March 11, 2024 | Flash Brief

Italy Arrests Three Palestinians Planning Terror Attack

March 11, 2024 | Flash Brief

Italy Arrests Three Palestinians Planning Terror Attack

Latest Developments

Italy arrested three Palestinians suspected of planning terrorist attacks in an unspecified country, Italian police reported on March 11. In the Italian city of L’Aquila, the suspects allegedly established a cell connected to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, an armed group linked to the Palestinian faction Fatah. Israel, the European Union, and the United States have designated the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades as a terrorist organization. “The suspects engaged in proselytism and propaganda … and planned attacks, including suicide attacks, against civilian and military targets on foreign territory,” Italian police said. Israel has requested the extradition of one suspect, who was already wanted, and Italy is reviewing the request.

Expert Analysis

“It is rare for terrorist organizations such as the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades to orchestrate schemes to target civilians on foreign soil. However, this heinous plot serves as a stark reminder that this group and its affiliates in the West Bank and Gaza are not ‘resistance fighters,’ as they claim to be, but cold-blooded terrorists with the sole purpose of inflicting death and destruction.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

“The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades are linked to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s supposedly moderate Fatah party. Italy’s arrest of the three terrorists planning attacks underscores the folly of treating Abbas and the PA as peace partners.” — David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

Italy Responding to Heightened Terror Threats After October 7

Following Hamas’s massacre on October 7, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni warned that copycat terrorist attacks could take place in Italy. In October, Italy temporarily suspended its open border with Slovenia, reportedly due to heightened terrorism risks across the Mediterranean. The European Union continues to highlight Italy’s vulnerability to the “[i]ncreased threat of violence within the EU following the attack on Israel” and the “risk of possible terrorist infiltration into irregular migration flows” across Italy’s “land border with Slovenia.”

The Italian government also prioritized halting any indirect funding of terrorism abroad. In January, Italy suspended funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) due to its role in the October 7 massacre.

Suspected Terrorists Arrested in Israel’s Largest Operation in Ramallah in Years,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Terror Plot Foiled in Europe,” FDD Flash Brief

Dutch Authorities Catch Hamas Financier Red-Handed,” by David May and Melissa Sacks


Israel Israel at War Palestinian Politics