samet imishti

Imishti Samet

Imishti Samet was born in Kosovo on the 18th of October 1971. He has lived regularly in Italy since 2001, and until 2014 he had been living in the town of Castrezzato, in the province of Brescia. Then, in January 2015, he transferred with his wife and son to Chiari, in the same province, where he worked in construction. In April 2015, his residence permit was voided by the police commissioner of Brescia because of security concerns and was requested to leave the country.

His expulsion followed an investigation that led to the discovery on his Facebook profile of numerous posts celebratory of ISIS, its terrorist attacks, and some of its key personalities. These posts started in December 2013, and among them, some celebrated the terrorist attacks conducted by the Islamic State in France, others depicted him or his son together with Islamic State symbols, and others again expressed his approval for figures such as Lavdrim Muhaxheri, a well-known IS leader and recruiter, killed in 2017. One post denoting his anti-American and anti-semitic attitudes depicted some people burning an American and an Israeli flag, which was accompanied by the caption “…Soon like this they will be burned by nuclear weapons”. Numerous where also the threats moved against the pope.

His Facebook profile also showed he had contacts with individuals with direct links to the Middle Eastern theatre. Kosovar imam Enis Rama and Ela Bubianas, being two notable examples of IS recruited he was (virtually) friends with, respectively operating in Kosovo and Italy. His list of friends included other individuals connected to jihadist milieu, like Caca Zamir, Zeinel Mendres, and Ensar Castro. These last two men, in particular, were personally connected to Muhaxheri.

Samet was arrested in Kosovo during a joint operation between Italian and Kosovar authorities on the 1st December 2015 on terrorism-related charges. He was also found in illegal possession of a few weapons. On this occasion, his brother Ismail, and Ismail’s son Mergim, who shared Samet’s radicalism, were also expelled from Italy where they had been living until then. Meanwhile, Samet was facing trial in absentia in Italy on the charges of inciting racial and religious violence and associating with an international terrorist organisation. On the 27th September 2019 he was found guilty on all accounts and sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison. After his arrest in Kosovo, he served 7 months in prison .

Interestingly, his brother Ismail was arrested in Brescia in November 2020  as he had returned under a false name. He had allegedly been aided by another brother, named Qerim, who was also irregularly living in the country. The pair was promptly expelled.