Kamel Sadraoui

Kamel Sadraoui was born in Tunisia on February 14, 1983, but was living in Carapelle, Foggia, where he was employed as an agricultural worker. He regularly attended the Islamic centre Al Dawa in Foggia along his brother Boubaker where they met the Chechen Eli Bombataliev. They developed a friendship and between the end of 2014 and the start of 2015, they started being indoctrinated by the Chechen. Various phone records attest their relationship and, according to police investigations, Kamel Sadraoui was active on social media, where he shared IS-related propaganda. Moreover, Sadraoui had already been flagged by the Internal Information and Security Agency (AISI), he had connection with local criminal figures.

Kamel Sadraoui was arrested on February 7, 2017, and charged with terrorism apology and possession of weapons. However, on March 30, 2017, the preliminary investigation judge of Foggia ordered pre-trial detention solely on the grounds of weapon possession. While acknowledging that the defendant had shared posts on Facebook praising the Islamic State and legitimising its existence, the judge found no evidence of intent for proselytism or explicit terrorist affiliation either within the defendant’s audience or with the defendant’s himself.

The Court of Review reconsidered the decision, deeming Kamel Sadraoui guilty of apology of terrorism and confirming the pre-trial detention on this basis. The public prosecutor contended that the preliminary investigation judge’s decision overlooked the context of the Facebook posts, which, in fact, suggested an endorsement of terrorism. These posts featured images, videos, and audio recordings praising the Islamic State while portraying the organisation in a favourable light. Such content can be viewed as propaganda, designed to mislead and persuade individuals into believing a distorted representation of Daesh. Videos about public executions; torture of children – found on his SD Card as well; about Mohammed Assan El Andalusi, considered a hero for jihadists in the war against non-believers, and a video containing the names of famous international Islamic terrorists are some of the contents Sadraoui shared on his social media page. The timing of the posts is significant, as they were shared shortly after the Bataclan attack and again a year later on its anniversary, seemingly to commemorate it. He would also sign off his posts with the writing “the Islamic State will live” and in a wiretapped conversation he had praised the perpetrator of the Berlin Christmas market attack, Anis Amri.

Therefore, the Court of Review ordered a pre-trial detention, citing Sadraoui’s possession of an illegal firearm, his perceived danger as an individual inclined towards terrorism, associations with criminal elements in the locality, and the risk of recidivism.

On April 1, 2018, the Court of Foggia found Kamel Sadraoui guilty of possession of illegal firearms and sentenced him to three years in prison and fined €5000. The Appeal Court of Bari reduced his sentence to one year and six months, along with a €600 fine, on October 2, 2018, stating that the alleged crime did not occur. Subsequently, on October 23, 2019, the Court of Cassation upheld the sentence and imposed an additional fine of €3000.