Milan calls emergency meeting in wake of international terrorist attacks.
The four major terrorist actions on Friday 26 June – in Tunisia, France, Kuwait and Somalia – triggered an emergency evening meeting in Milan of the forces of law and order, convened by prefect Francesco Paolo Tronca.
Security measures were “raised to the maximum” around all “sensitive objectives” and in the “general system of control of the territory by all police and military forces involved in the ‘Operation Safe Streets’,” according to a communiqué issued after the meeting.
Mixed signals meanwhile came from Italy's government. Interior minister Angelino Alfano, responsible for law and order, repeated what he has said frequently in recent weeks, that “we have no indication of a concrete and specific threat.” He added, however, that “we are working as though all the objectives which we imagined and were picked out by our information as sensitive were under threat.”
Recent reports have indicated that there are some 13,000 of these “objectives” in Italy, including Milan’s iconic cathedral and the site of Expo 2015, which are enjoying enhanced security.
Alfano conceded that “no country is at zero risk, so we have today ... sent out an alert to all prefectures [local representatives of central government ] and police headquarters.”
And security service sources are quoted in the Italian media as warning that they are already in a state of “maximum alert”.
Right-leaning Milan daily Il Giornale points out that since the Interior Ministry drew up their list, the jihadist threat has changed shape, passing from al-Qaida-style organised terrorism to attacks by lone wolves and foreign fighters inspired by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS or ISIS). And the newspaper warns that in recent months at least 400 fighters have returned to Europe after training in Syria with IS militants.