Rome police link woman to wave of bombings: Same mix of explosives and same suspect connect series of attacks

ITALIAN police yesterday issued a picture of a young blonde woman they are seeking in connection with the car bomb in Milan which killed five people on Tuesday. They said the woman also fitted the description given by witnesses to the car bombings in May at the Uffizi gallery in Florence and in Rome's fashionable Parioli district.

According to the latest reconstruction of events from evidence given by passers-by, the woman and a male companion parked the Fiat Uno containing the primed bomb. They then approached a traffic policeman, Alessandro Ferrari, to tell him smoke was coming from the engine. He called out the fire service to deal with the problem. Moments later, Ferrari was killed in the blast.

More evidence of links between the latest attacks and those in May has emerged after forensic experts identified the same mix of explosives in all three bombings. However, investigators seem little closer to picking out the group behind the attacks from the myriad of possible culprits. Greatest suspicion has fallen on maverick secret service officers probably in collusion with right-wingers opposed to the political renewal taking place. Mafia involvement, although considered unlikely because of the specific nature and symbolism of the targets, has not been ruled out. Bruno Siclari, the most senior anti-Mafia investigator, visited the site of the Milan bomb and met judges leading the corruption investigations.

The new head of the internal security service (Sisde), Domenico Salazar, yesterday said his priority would be to re-establish confidence in his corps. 'Now more than ever we must respond to the need for reform expressed by the entire population,' he said. A daunting task lies ahead of him: his predecessor, Angelo Finocchiaro, who was forced to resign on Wednesday in the aftermath of the bombings, is already under investigation for misleading an inquiry into murky, not to say illegal, funding arrangements for the Sisde. Yesterday in parliament, MP after MP attacked the intelligence agency's dismal record on preventing terrorism: many accused it of collusion in the very crimes it was supposed to prevent.

The car bombs have brought the whole question of electoral reform and early election to the fore. Late on Wednesday parliament approved by an overwhelming majority draft legislation to swap proportional representation for qualified majority voting. Under the reform, 75 per cent of seats in both upper and lower houses would be allocated on a first-past-the-post basis and 25 per cent would be decided by PR. Many commentators expect elections under the new system this winter. 'We are only one step from the finishing line,' said Leopoldo Elia, the minister responsible for seeing through the reforms.

In Rome, in the streets around San Giorgio in Velabro, the families made homeless when 100kg of explosive wrecked their tenement early on Wednesday were taking a less sanguine view. 'I used to believe in the reforms. I really thought Italy was changing, but look at this,' said Elio Bardelli, who was picking through the debris in his parents' flat, near the church. The family of seven escaped with scratches but their faith in the state was destroyed. 'We are refugees, nothing more nor less. My father taught me to believe in the institutions of the state, but now I'm losing faith. Every time society tries to change, the bombers come out of the woodwork. Elections won't make any difference.'

(Photographs omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45000: SThree: SThree Group have been well es...

Guru Careers: Copywriter / Direct Response Copywriter

£20k plus sales linked bonus. : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Copywriter to j...

Recruitment Genius: Accounting Technician

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has bec...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen