Italy arrests 17 for terror....
Trial starting in Spain, and new arrests in Italy...just another day in Europe...
Police have arrested 17 Algerians on charges of criminal association and falsifying documents stemming from a terrorism investigation, Italian authorities said Thursday.
The suspects were apprehended between Wednesday and Thursday in Italy and abroad, Milan Prosecutor Armando Spataro said.
Police in Milan said that six of the suspects were in Italy. It said that anti-terror units from Algeria, Austria, Britain, France, Spain and Switzerland were co-operating in the investigation.
Spataro said the initial investigation involved terrorism, but the suspects were not being held on charges of international terrorism that were introduced in Italy after the Sept. 11 attacks. He said that investigators were still working on the case and no other information was immediately available.
The Milan police said in a statement that the investigation, which started in 2007, uncovered an active organization with several international connections.
Police said the organization had the aim of sending money to Algeria, and raised an estimated C1 million ($1.5 million) over the past three years from carrying out crimes such as burglaries and thefts. It sent the money to Algeria in tranches of about C10,000 ($15,000), according to police.
The organization forged documents and on some occasions stole the identities of Algerian footballers who play in European professional leagues, police said, without naming any of the footballers. The fake documents were given to associates, allowing them to move freely in Europe and North African.
The suspects maintained contact with other North Africans who are involved in anti-terror investigations in European countries, the statement said.