Italian police seize MISSILE, guns and neo-Nazi material in raid on far-right militants
Italian police have found an arsenal of weapons, including an air-to-air missile, 20 guns and neo-Nazi material, in a series of raids on far right groups which fought against rebels in Ukraine's eastern breakaway republics.
Along with the missile, police found nine assault rifles, a sub-machine gun, seven pistols and three shotguns, in an operation led by the General Investigations and Special Operations Division, which specializes in investigating groups linked to organized crime and terrorism.
The police say the groups had fought “against the separatists” in the Donbass region of Ukraine – the forces of the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east of the country. Kiev has been at war with the republics since the 2014 coup, actively relying on so-called volunteer battalions to do the fighting. Units like 'Donbass,' 'Azov,' 'Aidar' and others were largely formed of Ukrainian radical nationalists, with some –including foreign fighters with similar, far-right views– facing accusations of war crimes from human right groups.
Three people were arrested in the raid, including Fabio Del Bergiolo, a former border security inspector and an ex-candidate to the Senate from the neo-fascist Forza Nuova party in the 2001 elections, Italian media report. Two other people were identified as Swiss citizen, Alessandro Michele Aloise Monti, 42, and Italian Fabio Amalio Bernardi, 51. They were stopped near Forlì International Airport in northern Italy.
The missile was manufactured by the French company Matra and La Stampa is reporting that it belonged to the Qatari armed forces. The Police said Del Bergiolo is suspected of trying to sell the missile.
Investigators also seized armour-piercing bullets, 20 bayonets and numerous parts of various weapons, along with a sign reading “Adolf Hitler Platz” and a range of other fascist war memorabilia.
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