The Italian police in a series of raids carried out in at least 19 locations uncovered a group that was in the process of recruiting members to form a new Nazi party, Italian news sources reported.

The raid was carried out by a joined team of police officers from 16 jurisdictions in Sicily and northern Italy. A joint task force, which has been active for the last two years, carried out the raids in multiple locations.

Italian news wire ANSA reported that the suspects were recruiting like-minded people for joining a pro-Nazi group - "Partito Nazionalsocialista Italiano dei Lavoratori" - the Italian National Socialist Workers' Party.

The police also recovered weapons and explosives from the alleged Pro-Nazi group members.

The investigation found that the group has been carrying out recruitment drives on social media. The members of the group also allegedly were able to set up connections with other Nazi sympathizers in Portugal, France, and Spain, Italian local newspaper, Corriere del Mezzogiorno reported.

During the raid, the police also have reportedly taken into custody an ex-convict, who is said to be a senior member of the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta.' The Ndrangheta is a notorious drug cartel that runs its operations in the United States, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, and Germany.

Back in July, the police had carried out similar raids on far-right extremists, in which it had recovered an air-to-air missile.

Coincidently the arrests came soon after unknown miscreants vandalized street signs that were renamed after two Jewish female scholars and an anti-fascist professor - Enrica Calabresi, Nella Mortara, and Mario Carrara.

The streets earlier carried the names of two scientists - Arturo Donaggi and Edoardo Zavattari, who had openly professed their support for antisemitism.