Police bust Brescia jihadist funding gang

Terrorism funding network dismantled.

Anti-terrorism squads on Thursday arrested 10 suspects in Brescia and another four in Sassari in Sardinia on charges of money laundering and financing terrorism by collecting contributions from across Europe to support jihadists in Syria linked with al-Qaeda.

Hundreds of thousands of euro had been collected and secretly transferred to the al-Nusra front, once al-Qaeda’s official branch in Syria but which later broke off to form its own terrorist grouping. Some transfers involved over €2 million, investigators told the media.

Police and finance guard personnel raided two cells of the organisation in Italy and searched 20 properties in Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Sardinia before arresting 10 Syrians, three Moroccans and the Italian wife of one of the gang members. Although the two cells operated independently, one of those arrested managed contacts between them.

Contributions were collected among the Muslim communities in Italy, Sweden, Hungary and Turkey and transferred to Austria, Germany, Holland Denmark and the Middle East.