Italian police have arrested five members of an extreme right-wing militant group on charges of spreading ideas of racial and ethnic hatred and for wanting “to lay the foundations for a revolutionary war, among other things, according to the ANSA news agency if Italy.
Ordered by the Rome prosecutor, police swooped down in members of an organization called Militia in pre-dawn raids. Another sixteen other suspected members of the group – including a 15-year-old – are under investigation, media reports state.
Italian media said that the militants are also charged with making threats against Riccardo Pacifici, the head of Rome’s Jewish community; Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno; as well as the speakers of Italy's houses of parliament -- Renato Schifani of the Senate and Gianfranco Fini of the Chamber of Deputies.
Reportedly, members of Militia planned a bomb attack to kill Pacifici.
The New York Post reported that the suspects also allegedly made threats against former U.S. President George W. Bush.
The Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) identified the longtime head of Militia as Maurizio Boccaci, who is in his 50s.
JTA also indicated that Alemanno and Fini both have shown strong support for Israel, adding that Alemanno had been targeted by Neo-Nazis before.
The arrests come one day after an alleged right-wing sympathizer – Gianluca Casseri -- murdered two African immigrants and wounded at least three more in a series of shootings in the city of Florence before killing himself.
However, it’s unclear if Wednesday’s arrests have any connection with the Florence massacre.