Ali Awil Khadar

Ali Awil Khadar

The General Investigations and Special Operations Division (DIGOS) of Bergamo and the District Prosecutor’s Office of Brescia arrested on 25 June 2016 the Somali citizen Ali Awil Khadar, born in 1985, exponent of a logistics network which, between the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, allowed the entry into Italy of numerous Syrians who were collaborating with ISIS.

Specifically, in November 2015 the Somali, who had remained shrouded in an aura of mystery for months, had helped and assisted two Syrians who are currently detained in Italian prisons, namely Alali Faowaz and Alhag Hazem.

On 18 November 2015, security cameras at Orio al Serio airport filmed the two Syrians, as they were ready to board for Malta, and a few steps behind them the Somali citizen. The Syrians (Faowaz later admitted during the investigation that he had actually worked for the Caliphate) had been blocked by the border police, while the Somali had managed to board.

After the arrest of the two terrorists, though, it became clear that the Somali himself had arranged everything: in fact, Khadar had waited for the two in Vienna, had then accompanied them by train from Vienna to Rome, while also providing them with plane tickets in order to take the flight to Malta. Once in Milan, the three then took a bus to Orio al Serio airport.
The false passports held by Faowaz and Hazem had also been provided to them by Khadar.

In addition, from the statements given by both Alali and Alhag during their interrogations, the figure of Khadar emerged as the organizer and companion not only of them, but also of two other subjects whom the Somali had helped enter into Italy through the Balkans and the Austrian “gate”. Those two other Syrians had been arrested in Fiumicino in the same period.

From the analysis of the email provided while purchasing the airline tickets, the mailbox was found to be used for the booking of numerous airline tickets in the name of individuals headed to Malta, which however appeared a mere transit stop for other European destinations. Similarly, the credit card used for the airline booking had been used to make several other bookings from various Italian airports to Malta, as well as for further flights from the island to cities in northern Europe.

The authorities identified Khadar as belonging to an international organization which operated in the trafficking of migrants and which, in addition to being able of procuring counterfeit documents in a very short time, held solid bases in Italy and possessed considerable economic capacity (being able to purchase plane tickets even at the last moment).

Until it was broken up, the racket had been going on for some time, and such individuals would pass through customs as per usual without passport checks. Overall, the racket was believed to have brought as many as 250 people to Malta to claim asylum, mainly of Syrian and Somali nationalities.

The police was able to cuff Khadar in Rome, while he was staying in a bed & breakfast close to Termini train station. There was already an alert on his face and his data spread throughout Italy by the Bergamo police station. He was caught as he attempted to flee from his hotel room window.

He was also found in possession of travel papers for political refugees, issued by the Maltese authorities, as well as a suspected fake Maltese passport.

Khadar, drawn from the precautionary measure of custody into prison in execution of an order issued by the Court of Rome on 27 June 2016, is currently detained at Sassari prison, indicted for aiding illegal immigration and for assisting persons involved in terrorist associations, on the basis of the art. 270ter of the Penal Code. This article prosecutes anyone who gives refuge or provides food, hospitality, means of transport and communication tools to people who participate in terrorist associations.