention
"Our work never stops, night nor day. We are on the
ground with our best investigative teams and our
Since the Paris attacks, which were claimed by IS,
there have been reports of a drop in the number of
people attending crowded events or places in Italy —
from Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican to shopping
Rome's Prefect Franco Gabrielli said it was necessary
to "beat the fear which is gripping the city and the
country in the fatalistic anticipation that something