nabil benamir

Nabil Benamir

Nabil Benamir, also known as Abdellah Elallam and Abdellah El Allam, was born in Morocco on November 23, 1987. He was arrested in August 2017 in Genova, where he lived in a squatter council house, and charged with art. 572, 582 and 602 for beating his partner, Luiza Laureani Costantino. She told the police Benamir had locked her in a room where he beat her and almost choked her to death whilst she was three months pregnant. Benamir was tried with a shortened proceeding and sentenced to three years and six months.
During the police investigation, the authorities discovered that Benamir had been previously signalled to the Schengen Information System as a prominent exponent of ISIS tasked with training members in Italy on how to use explosives. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Benamir had lived in Genova from 2006 until 2015, almost uninterruptedly, moving to Germany, the Netherlands and Spain and traveling to Iraq and Syria. During these years, Benamir racked up several charges and sentences for robbery, drug trafficking, false claims about his identity, persecution and domestic violence.
The Italian police seized various phones in which they were able to find compelling evidence of Benamir’s affiliation with the Islamic State. The defendant used WhatsApp and Telegram to maintain contact with members and groups close to ISIS. Benamir stayed in touch with various Telegram channels: Al Jessr and Taqanni, broadcast media outlets reporting news about ISIS; Ased Al Shami, a channel spreading islamist-jihadist propaganda, and Al Ziab Al Monfarida. The defendant was one of the eight members subscribed to the latter group, whose name translates into “love wolves”. The channel contains documents and videos related to the building and use of explosives and firearms; apologetic videos and images about martyrs, and prayers and sermons targeting mujahideen and lone wolves inciting them to carry out terrorist attacks. Amongst these dowloaded and deleted files on Benamir’s devices, the investigators found the screenshot of an old mobile phone with wiring diagrams that manipulate the internal circuits. Instructions in Arabic followed this image sharing the technical know-how to transform these devices into detonators. Moreover, an announcement for enlistment within ISIS was found in the defendant’s phone alongside an impressive number of pictures related to the activities of the Islamic State and its mujahideen; photos of beheadings and other executions; propaganda materials about mujahideen and foreign fighters, and propaganda files extracted from IS’s official media outlets. Reports from Ms Costantino, the defendant’s partner, seem to confirm the evidence found by the Italian investigators. Benamir would often scroll through Al Jazeera to read news about the war and she often saw him watching videos or photos portraying armed people discussing military strategies and knowledge about firearms. Moreover, Ms Costantino told the police that Benamir’s radicalisation began with various trips to Iraq and Syria, although at first he would hang out with his Muslim friends and he would drink alcohol and use drugs. Then, all of a sudden, he became taciturn, angry and impatient, and changed his group of friends. Although he did not go to any mosques, he started studying the Koran and listened to it on his phone.
Nabil Benamir was charged with article 270 bis of the Italian Criminal Code because of his affiliation with a terrorist organisation. Upon his arrest, the preliminary investigation judge of Genova ordered a pre-trial detention on the basis of a concrete and immediate danger of escape. The judge also deemed the situation of real danger because Benamir was in contact with other individuals willing to commit terrorist attacks. Benamir’s character and ill intentions were also confirmed by a wiretapped conversation happened in prison in March 2018, where the defendant made explicit threats to Italy and to all Italians once out of prison.
In November 2018, Nabil was sentenced to five years and ten months of imprisonment pursuant to Article 270 bis of the Criminal Code by the Court of Genoa with the expulsion from the Italian national territory at the end of the sentence. In November 2019, the Court of Appeal confirmed the first instance sentence, confirmation was also granted from the Supreme Court of Cassation on 19th November 2020.