Italy Probes 'Kill Berlusconi' Facebook Gang

'Assassination gang' boasts 20K members
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2009 2:08 AM CDT
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi gestures at the opening of a textile industry fair in Milan, Italy, last month.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pellaschiar)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Italian authorities have vowed to close down a Facebook group called "Let's Kill Berlusconi," even though its creators say it's harmless fun. Some 20,000 people from all over the world have joined the group, many offering their services to dispatch the embattled Italian leader in a variety of ways. Security chiefs warn that the joke group could inspire a real-life assassination, the Independent reports.

"What this site calls for is not a joke," said Italy's justice minister . "Although there is no evidence of a specific threat, this must nevertheless be investigated. There are several sites on Facebook which are odious and which have not only the prime minister but other members of the government as targets. But this is the only one that calls for a death." Italy is threatening to sue Facebook if the group isn't deleted.