Italy Nabs 2 in 'Parallel' Police Scheme
Italian Police Arrest Two Men Accused of Creating 'Parallel' Anti-Terrorism Police Force
Italian police arrested two people Friday accused of creating a "parallel" anti-terrorism police force that used government money and confidential police information, officials said.
The two key suspects were identified as far-right activists, though their precise goals and motivations remained unclear.
About 25 people including some from to the state police, Carabinieri paramilitary police and border police were placed under investigation, said the Genoa prosecutor, Domenico Porcelli.
The two people arrested, Gaetano Saya and Riccardo Sindoca, founded the "Department of Strategic Anti-terrorism Studies" in 2004 to monitor anti-terrorism investigations, the ANSA and Apcom news agencies reported.
The two are accused of criminal association with the aim of usurping public functions, taking public money and illicitly using government information, Porcelli said.
Prosecutors believe the group attempted to gain contacts and funds from NATO, the United States and Israel, with little success, Apcom said.
The group allegedly also conducted police-like operations, following people around several Italian cities, writing reports and running background checks by illegally accessing the Interior Ministry's databanks, the agency reported.
The head of the Digos anti-terrorism unit in Genoa, Giuseppe Gonan, said the law enforcement officers under investigation helped supply the two suspects with confidential police information. But they apparently acted under the belief that the organization was legitimate, Apcom said.