Italy: 'warrior and champion of Christianity against Islam'

Jailed former far-left Italian terrorist Roberto Sandalo wanted to attack professor of Islamic studies and Arabic language Paolo Branca, Italian police said on Thursday. Sandalo was sentenced earlier this year to nine years and nine months in prison for having planned and carried out numerous terror attacks against Muslims and Muslim organisations in Italy.

He is an alleged leader of the so-called 'Fronte Combattente Cristiano' or Fighting Christian Front and a former member of Prima Linea, the Lombard section of the Communist terror group, Red Brigades.

Police on Thursday made public transcripts of his interrogations after being arrested in April, in which Sandalo admits to having planned an arson attack against Paolo Branca, professor of Islamic studies, Arabic language and literature at Milan's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart.

"Around six or seven unloaded Molotov cocktails were found on me. The bottles and the other objects were in my car because I wanted to carry out an arson attack against professor Paolo Branca , who was also the promoter of a list that wanted to boycott a book by Magdi Allam," said Sandalo.

"I did not act in the university because I did not want to injure anyone else," he said.

Sandalo was referring to the Egyptian-born journalist Magdi Allam, who converted from Islam to Roman Catholicism in a highly publicised Easter service conducted by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in April.

Allam is also a columnist and deputy editor of Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and a controversial figure in Italy for his criticism of multiculturalism and political Islam.

"I think Roberto Sandalo is a mentally sick person that has felt the effects of a climate of hatred against Muslims that is taking place in this country," Branca told Adnkronos International (AKI).

"Unfortunately, when the flames of hatred against Muslims are fanned on, it is possible that unbalanced people end up responding in this (Sandalo's) way.

Sandalo, who was also known as 'Roby the Mad' due to his propensity to violence, believed he was "A sort of warrior and champion of Christianity against Islam," according to a verdict by Milanese judge Marco Maria Alma.


Source: AKI (English)

See also: Italy: Terrorist arrested for mosque attacks

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