Police uncover plot to attack Berlusconi

Terrorists planned to hit Mediaset, Murdoch's Sky Italia

ROME — Silvio Berlusconi’s Milan home, as well as offices of the former Italian premier’s Mediaset TV empire and of Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Italia paybox, were among targets of a terrorist group considered an offshoot of the ultra-leftist Red Brigades.

That’s what Milan prosecutors revealed after a vast police swoop that has led to 15 arrests in Northern Italy, where the guerrilla group was believed to be planning kidnappings, robberies and kneecappings of designated victims.

No details have emerged as to what the group may have had in store for Berlusconi, Mediaset and Sky Italia.

“We trust in the police,” a Sky Italia spokesman told Daily Variety Tuesday. “Other than that, we have nothing to say.”

There was no immediate comment from Berlusconi or Mediaset.

News reports said the guerrillas had several safe houses, including a farm where Uzi and Kalashnikov rifles were found, as well as videos of suspects training with firearms.

Italian interior minister Giuliano Amato described the group raided by the police as “a highly dangerous structured organization” of extreme left-wing domestic terrorists.

“Probably this time we succeeded in preventing a Brigades attack,” said the minister in a statement.

The original Red Brigades plagued Italy during the 1970s and ’80s. In 1978, they kidnapped and murdered Prime Minister Aldo Moro. After about a decade of silence, an offshoot of the group resurfaced, killing two government advisers in 1999 and 2002.

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