Italian who joined Daesh in Syria says she made ‘big mistake’

Alice Brignoli was located and arrested by Italian military police in Al-Hawl camp, in Syria. (Reuters)
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Updated 01 October 2020

Italian who joined Daesh in Syria says she made ‘big mistake’

  • Brignoli told magistrates that she is no longer radicalized and that her children had not been trained by Daesh
  • Brignoli said a factor in joining Daesh in Syria was that the family did not feel comfortable in their hometown of Bulciago

ROME: An Italian woman who in 2015 moved with her family to join Daesh in Syria, where she was arrested on terrorism charges and repatriated, has said she made “a big mistake.”

Daesh’s so-called caliphate “wasn’t the idyllic place we’d expected,” Alice Brignoli, 42, told Italian prosecutors after she was brought back home with her four children, who are being looked after by social services in Milan, where she is being detained.

Saying she still believes in Islam, Brignoli told magistrates that she is no longer radicalized and that her children had not been trained by Daesh.

But the Carabinieri, the Italian military police who located and arrested her in Al-Hawl camp in Syria, said she had played an “active role in teaching the children the cause of jihad.”

Magistrates showed her a photo of her eldest son, who was only 6 years old when they left Italy, holding a rifle.

Brignoli said a factor in joining Daesh in Syria was that the family did not feel comfortable in their hometown of Bulciago, north of Milan, because “we were teased for being Muslims.”

She added: “We believed we finally could truly live Islam (under Daesh). But it was an illusion. We’d expected to find an idyllic place for Muslims, with houses and schools, but we only found war.”

She said she is “happy” that her four children (the fourth was born in Syria a month ago) have returned to Italy and that they are well.

She added that her husband had fought for Daesh but died from an intestinal infection shortly before the birth of their last child.

Italian prosecutors are trying to find out more details about the organization of her trip to Syria, to check if there are people in the area where she previously lived who are providing assistance to aspiring fighters.


Kremlin says it hopes to resolve differences on nuclear arms control pact with Washington

Updated 21 October 2020

Kremlin says it hopes to resolve differences on nuclear arms control pact with Washington

  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia hoped to continue dialogue with Washington on extending the new START treaty

MOSCOW: Russia said on Wednesday it hoped to resolve its differences with the United States over a nuclear arms control treaty that expires in February next year.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia hoped to continue dialogue with Washington on extending the new START treaty. He was speaking a day after the United States welcomed a proposal by Moscow to prolong it by a year if both sides agreed to freeze their stocks of all nuclear warheads for that period.
Signed in 2010, the last US-Russia pact of its kind limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers each country can deploy.