ISIS ACTIVIST FAMILY ARRESTED IN ITALY – “OPERATION MARTESE”
Italian anti-terrorism police, on Wednesday 07/01/2015, arrested several family members of a married couple who traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State and were allegedly trying to persuade their relatives to join them, officials said.
Police and prosecutors said Italian Maria Giulia Sergio, 28, converted to Islam in 2007 and used the name Fatima az Zahra, married a man from Morocco who she divorced soon after because he did “not interpret the faith properly” (see also – UK-ISIS Family 04.15 ).
In the summer of 2013, Aldo Kobuzi, 26, an Albanian citizen, probably from Italian descent, and former christian family who converted to Islam, and Maria Giulia Sergio, met in Milan through common contacts and married.
In 09/2014 the couple left Italy for Turkey and traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State, the militant terror group that controls large swaths of Syria and Iraq and has proclaimed an Islamic caliphate ruled under Sharia law. Italian authorities suspect that radical Islamic cells in Albania linked to Kobuzi arranged the couple’s move to Syria since Such ties run deep in Kobuzi’s family.
Aldo Kobuzi’s brother-in-law in Albania, Dervishllari, who studied at the Islamic University of Medina, Saudi Arabia, in 2010-2011, traveled to Syria in 10/2013, never to return.
According to telephone wiretaps between Maria Giulia Sergio in Syria and her relatives, the young Italian was seeking to persuade her family to join her. They were apparently ready to go: Police said they traced the family’s movements, down to buying suitcases, selling off their belongings, applying for a passport and collecting severance payments to fund their trip.
“The determination by [Maria] Sergio and other people who are in the territory of the Islamic State (to recruit others) is very, very strong,” Milan prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli told a news conference.
Maria Giulia Sergio’s parents Sergio Sergio, 63, his wife Buonfiglio Assunta, 60, and her older sister Marianna Sergio, 31, were arrested in Milan, while Aldo Kobuzi’s uncle Coku Baki, 40, was arrested in Lushnje, Albania and his sister Kacabuni Arta, 41, was arrested in Scansano, Italy, where both are residents. Arrest warrants were issued for the couple, Kobuzi’s mother who was also in Syria and other relatives,.
The Italian Authorities are looking also after Bushra Haik (pic-L), A Canadian citizen of Syrian origin who grew up in Bologna, She left Bologna in 2012 and currently lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She is the one who had a major role in radicalizing Maria Giulia Sergio through Quran, Tafsir and Aqidah lessons that she taught through Skype. She had a big number of followers and also taught Arabic and Quran recitation, all online.
Officials said, based on the wiretaps, that recruiters promised an effective welfare state to anyone who joined the Islamic State group, with cars available at rock-bottom prices and health care and other services provided.
Romanelli said Kobuzi’s family had already provided the Islamic State group with several foreign fighters, including one who was killed in battle.
Italy has said a few dozen Italian residents or citizens are fighting within the ranks of the Islamic State group in northern Iraq and Syria, and that it has been keeping its eye on possible recruits in Italy. Italy has also expelled several Islamic militants in the past year (see – The Western Jihadists ).
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