Italy's secret service in new storm after arrest of agent

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The Independent Online
ROME (Reuter) - Italy's scandal-hit secret services were at the centre of another storm yesterday following the arrest of an agent over the discovery of an unexploded bomb on a train last month.

Augusto Citanna, 46, section chief of the Sisde civilian intelligence in the northern city of Genoa, was arrested on Saturday on charges of subversion and transporting explosives. Davide Montuoro, 28, and Ciro Moglie, 42, two suspected members of the Camorra - the Neapolitan branch of the Sicilian Mafia - were arrested in the same case.

In September, police found a fuseless bomb in a carriage of a Palermo-Turin overnight express after the Sisde received a tip. Italian leaders, including the Interior Minister, Nicola Mancino, hailed the find as an important victory against organised crime, which has been blamed for a spate of bombing attacks this year.

But investigators now suspect those who orchestrated and planted the train bomb never intended it to explode. They are suspected of using the episode as a shadowy attempt to deflect attention from investigations of the secret services and to claim credit for the discovery of the bomb.

Italy's secret services have long been the target of allegations that elements within the state apparatus seeking to block political changes were involved in bombings and terrorist attacks.