In an investigation that led to a larger suspected terrorism funding network, Italian police said on Monday that they have arrested four men accused of sending funds to people across Europe and the Middle East who were collecting on behalf of the Islamic State. The four men were accused of sending a total of 30,000 euros from a money transfer agency in Andria, in southeastern Italy, to 42 militant fund collectors in Serbia, Germany, Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, and Russia.
According to Luca Cioffi, a colonel in the Italian tax police, subsequent investigations revealed that the same 42 collectors had received as much as 1 million euros in suspicious transfers from other sources. 5,000 euros were sent to two Russians by the men arrested on Monday, days before an attack on a church in southern Russia that killed five women, Cioffi said.
Investigators were still trying to figure out where the money came from: ‘The people arrested today are unemployed and have no income, so investigations are still ongoing to figure out who gave them money to send abroad,’ Cioffi explained.