Bullets Mailed to Italy’s Justice Minister, Rome’s Mayor

Posted December 12th, 2011 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Italian authorities say packages containing bullets have been mailed to Italy's justice minister and the mayor of Rome, in the latest cases of threatening letters sent to European governments and banking offices in recent days.

Italian police, on the alert for suspicious mail, discovered two packages containing the bullets at Rome postal facilities on Monday. Authorities say a group named after a slain Red Brigades terrorist addressed the almost identical packages to Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino and Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno. The Red Brigades was a far-left terrorist group that carried out attacks in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s.

Italian police stepped up their monitoring of mail after an Italian anarchist group mailed two letter bombs last week. One of the packages exploded and wounded a senior Italian tax official on Friday. The other letter bomb was sent to Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann, but security personnel at the German lender's Frankfurt headquarters intercepted the device before it could detonate.

The package addressed to Ackermann contained a message in Italian referring to bankers as “bloodsuckers.”

Anti-capitalist protesters have been rallying around the world against what they see as the excesses of the global financial system. Italians also have been protesting government pension cuts and tax increases aimed at preventing the highly indebted country from descending into bankruptcy.