Italy on alert as anarchists attack diplomatic corps

MILAN—The Italian government has stepped up security of diplomatic missions around the world in response to an “increase in terrorist attacks” by unofficial anarchist networks working in solidarity with imprisoned Italian militants, foreign minister says said Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Antonio Tagjani has cited nearly a dozen attacks, ranging from vandalism to explosive devices, that have damaged Italian diplomatic targets in Argentina, Bolivia, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland since the end of November. . No injuries have been reported.

“It is clear that there is international solidarity [among anarchists] So there are attacks against Italy, attacks against Italian institutions all over the world,” said Tagjani, adding that security was being tightened at all Italian embassies and consulates, as well as at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Tajani said he believed the network had both Italians and anarchists from other countries working together. He mentioned graffiti scrawled in Catalan on the building that houses the Italian consulate in Barcelona.

The most serious attack was the incendiary attack on two cars at the residence of an Italian diplomat in Athens in early December. Avoided worse results near gas lines.

We are in solidarity with Alfredo Cospito, who has been on hunger strike since October to protest against a strict prison system for terrorists and the Mafia. The 55-year-old militant is serving 10 years for shooting a state-owned energy executive in the leg and 20 years for a series of dynamite attacks in Italy.

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The Spanish Civil Guard speaks with Italian Embassy officials at the gates of the Italian Embassy in Madrid on January 31, 2023. (Paul White/AP Photo)

Last spring, an appeals court in Turin tightened the conditions in his prison, with the exception of one hour of solitary confinement a day and strict limits on family visits. This regime is imposed on prisoners who are considered to pose a danger even from within the prison.

Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said the fact of the attack only strengthened the need for the regime in Cospito’s case.

Cospito’s attorneys are now appealing the harsh terms.

Meanwhile, Cospito was transferred from Sardinia to a prison south of Milan. Justice Minister Carlo Nordio said it was best suited to address the hunger strike’s health problems.

In Italy, anarchists set fire to a car of the TIM telecommunications company on Monday and scrawled slogans condemning the handling of nearby Cospito. A small group of his supporters clashed with police in Rome this weekend, and he had two incendiary bombs thrown into the parking lot of the capital’s police station. No one was injured.

Colleen Barry