Italian police have uncovered large stores of weaponry in the hands of numerous Neo-Nazi Juventus ultras in an orchestrated raid of across the north of Italy.
The raids, which were conducted by the Divisione Investigazioni Generali e Operazioni Speciali (Division of General Investigations and Special Operations - or DIGOS), lead to three prominent arrests, including that of Fabio Del Bergiolo, who is a member of the far-right Italian political party Forza Nuova and ran for a place in the Senate in 2001.
Italian neo-Nazis from a group called “Forza Nuova” have been raided by police and caught with a huge haul of weapons, including a Qatari missile. Not sure if it’s live or not... https://t.co/aLMEXMEqVG— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) July 15, 2019
According to a report from Football Italia
This included multiple automatic rifles, guns, armour-piercing bullets and, most shockingly, a ground-to-air missile used by the Qatari army.
The operation took place across northern Italy, with the raids coordinated by authorities in Milan, Varese, Pavia, Novara and Forli as well as Turin.
In an official statement from the chief of Turin's DIGOS, Carlo Ambra, it was explained that: “Connections were found between these Neo-Fascist and Neo-Nazi groups and ultras groups, in particular, Juventus and the Drughi Giovinezza section.
“There are also connections with more traditional Juventus fan groups and other far-right militants.”
Neo-Fascism, violence and racism have long been the scourge of Italian football and, as detailed in the Guardian following last year's incident involving Kalidou Koulibaly, the problem seems to only be worsening.
Nazi symbolism - including swastikas, celtic crosses, the Wehrmacht eagle and straight-arm salutes - have been witnessed in the Serie A terraces in recent times, and the discovery of such weaponry in connection with supporter groups represents a terrifying twist in an already dark tale.