Halili El Madhi

On December 1st, 2020, the Turin Court of Assizes of Appeal sentenced Halili el Madhi to 6 years and 9 months for terrorism offences, pursuant to art. 270 bis c.p. His penalty increased compared to the 6 years and 6 months of imprisonment previously established by Turin’s judges’ first ruling in June 2019.
Halili el Madhi, an Italian-Moroccan born in Ciriè (Torino, Italy) in 1995, negotiated – in November 2015 – a 2-year prison sentence, with conditional suspension, for the crime of incitement to commit a terrorist offence, pursuant to art. 414 c.p. Despite this first condamnation, his propaganda activities resumed incessantly in both the virtual and the real world, until he was arrested again in late March 2018.
His radicalisation process appears to be linked to two main factors: meeting with individuals linked to the world of jihadism and the consultation of jihadist propaganda sites online. It all probably began at school. Among his classmates, there was Elezi Elvis, grandson of the Albanian recruiter Elezi Alban, involved in the “Balkan Connection” investigation launched in 2013. Alban was linked to the recruitment of two jihadists subjects residing in Italy, Ben Ammar Mahmoud and Anas El Abboubi.
It was his schoolmate, Elvis, who gave Halili his first Koran in Italian but other extremist individuals, well-known to the counterterrorism officers, intervened in Halili’s jihadist indoctrination, including:
– Oussama Khachia, expelled in January 2015 and died in the ranks of Islamic State at the end of that same year;
– Mohamed Rmaili, expelled for reasons linked to national security in March 2015;
– Abderrahmane Khachia, convicted of terrorism, pursuant to art. 270 bis c.p., together with Abderrahim Moutaharrik, Wafa Koraichi and Salma Bencharki.
All these extremists have in various ways influenced the radicalisation process of the young Halili.
As for his frequentation of extremist environments online, through social networks, Halili established close relationships with many individuals close to the Islamic State with whom he exchanged ideas and propaganda material that he often translated and used to indoctrinate new followers. Among these individuals we find, once again, the Islamic State recruiter Bushra Haik, sentenced in absentia pursuant to art. 270 bis and protagonist of numerous attempts of indoctrination for terrorist purposes in Italy. In Halili’s computer, over 400 videos on the Islamic State and al-Qa’ida were found, countless written texts and jihadist magazines such as Dabiq and Rumiyah as well as manuals such as How to Survive in the West and The Islamic State, a reality that wants to communicate to you. The latter was probably translated in Italian by Halili himself in 2015. He mainly used Facebook and Telegram to disseminate and publicly share jihadist propaganda material.
An important indicator that Halili shares with many other young people who have experienced a process of jihadist radicalisation is the blaming of his parents for not having educated him, from an early age, on the basis of Islamic principles. He considered his father an infidel because the latter had turned to a civil court to “settle a lawsuit related to the payment of some renovations of their home” and considered his mother an impure woman because she did not follow the dictates of the shari’a.
After viewing dozens of speeches, sermons and jihadist propaganda videos, Halili began to give lessons to very young subjects, both foreigners and Italian converts. The ideas and concepts of Abu Baara, Abu Izzadeen, Anwar al-Awlaki, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, just to name a few, were presented during group sessions for the purpose of indoctrination of new proselytes. During these group sessions, Halili was the preacher who faithfully reported words and concepts he had, to a large extent, learned on “YouTube” and on the website “Jihadology.net”. His arrest most probably prevented the young Halili from taking further steps towards carrying out violent actions.