Italian magistrates investigate second imam in Perugia terror probe

There is another imam among the people placed under investigation by the public prosecutor’s office in Perugia. The man’s name is Muhammad El Absi, a member of the mosque in Pierantonio di Umbertide, not far from Ponte Felcino, the place where investigators claim the “school of terror” was located. During one of the searches on the preacher’s premises, a number of CDs were seized which, according to his defence, are “completely irrelevant”; in the view of his attorney, “there is no link with the charges contemplated over Ponte Felcino.” But the Pierantonio imam has reportedly ended up on the list of persons under investigation precisely because he used to frequent the mosque which is at the centre of the investigation. In the meantime, new details are emerging regarding the investigations currently under way. According to the case against him, the plans of Mustapha El Korchi, the imam currently under arrest, and of his collaborators were geared towards radicalizing the main mosques in Umbria. This fact appears to be confirmed by the heightening in recent months of conflicts within the Islamic community in Perugia, which culminated in the protests against the imam in Umbria’s main city [Perugia], which historically has been the expression of a moderate stance. But, according to the preventive detention warrant, the Ponte Felcino cell looked beyond this too, maintaining numerous contacts abroad.