A couple of days ago we posted an item in the news feed about a “youth” who tried to ram his car into worshippers at a church in Italy. The article below was published in the Italian press, which means it gives more details about the Islamic nature of the attempted jihad attack than one would see in the media in Northern and Western Europe.
Algerian plows his car at Sanctuary of Pompeii. “I did it in the name of Allah”
Under investigation for terrorism, he crashed against the barriers put up in defense of the church. To the audience, he recited a litany in Arabic. The man is 22 years old, expelled from France and from the police headquarters in Cagliari, but he was still in our country.
He proceeded in the wrong direction on Via Bartolo Longo, crowded with pedestrians; then he crashed against the cement flower pots laid out to protect the Basilica of Pompeii from terrorist attacks. The Algerian Othman Jridi (22) arrived in Italy after being expelled from France, expelled again by the police headquarters in Cagliari, but remained in our country and was caught by city police after a brief chase. The presiding judge of Torre Annunziata, Fernanda Iannone — an international terrorism expert and the author of a dissertation on foreign terrorist fighters — not only validated the arrest, but receiving the request from the prosecuting magistrate, also ordered precautionary custody in prison. For the crimes charged (auto theft and false declarations to a public official), the Algerian was processed in a direct hearing: The lawyer who is assisting him, Enrica Visconti, requested the abbreviation, and therefore in the face of a request of four years and one month on the part of the prosecuting magistrate, Jridi was sentenced to two and a half years, a penalty very severe, however, relative to the low-level offense committed by the accused. The files have been sent to the anti-terrorism pool of the Naples prosecutor for the necessary intelligence.
The defendant could have been given house arrest (the law provides for lower sentences at three years), but the judge decided differently. Too many elements were cited as evidence against him. All in all, argued the magistrate, it is necessary to realize the extreme danger posed by the actions of the defendant, and the method (attack upon a pedestrian zone, a square normally frequented by hundreds of persons, as well as the thousands of pilgrims on festival days), the location (a square in front of the sanctuary of the Madonna of Pompeii) the personality (an alien of Algerian nationality, illegally in Italian territory, expelled from French territory), the psychological-physical condition of the person (who had consumed by his own admission drugs and psychotropic substances) which provoke episodes of terrorist attacks. Not only that: The young Algerian in the course of the hearing asserted that he was not in a condition to know why he had done that deed, if not to feel closer to Allah, which would have been made easier by taking a drug.
In addition, the defendant in the course of the hearing continually made labial sounds and recited an Arabic litany in the name of Allah. “There is the concrete and present danger that the defendant will commit other crimes of (this) kind,” and therefore it is necessary to apply the measure of precautionary custody in prison, not forcing the State to presume that he will abstain from crime in the future, since, for the State, it is the only suitable measure to confront precautionary need; such measures appear also proportionate to the gravity of the acts committed and to applicable sanctions in a case of this kind. The judge, therefore, stressed the presence of the indicated elements of the lone wolf profile (drugged, in prayer, exalted, in a religious zone in a period of religious festival), that he had traveled many kilometers to reach an unmistakable objective. But what mitigated in favor of detention in prison was also the fact that after lying about his identity to the Carabinieri, who were brought into the case by the city police, Jridi continued to lie about his address. He gave that of a fellow Algerian, and when he arrived at the location, accompanied by the military, he whispered in Arabic, “Say that I live here, if you don’t they will arrest me.” The anti-terrorism pool of the Naples prosecutor has in abundance the resources to investigate this more deeply.