Italian Carabinieri arrested a 43-year-old Moroccan living in Italy earlier this week after he entered a shop and threatened to blow himself up in a nearby church.
The man is said to have walked into a pet shop and attempted to reach out to shake the hand of the shopkeeper but when the worker refused, he became agitated and began cursing in Italian and Arabic. During the diatribe, the man threatened to blow himself up in the nearby church of San Carlo.
The shopkeeper called the police who arrived on the scene and chased the fleeing suspect. When the officers caught up to him, he attacked them, damaging their police vehicle.
According to the Carabinieri, the Moroccan was well-known to them and had a history of extortion cases from 2001 to 2003 and had known problems with alcohol and cocaine use. Despite the threats, no explosive materials were found in the man’s backpack and currently he is not thought to be linked to any terror groups.
Il Giornale notes that the incident occurred in the vicinity of Milan’s Central train station where last year 21-year-old Tunisian migrant Ismail Tommaso Hosni randomly attacked police officers and soldiers with a knife after being asked for identification documents, wounding two people.
Hosni was sentenced to seven years in prison for the attack last month.
Several bomb threats have been made in neighbouring France over the last several months, including a Muslim who threatened to blow up a church in Chalon-sur-Saône with a hand grenade.
‘Ahmed’, 37, was well-known to police, having 27 prior criminal convictions which included three death threats.
In March, an Algerian migrant came close to committing a terror attack outside a church in Pompei when he attempted to drive a stolen car into a crowd but was stopped by concrete bollards.
“I did it in the name of Allah,” the man later told police.