PARIS (AP) — Seven Italian former members of the Red Brigades, a left-wing domestic terrorism group active in the 1970s and 1980s, were arrested on Wednesday morning in France, the French presidency said in a statement.
Italian arrest warrants were issued for “acts of terrorism,” the statement said. French police are searching for three more suspects who were not at home.
The communication to French prosecutors of the 10 requests from the Italian government follows “important bilateral work” to prepare for the arrests, which led to focus on “the more serious crimes,” the French presidency said in a statement. Italy had initially identified 200 individuals.
“France, also hit by terrorism, understands the need for justice for the victims,” the statement said.
The French presidency did not provided details about the identities of the people arrested nor the events they are suspected to have been involved in.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on France Inter radio that it is now up to a French court to decide whether these people will be extradited to Italy.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera says “acts of terrorism" of those arrested date back to the 1970s and 1980s, when the Red Brigades' attacks and kidnappings terrorized Italy. The group later fell dormant.
The newspaper's report notes that both countries' justice ministers met on April 9 and Italy’s minister, Marta Cartabia, formally requested the extraditions because the statue of limitations will supposedly run out next month.
Frances D'Emilio in Rome contributed to this story.