The Italian authorities deported a suspected Gambian Muslim extremist “for reasons of state security”, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
The Gambian was reportedly deported after he was held by police on January 19 in the southern city of Foggia for damaging a shrine to the Virgin Mary at a local church and setting fire to a nativity scene, the Ministry stated as reported in Italian media.
Meanwhile, another 34-year-old Tunisian was expelled by the Italian authorities and put on board a flight from Rome’s Fiumicino airport after police detained him at his home in the Tuscan coastal city of Piombino, according to the ministry.
His expulsion came after he shared Islamic State images and propaganda videos on his Facebook page, according to Italian intelligence services who monitored his Internet use, the ministry said.
The suspect was detained and monitored in prison after his arrest and was transferred to an expulsion centre in the Sicilian city of Caltanissetta in early May, the Interior ministry said.
A total of 54 religious extremists have been deported from Italy this year and 186 since January 2015, according to the government.
The identity of the deported Gambian has not been revealed and Gambian Immigration officials were not available for immediate comment on the matter by the time we went to press last night.
However, speaking to The Standard last night, permanent secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Bulli Dibba, said neither his ministry nor its line departments or agencies were aware of the matter.