Italy has thwarted a planned terror attack, Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu was quoted as saying on Thursday during a campaign rally ahead of the April 9-10 general election.
“Now I can say it. There was a terrorist plan aimed at our country which was prevented thanks to the controls and preventative measures taken by our (security) apparatus,” Pisanu was quoted as saying by Italian news agencies.
Pisanu said the target appeared to have been either the Milan metro rail system or a church in the northern city of Bologna, which has a painting of the Prophet Mohammed burning in hell.
He added six people had been arrested, three of whom were later expelled from Italy, two detained and one placed under observation. A seventh man was still sought.
News of the suspected attack plan was reported by Italian newspapers last month.
Italian magistrates have said in the past that they have managed to thwart numerous attacks by suspected Islamist militants and many suspects have been deported from Italy in recent months.