Blank bullets sent to Berlusconi with "Islamist death threat"
( dpa )- An Italian newspaper said Friday it had received a letter containing two blank bullets and threats against former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, warning he faced a fate similar to slain Pakistani political leader Benazir Bhutto. The letter - the bullets attached to it with adhesive tape - was posted to the Milanese daily Il Giornale , owned by Berlusconi's brother, Paolo, who also received "threats of an Islamic character" in the letter, the newspaper said. The bullets, the letter and a yellow envelope in which it had been sent were handed over to anti-terrorism police, Il Giornale said. The apparently unsigned letter said it was a "preliminary" warning to the "Berlusconi brothers ... responsible for the rubbish written in the newspaper and their anti-Islamic policies." "On the first possible occasion we will act as was done with Bhutto," the letter said referring to the Pakistani opposition politician whose assassination last month has been blamed on al-Qaeda. The letter written in Italian ended with the words "Allah is great." Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi sent a message of "solidarity" to Berlusconi on behalf of the centre-left government, news reports said. Berlusconi, whose centre-right government supported the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, has been singled out as an enemy of Islam in several Islamist messages including those issued by al-Qaeda leaders.