15:00 GMT25 November 2020
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    ROME (Sputnik) - The Chechen man who was arrested in Italy's northern Milan city yesterday supplied fake documents to a terrorist group of which the Vienna attacker was a member, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported on Friday.

    According to the newspaper, the suspect, Turko Arsimekov, is believed to be affiliated to a cell of Chechen and Balkan terrorists operating in Austria, the same cell to which the Vienna attacker, Kujtim Fejzulai, belonged to.

    Former militants of Daesh*, these individuals penetrated into Europe from the Middle East as refugees and could have been also linked to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice, the report said.

    Arsimekov, in particular, was not only a supplier of fake documents to the Austrian-based network but also a regular recipient of money from them, the newspaper said, citing Milan police. With each transaction amounting to 300-400 euros ($355-472), this can be pointing to an arms smuggling scheme in which the 35-year-old performed as a focal point of what the report called the "Chechen Islamist cell."

    On Thursday, Milan police reported having arrested a refugee man of Chechen descent who produced and distributed fake identification documents. The press release stressed that the arrest had been facilitated by information provided by Austria in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Vienna as well as France's Paris and Nice.

    Italian authorities reportedly reached out to the Russian special services to inquire about Arsimekov after his arrest.

    Arsimekov remains a Russian citizen, his native Chechnya is a federal subject of Russia. His asylum application in Italy had been rejected, which he has recently appealed in the northern Italian city of Varese.

    *Daesh [ISIS, ISIL, the Islamic State] - a terrorist organisation banned in Russia

    links, Vienna, terrorist suspects, Milan, Italy
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