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Italian minister warns of terrorist attacks at time of elections and Olympics

Muslim World League member on Islamic Council called "allies against extremism" by Italian interior minister
December 2, 2005

Italy warned elections and Olympics could be targets Elections and Olympics could be targetted by terrorists Rome, 2 Dec. (AKI) - Italy's Interior Minister, Giuseppe Pisanu, has warned that the 2006 Winter Olympics being staged in the city of Turin in February and the campaign ahead of April's general elections could be targeted by terrorist organisations. However, he reassured the Italian parliament, in a briefing on the country's new anti-terror legislation, that so far they have not seen any "clear signs of preparatory activities" for terror attacks.

Pisanu affirmed that security at the Winter Olympics is a priority, as "the worldwide resonance of the event and the fact that it coincides with the election campaign could prove of great interest to terror organisations."

Outlining the security measures planned for the Olympics, which run from 10-26 February next year, he assured parliament that "the police forces have prepared a wide-ranging and accurate plan for order and public safety which is now in an advanced phase of implementation.

This includes the deployment of 9,000 agents, the opening of an Olympic operations centre linked up with the site's 21 operation rooms and the activation of a National Information Centre for the Olympics, in close collaboration with the police and the intelligence services," he said. -------------------------------------------------------

Italy's interior minister presents members of Islamic council

18:11 2005-11-30
Two imams and the leaders of two main Muslim associations in Italy were among the appointed members of a newly created advisory council aimed at developing dialogue between the Italian government and the Muslim community, the interior minister confirmed Wednesday.

Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu, presenting the 16 members of the council in Rome, said moderate Islamic representatives are "our natural allies in the fight against extremism."

"The council is the hand that we stretch out to moderate Muslims in order to move on together on the path of integration," Pisanu told.

"Many of the members have already taken an official position against terrorism," he added.

Half of the council members have Italian nationality, while the others are a Tunisian, two Moroccans, a Libyan, an Algerian, a Somali, an Albanian and a Senegalese.

There are about 1.1 million Muslims in Italy, an overwhelmingly Catholic country of about 58 million people.

Among the members of the council are Italian imam Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, based in Milan, and Algerian Rachid Amadia, imam of Salerno, southern Italy.

Mario Scialoja, the president of the Muslim World League in Italy, and Mohamed Nour Dachan, head of the Union of Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy, were also appointed.

The Islamic council, which was created in September, responds directly to the Interior Ministry, and is responsible for counseling the government on various issues concerning the integration of Muslims, the AP reports.

V.Y. ------------------------------------------- ISLAM: PISANU, LET'S BE CAUTIOUS ON MIXED MARRIAGES (AGI) - Rome, Nov. 30 - Interior Minister, Giuseppe Pisanu, speaking during the presentation of the Islamic board today said: "The issue of mixed marriages is very complex: people who know the activity of our embassies abroad knows that there are a lot of open cases in families composed by Islamic and Christian parents. These cases were due to the differences in the legislation on the powers on sons and daughters. Pisanu answered to a question made by a journalist who asked him an opinion on the warning launched by the Bishop's conference yesterday.
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