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Italian police arrest 2 linked to Mumbai attacks

Image: Taj Hotel on fire
In this photo taken on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008, pigeons fly as the Taj Hotel burns in Mumbai, India, during a massive terrorist attack.Gautam Singh / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Italian police on Saturday arrested two Pakistani men accused of providing logistical support for last year's terror attacks in Mumbai, officials said.

The two, father and son, were arrested in an early morning raid in Brescia, police in the northern Italian city said.

The suspects managed a money transfer agency and helped fund the Nov. 26 attacks, police said in a statement. The day before the attacks they transferred money to activate an Internet phone account that was used by the attackers and their accomplices, said Stefano Fonzi, the head of anti-terror police in Brescia.

Italian police began the probe in December after being alerted by the FBI that the money had been sent from Italy, Fonzi told The Associated Press.

The funds were transferred under the identity of another Pakistani man who had never been in Italy and was not involved in the alleged crimes, he said.

The two are accused of aiding and abetting international terrorism as well as illegal financial activity.

Transferring funds using the identity of other people was a common practice at the Brescia agency, Fonzi said in a telephone interview.

Two more Pakistanis were arrested in Saturday's raids for allegedly committing fraud and other crimes using the same system, but they were not linked to the Mumbai attacks. A fifth Pakistani man escaped arrest and was still being sought.

Under the same branch of the probe, 12 other people were flagged to prosecutors for possible investigation but were not arrested, Fonzi said.