Police arrested Thursday a Moroccan man suspected of having links to al-Qaida and planning terrorist attacks on targets including a synagogue in Milan, Italy's counter-terrorism unit said.
"A 20-year-old Moroccan man was arrested at dawn, after investigators discovered messages he had posted on websites talking about a possible attack on sensitive targets," said the unit's head in Cagliari, Alfonso Polverino.
"He had also posted information on how to make explosive devices," he said.
The special operations unit (DIGOS) was tipped off by a U.S. anti-terrorism division that a 20-year-old Moroccan, going by the nickname 'al Alamazighi', was in contact with international al-Qaida suspects.
"Once we had tracked down the suspect, we were able to access his computer remotely and discovered a video detailing the security situation at the synagogue, including numbers of officers on guard and access routes," he said.
The DIGOS unit in the Sardinian capital Cagliari then worked together with police on the ground in the northern Italian city of Brescia, where the suspect had lived since he was six years old.
"While at this point we do not think the suspect belongs to a terrorist cell in Italy, we are searching for possible contacts abroad. We will know more once we have looked at the computers that were seized from his house," he added.
In the search for possible accomplices, DIGOS is collaborating with U.S. and British authorities. British police arrested a Yemeni woman in London Thursday who is known to have been in contact with the Moroccan man.
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