Anyone in Italy found celebrating the deadly attack in Strasbourg, France, will be arrested in an effort to crack down on proponents of radical Islam and terrorism, says Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.
Salvini issued the warning during a visit to Israel as Italian authorities raised counter-terrorism alerts and checks to their highest levels, according to Ansa.
“This is a situation for utmost attention from north to south for all radicalized, terrorists and returning extremists,” Salvini said. “We need to identify, search, block, and stop by all means — verify who comes in and who leaves the country. This is not a right but a duty for the defense of the territory and borders.”
“Our post police are on the cutting edge and they are scouring the web to look for the infamous people who are celebrating the death of someone else,” he continued, vowing the “immediate arrest of anyone in these hours who is rejoicing online.”
Salvini also tweeted an image of himself praying for the victims of the attack, in which two people were killed and 13 injured.
“A prayer for the victims from Jerusalem, where I am now,” he wrote. “But it is not enough. Total is my commitment, as a man and as a minister, that the terrorists are blocked and eliminated, in Europe and in the world, by any lawful means.”
🔴Morti e feriti ai mercatini di Natale di #Strasburgo.
Una preghiera per le vittime da Gerusalemme, dove mi trovo ora.
Ma non basta. Totale il mio impegno, da uomo e da ministro, perché i terroristi siano bloccati e eliminati, in Europa e nel mondo, con ogni mezzo lecito. pic.twitter.com/1Qu1LY968G
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) December 11, 2018
Suspected terrorist Cherif Chekatt, 29, a French citizen of Moroccan origin, is still on the run at the time of this writing, and authorities say he likely slipped across the open border into Germany, where he also holds a criminal record.
“Despite the gunman being a known extremist, he was able to flee the country by exploiting Europe’s lack of any border controls between France and Germany,” reports Infowars. “While ISIS has not yet claimed last night’s attack in Strasbourg, the group’s supporters were celebrating the incident as soon as it was reported.”
Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst