Embassy parcel bombs seen as act of anarchist solidarity - official
The parcel bomb attacks purportedly carried out by anarchists against the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome was probably meant as an act of solidarity with fellow extremists, a senior Italian Interior Ministry official said Friday, DPA reported.
Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano was commenting on Thursday's blasts which left two people injured, one of whom suffered a badly damaged hand.
An Italian anarchist group calling itself the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) claimed responsibility for the attacks in a note recovered from a small box found near one of the two explosions.
"The choice of the targets was not casual," Mantovano said in an interview with Milan-based daily Il Giornale.
He pointed out that "intense cooperation" between Italian and Swiss authorities had led to the recent arrest of several anarchists.
In April, two Italian anarchists, Costantino Ragusa and Silvia Guerini, were arrested near Zurich together with a Swiss national, Luca Bernasconi. The three were allegedly planning an attack against the Switzerland offices of US multinational IBM.
Mantovano said Chile's embassy may have been targeted because anarchists had accused authorities in the Latin American country of responsibility for the 2009 death of Chilean anarchist Mauricio Morales.
Morales, who was killed when a bomb he was carrying detonated prematurely, has achieved hero-like status in international extremist circles, Mantovano said.
Mantovano said the parcels containing the explosives used in Thursday's blasts in Rome were sent to the two embassies by post from inside Italy.
"This is not a new mode of action by those from the anarcho- insurrectionalist camp," Mantovano said.
He noted how in 2003 a parcel containing explosives - similar to the ones used on Thursday - was sent to the then European Commission president Romano Prodi. FAI also claimed responsibility for that act.
Italian authorities believe that extremist anarchist groups in Italy, including FAI, have a total of several hundred members, Mantovano said.
But Italian authorities were also investigating whether Thursday's bombings were linked to a bombing campaign carried out in Greece in November.
In their purported message which was left inside a small box similar to those containing peppermint sweets, FAI said Thursday's attacks had been carried out by their "Lambros Fountas revolutionary cell."
Fountas, an alleged associate member of a Greek extreme leftist terrorist organisation, was killed in an exchange of fire with police in Greece in March.