In the wake of the revelation by former Italian president Francesco Cossiga that the Italian government harbored Arab terrorists in the 1970's, a former senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official told IsraelNationalNews on Tuesday that the phenomenon was widespread throughout Europe.

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The official, Italian-born Sergio Minervi, is a former embassador for Israel, a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University, a visiting lecturer at Haifa University, and a widely-published expert on Israeli-Italian relations. He charges that other countries in Europe played along with Arab terror groups in their campaigns against Israeli targets by allowing them free movement in their countries, in exchange for immunity from attacks on national targets by the groups. 

"Not the whole world is fighting terrorism all the time," Minervi said. "What happens in between in many European countries is that they come to a sort of agreement: 'I don't touch you, you don't touch me.'"

Minervi noted that Arab terror groups based in and around Israel were given free reign to operate throughout much of Europe, and the result was that the continent became one large staging ground for terror.

"Today we know for sure that there have been agreements of this kind not once, but more than once," he said.