A Senegalese immigrant in northern Italy hijacked a bus full of schoolchildren today. He was carrying canisters of flammable liquids (evidently diesel fuel and gasoline), and told the children that everyone was going to die to avenge his own children, whose deaths he blamed on Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.
The driver failed to take away one child’s cell phone, and the resourceful youngster was able to alert the police. When the Carabinieri arrived, the terrorist poured out his accelerant and ignited the bus. Fortunately the officers were able to break the glass in the back door and get the kids out before they could suffer anything worse than smoke inhalation.
The angry culture-enricher was shrewd enough to plan his attack in advance and have his materials at hand. However, he doesn’t seem to have thought through his overall strategy very carefully, or he would have realized that his actions were an affirmation of Mr. Salvini’s arguments against allowing third-world immigrants into Italy.
The first of the following two videos is from a news story about what happened to the bus. Many thanks to He Ha for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
The second video is a brief interview with one of the students who was on the bus when it was hijacked and torched.
Below is a detailed article from ANSA about the torching of the bus in Cremona (hat tip Insubria):
Terror for Kids After Hijacker Sets Bus Alight
Man angry at govt migrant policy said ‘no one will survive’
(ANSA) — Milan, March 20 — A 47-year-old bus driver was held by Carabinieri police on Wednesday after allegedly hijacking a bus with schoolchildren aboard and subsequently setting it on fire after tying their hands with plastic electrical ties in an apparent attempt to kill them, sources said.
The children’s terror lasted for almost 40 minutes as the man, angry at government migrant policy, confiscated their phones and said no one would survive.
But one boy, 13-year-old Rahmi, managed to keep hold of his phone and call the police.
The man hijacked the bus with 51 pupils from a middle school in the northern province of Cremona.
The suspect has been named as Ousseynou Sy, a man with a criminal record who is originally from Senegal but has been an Italian citizen since 2004.
He said he wanted to kill himself and “stop the deaths in the Mediterranean,” the sources said.
Sy ordered a teacher to tie the children’s hands with plastic ties but the teacher only attached the ties to four or five of them, and so lightly that they easily freed themselves afterwards, local sources said.
“No one will survive,” Sy said after hijacking the vehicle outside San Donato near Milan, according to Carabinieri Provincial Commander Luca De Marchis.
After being stopped by police, he got off the bus and set it alight, having poured petrol inside.
But the Carabinieri managed to get the children out by smashing windows at the back, the sources said. Before being stopped, the suspect had also tried to ram through a road block. Twelve children and two adults were taken to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation, as was Sy, the sources said.
The bus is a write-off.
A teacher who was with the children said that it was not the first time Sy drove a bus with pupils on board.
“We knew him” the teacher said, adding that the hijacker was angry about the government’s migrant policy.
“He wanted to get to the runway at (Milan’s) Linate (airport)”.
The children’s ordeal lasted nearly 40 minutes, local sources said.
A girl said “he handcuffed us and threatened us. He said that if we moved he would pour our the petrol and light the fire. He kept saying that people in Africa are dying and the fault is Di Maio and Salvini’s. Then the Carabinieri saved us”.
Luigi Di Maio, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement leader, and Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-migrant Euroskeptic League, are the two partners in Italy’s populist government which has closed Italy’s ports to migrant rescue NGO ships amid a broader crackdown on migrants.
Another girl said “he took our phones but one schoolmate managed to keep his. We were cuffed with electrician’s ties. He told us nothing would happen but threatened to pour the petrol”.
Rahmi’s friend Adam, 12, said “he was clear-minded, he was smart. The driver took all our phones but he managed to keep one and called the Carabinieri”.
“Later I called the emergency services and we tried to explain where we were”.
Sy will face possible charges of kidnapping, attempted mass murder, causing a fire and resisting arrest, judicial sources said.
“It was a miracle they survived and we have to thank the Carabinieri for that,” said Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco.
He said the prosecutors were weighing terrorism charges against Sy.
“The intention to commit mass murder had started ad the man was about to torch (the children) as he then did the bus,” said Greco, thanking Carabinieri for an operation that was “like something that you see in films about special forces”.
Greco said Sy had admitted his actions had been premeditated.
Sy did not pronounce Islamist phrases, sources said.
Prosecutors said they were trying to establish if Sy, who was employed by the Autoguidovie bus firm, was fit to drive.
Carabinieri questioned Sy’s wife who left the Carabinieri barracks at Castelleone without saying anything to the media.
Video transcript #1:
|00:05||The bus that was traveling, as scheduled, late in the morning of March 20, between|
|00:09||Peschiera and San Donato on the provincial “Paullese” road number 415, burst into flame.|
|00:13||According to first reports, a man poured flammable liquid on the vehicle and then set it on fire.|
|00:18||Many pupils were riding on board. The emergency units arrived immediately|
|00:23||after being called: a code red ambulance, and eight vehicles from the fire department.|
|00:29||It turns out, based on initial eyewitness reports, that the perpetrator, the driver who torched it,|
|00:33||is a Senegalese. During questioning he said he intended to avenge the dead migrants lost at sea.|
|00:39||He confessed that he let all kids get out of the bus before it blew up.|
|00:44||No update on the medical condition of the passengers is available yet.|
|00:48||No case of severe intoxication was reported. All the survivors|
|00:52||of this cruel case are safe and sound, apparently.
Video transcript #2:
|00:00||Well, we live in Crema. We went, in the second hour we went to do gymnastics.|
|00:07||Then, we wanted to return to school have a snack. We waited ten minutes|
|00:11||because the bus arrived late.|
|00:14||Then, when we boarded, we said, “Good day,” and sat down.|
|00:19||Then this guy told us, “You must remain silent.|
|00:24||I’m going to tie you with some kind of [unintelligible]” like this.|
|00:29||And then everyone was scared. I understood only because there were no lane dividers|
|00:35||and because he didn’t take the street which he had to take to school.|
|00:38||Therefore, he took another way.|
|00:41||Then when we arrived in Milan, around Milan, we stopped three times.|
|00:47||The first time, he threw diesel fuel everywhere. The second time, there was a type of…|
|00:53||How should I say? Some small curtains, soaked in gasoline,|
|00:57||and put in the windows.|
|01:01||Then the third time he told us he wanted to take revenge… for his children, because|
|01:05||his children wanted to come to Italy, but didn’t have the means of transportation to go.|
|01:10||Therefore they went by sea and died. And therefore he wanted to take revenge for his three children,|
|01:14||and kill us.|
|01:17||Did he cite something political? Did he talk about [unintelligible]?|
|01:21||—No, he spoke in general —Yes, in general. He also said kind of… government.|
|01:24||He said, “Fault of the government, of Salvini” and so on…