Police in six European countries have arrested 15 suspected members of an Islamist militant group believed to be planning attacks in northern Europe and the Middle East. Nathan Frandino reports.
Italian police are standing tall after announcing the arrests of 15 suspected militants. Giuseppe Governale is the police commander of the anti-terrorism unit. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POLICE COMMANDER ANTI-TERRORISM UNIT, GIUSEPPE GOVERNALE, SAYING: "It is very important, I believe this is the most important police operation undertaken in Europe in the last 20 years." The early morning raids targeted the Kurdish Sunni Muslim group known as Rawti Shax. Police say the group was planning attacks in Norway and in the Middle East. National anti-mafia prosecutor Franco Roberti says the group's spiritual leader was also arrested. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) NATIONAL ANTI-MAFIA PROSECUTOR, FRANCO ROBERTI, SAYING: "The chief was the well-known Mullah Krekar, one of the founders of the Ansar al-Islam, linked with Al Qaeda, and now founder of a new terrorist organisation, linked by his choice with the Islamic State." Krekar is already serving an 18-month term in Norway for making death threats against a Kurdish man. Norwegian officials say a court will now decide whether to extradite Krekar to Italy to join the others in facing international terrorism charges.