> ANSA English > News

Italian killed in Syria suspected of recruiting terrorists

'Brought in three North Africans, one Muslim convert'

19 June, 16:32
Italian killed in Syria suspected of recruiting terrorists (ANSA) - Genoa, June 19 - The Italian Muslim convert killed fighting the Syrian government was suspected of recruiting terrorists in Italy, prosectors in Genoa said Wednesday. Giuliano Ibrahim Delnevo, 24, allegedly recruited three North Africans and one Italian Muslim convert using means such as online sermons and a blog. All five men were under investigation for terrorism. Italy was shocked to learn of Delnevo's case on Tuesday when reports surfaced he had been killed in Syria fighting along extremist rebels. A student from Genoa, Delnevo was born to Italian parents with no reported links to Islam.

After converting to Islam in 2008, Delnevo took the name Ibrahim, posting passages of the Koran on his Facebook page along with a photograph of Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, known as the 'Father of Global Jihad' who inspired Osama bin Laden to take up fundamentalist offensive jihad.

On Wednesday, Italian Defense Minister Mario Mauro said the military was keeping track of Italians heading to fight in Syria. "We are aware that someone who leaves Italy to fight in Syria is a phenomenon that needs to be monitored," he said. Between 45 and 50 people including one woman are thought to have left Italy to join the ranks of rebel groups in Syria, ANSA was told by the Communities of the Arab World in Italy (COMAI).