Italy steps up security

Border police ask for more resources at Fiumicino

Border police at Rome's principal international airport Leonardo Da Vinci complain of inadequate resources at one of Italy's most security-sensitive locations. Appealling to the interior ministry for greater support, officers say they do not have enough bullet-proof vests and that their weapons are old and in need of replacement.

Over the weekend Italy's interior minister Angelino Alfano announced that from the end of December nine foreigners had been expelled as part of efforts to prevent jihadist attacks. The nine deportees comprised five Tunisians, a Turk, an Egyptian, a Moroccan and a Pakistani, all of whom had lived legally in Italy for years.

He also announced that as of 17 January this year the ministry has identified 59 “foreign fighters”, all of whom have some link with Italy. Not all of them are now in the country said the minister, and 14 are dead.

Alfano said that over 100 people in Italy remain under surveillance on suspicion of sympathising with or plotting to commit "jihadist, terrorist activities", and that more expulsions would follow.

The level of security in the country has been increased to maximum.