Asylum seeker instructed to drive vehicle into a crowd, Italians say

PHOTO: Asylum-seeker Alagie Touray, 21, was arrested in southern Italy on April 20, 2018, Italian authorities said.PlayPolizia di Stato
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Italian security forces have detained an asylum seeker from Gambia and accused him of planning a terror attack with a vehicle.

Alagie Touray, 21, was arrested outside the Licola mosque in southern Italy last Friday. He is a member of ISIS, Italian authorities said.

Touray was picked up at the request of the Naples public prosecutor after a joint investigation by the Carabinieri and State Police who had received a tip from Spanish intelligence. Touray’s arrest was announced today at a news conference in Naples.

PHOTO: Asylum-seeker Alagie Touray, 21, was arrested in southern Italy on April 20, 2018, Italian authorities said. Polizia di Stato
Asylum-seeker Alagie Touray, 21, was arrested in southern Italy on April 20, 2018, Italian authorities said.

During questioning, authorities said, the Gambian admitted to having received a request via the messaging app Telegram where he was told to “crash a vehicle into a crowd,” Naples prosecutor Giovanni Melillo, said at the news conference.

Touray admitted having received instructions to commit a terror attack but, according to Prosecutor Melillo, the Gambian said he had no intention of carrying out the attack.

The examination of his Telegram uncovered other alarming messages, including those where he asked people "to pray for him" and that "he was on a mission," authorities said.

Touray also recorded a pledge of allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), police said, provided a transcript and image from the message where Touray said, "I swear allegiance to the Caliph of Muslims Abu Bakr Al Quaraishi Al Baghdadi, and to listen to him and obey him in difficult and easy times, on this 2nd day of Rajab and Allah is witness to what I say,”

The Gambian arrived in Sicily by boat with 800 other migrants in March 2017 before requesting political asylum, which was still under review, authorities said.