ROME - Italian police have arrested four Tunisians and a Moroccan on suspicion of recruiting Islamic fighters for Iraq and Afghanistan and are looking for a sixth man, also from Tunisia, they said on Saturday.
They made the arrests in dawn raids in the Bologna, Ravenna and Como areas, said police in the university town of Bologna.
All six "are accused of criminal association with the aim of international terrorism, and two of them also of serious fraud to fund terrorism", Vincenzo Ciarambino of the Bologna crime squad told Reuters.
Interior Minister Roberto Marino said in a statement that the arrests "confirm that Islamic terrorism is deeply rooted in our territory and that we must keep our guard up against it".
Police said the leader of the group was a veteran of the independence struggle in Bosnia, where many Africans fought alongside Bosnian Muslims.
The group is suspected of recruiting North Africans in Italy and sending them for training in Bosnia to fight against U.S. and other coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.