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Italian police raid homes of anti-vaccine activists who plotted violent attacks

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September 9, 2021


7:58 pm

ROME — Anti-terror police on Thursday raided the homes of anti-vaccine activists across Italy who were allegedly planning to use homemade explosives to carry out violent attacks.

The group used the Telegram messaging service to plot attacks at demonstrations in Rome against the coronavirus vaccine pass.

A statement from police said officers had carried out raids “on properties belonging to members of the ‘No-Vax’ world, who in a Telegram chat showed intent to carry out violence during public demonstrations … The accused were active members of a group called ‘The Warriors’ which planned violent acts including using arms and homemade explosives at ‘no green pass’ demonstrations across the country, especially in the capital on 11 and 12 September.” The raids took place in Milan, Rome, Bergamo, Reggio Emilia, Venice and Padua.

The plotters also incited other members of the group to carry out violent acts against targets including Health Minister Roberto Speranza, police said.

Only about 3 percent of Italians are estimated militantly against vaccines, according to a study by the University of Milan, but violent threats have increased in recent weeks.

A journalist was attacked by a protester at an anti-green pass protest outside the education ministry, and a pro-green pass teacher received a bullet in the mail.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi last week expressed “solidarity” with those attacked by anti-vaccine activists, saying it was “a particularly hateful and cowardly violence when it is directed against those who are in the front line against the pandemic.”

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