Husein Bilal Bosnic

In March 2016, the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Venezia ordered a precautionary measure consisting of a pre-trial detention for Husein Bosnic, a Bosnian citizen born on October 9, 1972, on the charge of organising, funding and advertising travel to foreign territories with the aim of terrorism under art. 270 quater 1 and 110 of the Italian Criminal Code. According to the court document, Bosnic’s proselytism and recruiting effort were crucial in the radicalisation and enlistment within ISIS of Ismar Mesinovic and Munifer Karamaleski.
Bosnic, an Imam with four wives and sixteen children, got involved with Mesinovic and Karamaleski in 2013 through the intermediary figure of Ajhan Veapi, the Pordenone’s Islamic Centre’s advisor indicted and prosecuted as an accessory to this crime and case. The defendant’s preachings were circulating on the internet, as various videos published on his YouTube channel contained sermons about the proclamation of the Caliphate as well as references to achieving martyrdom, being in the ISIS army, and the sacrifices made in the fight against non-believers. Documents and phone records reveal that Veapi knew Bosnic since 2012 and was aware of his online proselytism and thus his decision to invite him to Pordenone was not coincidental. In fact, Veapi organised and promoted an event in the Pordenone mosque from May 31 to June 2, 2013, where Bosnic was the main guest and speaker. Veapi went to Bosnic’s house in Bosnia on May 29 alongside Mesinovic and in this instance Mesinovic, whose radicalisation had already started, asked for advice and for the Imam’s authorisation to go to Syria but was denied permission to leave. Bosnic’s influence on Mesinovic was so great that the latter, following Bosnic’s advice, divorced his wife in order to be able to undertake the journey to Syria. Then, they all left Bosnia to attend the conference in Pordenone and Bosnic’s presence in Italy was confirmed by the DIGOS of Pordenone as he was put on the police database on June 1. The Pordenone conference has been deemed to be crucial in the radicalisation process of Karamaleski and Mesinovic, as Mesinovic’s wife noted a change in his husband’s character and behaviour. After the conference, Mesinovic and Karamaleski started talking regularly on the phone with Bosnic, so much that from September to December 2013, Mesinovic made several journeys to the defendant’s house. It is also true that Bosnic helped both men to organise their trip and reinforced their willingness to leave by introducing them to an ISIS veteran, Rok Zavbi, in September 2013. Therefore, the defendant’s proselytism as well as his moral and material support were the main driving factors for Karamaleski and Mesinovic to embark on their journey to Syria, as without his meddling neither of them would have left for Syria.
The indictment also reveals that Bosnic had been previously enlisted in the “El Mujahid Brigade” as well as a member of the Aktivna Islamska Omladina Middle Part (AIQ-MP), a Bosnian-bred islamist organisation whose goal is the establishment of an Islamic state in the Balkan area with anti-Western propaganda. Because of his proselytism, Bosnic had been arrested in 2014 as part of the operation Damask and was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2015 on the charge of publicly inciting terrorist acts, recruitment for terrorist activities, and organisation of terroristic groups. Before the sentencing, Bosnic was prohibited from entering Switzerland, Germany and France, as he had been on the Schengen Information System since 1997. He was released in 2021.