Italy: Police Arrest Four on Terrorism Charges Against High Speed Rail

tav_corteo030a711_sitonotaveeu--400x300 9th December  Police on Monday arrested four alleged anarchists in the northwestern Piedmont and the northern Lombardy regions on terrorism charges.

The four suspects were allegedly planning to carry out attacks using explosives against a high-speed train line currently being built between Italy and France, according to investigators.

Prosecutors in Piedmont’s regional capital, Turin ordered the arrests after an attempted attack on 13-14 May at a buiding site in Chiomonte in Piedmont’s Valle De Susa using molotov cocktails.

Work began this year on the main 58-kilometre tunnel, of which 12 km are in Italy, for the 15 billion euro train-link due to go into service around 2023.

The line will cut three hours off the current seven-hour train journey between Paris and Milan.

But it has sparked fierce opposition including from residents, environmental groups and local mayors. Protesters claim drilling to build the train link will damage the local ecosystem and could release potentially harmful substances into the environment.

Dozens have been arrested and hundreds of demonstrators and police injured in violent protests over the high-speed link and scores of environmental activists sent to trial. Far-left ‘black block’ extremists from Italy and other countries have infiltrated the protest movement, acccording to police.

In 2010, a bullet was mailed to Turin mayor Sergio Chiamparino for his support for the project, which Rome has vowed to complete.

Construction of the high-speed link in Italy was brought to a standstill by protests before and after the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006.