The Italian Connection

Ahmed Hannachi was the mujahid who claimed his 72 raisins after stabbing two women to death in Marseille on October 1. Investigators have determined that his brother Anis was not only part of the jihad team, but may even have “radicalized” Ahmed. French authorities alerted their Italian counterparts, who arrested Anis in Ferrara.

The following article about the Hannachi brothers was published on Monday in La Stampa. Many thanks to FouseSquawk for the translation:

Marseilles killer’s brother arrested: “He fought in Syria. Expelled by Italy in 2014”

Anis Hannachi, the brother of the killer who stabbed the cousins Laure and Marianne to death at Marseille’s Saint-Charles station, was denied entry by Italy in 2014 when he arrived at Favignana with other Tunisians on a boat. That’s what emerged from the investigation after Hannachi’s arrest. The probable presence of the man in Italy was reported by the French authorities on the evening of October 3 and on the 4th it was confirmed with certainty he was in our country, in Liguria. Hannachi was then arrested on October 7 in Ferrara.

The man had fought among foreign fighters who arrived from around the world in Syria to participate in jihad. This is what the French authorities have communicated to the Italian authorities. The hypothesis of the Transalpine authorities is that it was indeed Anis Hannachi who indoctrinated and provoked the radicalization of his brother Ahmed. Investigators also stressed that at the moment, “there is no evidence” that the arrested man would want to take action in Italy or plan for attacks in our country or that he had “solid support” in Ferrara where he was traced and stopped. Anis was hosted by a fellow countryman who regularly lives in Ferrara and is integrated with the city. In the same apartment were four or five boys, all fellow countrymen. Some are students.

Anis was not known to the Italian authorities as a radicalized subject: police data banks had only the photos from 2014, when he was then expelled and sent back to Tunisia. “It was French colleagues,” explained Lamberto Giannini, the Director of Police Anti-terrorism, “reporting him as a jihad fighter in the Syrian-Iraqi context.” In the ranks of jihadists, along with thousands of foreign fighters, Anis would have been active for at least two years, from 2014 to 2016.

DIGOS (Divisione Investigazioni Generali e Operazioni Speciali, General Investigations and Special Operations Division) in Bologna and Ferrara yesterday executed a European arrest warrant issued by French authorities. The allegation hypothesized by the Transalpine investigators against the 25-year-old Tunisian who, immediately after being arrested, was made available to the Attorney General at the Bologna Court of Appeal, is participating in a terrorist association and complicity in the crime committed by his brother. But not only that: Anis may have played a role in organizing what happened in Marseilles, even though, as it has been possible to reconstruct at the moment, he would not have been present in the second French city on the day of the attack.