Italian police confirmed on Friday that they had detained a citizen of Bangladesh who may have belonged to an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Pakistan that was researching military strategies and posting violent videos online.
Police in Genoa said the man, who described himself on Facebook as an “Al-Qaeda lover”, had posted videos and messages online “inciting terrorist actions or acts of intolerance toward other communities”.
The suspect and his contacts “are part of an intercontinental network subservient to the logic of Al-Qaeda, having as its objective the propaganda of violent redemption in the name of an intolerant jihadist Salafism,” wrote police in a statement.
The suspect, who has been the subject of an investigation by the police since 2021, is allegedly a member of Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and was waiting to become a resident of Italy before he intended to fight in Pakistan.
The TTP, a terrorist organisation with a strict Islamist ideology that the US regards as a foreign terror group, first appeared in Pakistan in 2007 and carried out a horrifying wave of bloodshed that was put a stop to by a military takeover in 2014.
The gang, which is associated with al-Qaeda, has recently gained confidence due to the Taliban’s resurgence in nearby Afghanistan.
The suspect in Italy had acquired instructions on the use of AK47 rifles and military combat techniques and made videos of himself engaged in military exercises that “manifested online his readiness for combat and martyrdom,” police said.