Italian police have arrested two Afghan citizens in a terrorism and human-trafficking investigation launched after photos of potential targets in three countries were discovered on suspects’ cell phones, prosecutors in the southern Italian city of Bari said Tuesday.
Arrest warrants were issued for three other suspects.
The cell phone data included numerous photos of sensitive sites in Bari, including the airport, port and a shopping mall, as well as sites in Rome, London and Paris, images of weapons and Taliban fighters and audio files of radical Islamic indoctrination
Prosecutor Roberto Rossi told a news conference that there was no evidence that any attack was imminent.
The phones were seized from four of the suspects after they were detained briefly in December for filming in a shopping mall, he said.
“The merit for the success of this operation goes entirely and only to the Carabinieri police of Bari, who noticed several suspects, identified several foreign individuals who were taking photos of potential targets: a supermarket in the Santa Caterina neighborhood, the departures terminal of Bari airport.”
“Starting with these elements, we then verified the contents of the mobile phones and found almost only photos of the harbour and airport of Bari, the port of London, supermarkets and shopping centres. Photos that are not the typical photos that tourists take. Therefore these photos, meaningless in appearance, once put together take on a different meaning, which is to survey potential sensitive targets,” Rossi said.