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Milan bomb cell 'do-it-yourself'

No link to terrorist groups, intelligence says

13 October, 18:01

(ANSA) - Milan, October 13 - A man who let off a bomb outside a Milan police barracks Monday was part of a 'do-it-yourself' cell with two others with no links to jihadi groups, Italian intelligence said Tuesday.

The three acted alone and were not linked to al-Qaeda or other Islamist fighters, the sources said.

They formed a one-off cell but were ''no less dangerous because of their isolation and because they were ready to die for their cause''.

Police found some 40kg of ammonium nitrate and other bomb-making materials Tuesday and arrested the two accomplices of Mohamed Game, the Libyan who blew himself up early Monday after being spotted entering the barracks near the San Siro soccer ground.

The pair were named as Abdel Haziz Mahmoud Kol, an Egyptian neighbour of Game who allegedly drove him to the barracks, and Mohamed Imbaeya Israfel, a Libyan friend suspected of helping him make the bomb.

All three face the same charges in the bombing.

Only a small amount of the explosives detonated because of a defect in the device.

A Carabiniere corporal received a very slight hand wound but several people could have been killed if all the explosives had gone off, experts said.

Game, 34, was said to be stable in hospital after an operation to amputate his shattered right hand and repair the area around his blinded eyes.

The bomber, an unemployed electrical engineer whose Milan construction company went bust two years ago, has two children with an Italian woman and has lived in Milan on a regular permit for several years.

He appeared on the police radar in 2007 when he was accused of receiving stolen goods.

Friends told police Game had recently ''returned to Islam'' and occasionally spoke of doing ''something for our religion''.

Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said Monday a link with Italy's part in the NATO mission in Afghanistan ''could not be ruled out''. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni called a meeting of the National Public Order and Safety Committee which began on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking ahead of the meeting he said ''the situation will be carefully assessed so we can take the right decisions''.

Experts say surveillance of mosques may be stepped up and security tightened at police stations and army bases.

photo: Israfel being taken into custody

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