The Italian government attempted to cover up the arrest of a convicted Al Qaeda terrorist who tried to enter the country on a migrant boat last month, German media claims.

According to N-TV, the arrest of Tunisian citizen Ben Nasr Mehdi, who was sentenced to seven years in 2007 for plotting multiple terror attacks, was initially hidden by authorities over fears that the news would stoke “panic” among Italians.

Mehdi, who was arrested at sea while traveling with more than 200 migrants, told police he was seeking asylum in Europe in order to escape persecution after providing a false name.

Following several days of interrogation by police, Mehdi was deported back to Tunisia and handed over to local authorities.

As noted by the Independent, the alleged attempt to cover up the arrest was likely rooted in Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano’s repeated claim that “there was no evidence that Islamic terrorists were sneaking into Europe aboard migrant boats.”

Claims of an attempted cover up are unsurprising given numerous other instances in which negative news stories have been ignored as not to empower critics of mass migration.

Just last September it was learned that police in Germany had kept quiet about an epidemic of rapes that targeted children solely because the perpetrators were Muslim migrants.

“Police are refusing to go public about crimes involving refugees and migrants because they do not want to give legitimacy to critics of mass migration,” wrote journalist Soeren Kern.

Despite warnings from countless high-level officials across the globe on the dangers of unregulated migration, Western government leaders continue to accept thousands of migrants not linked to the Syrian conflict.

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