italy police.jpg
Photograph: Photo by Jorge Brazil, used under CC BY

A 23-year-old Syrian was arrested in Italy after police found evidence that he was planning to return to his home country and join an Islamist militia, a statement said Wednesday.

The man, who lived with his family in the northern city of Varese, wanted to enrol in the al-Nusra Front, the Polizia di Stato said.

The jihadist group, listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the United Nations, split last week from al-Qaeda and changed its name to Fatah al-Sham Front.

Police said there was no indication that the suspect was planning terrorist activities in Italy.

Separately, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said late Tuesday that a 26-year-old Pakistani living near Milan was expelled from the country.

The man was part of an internet propaganda group for Islamic State and had expressed a desire to join jihadist training camps in Syria or Bosnia, Alfano said in a statement.

The Pakistani man also threatened to commit terrorist acts once his Italian citizenship application had been accepted, or to shoot himself or others in case the demand was turned down, the minister added.

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