salma bencharki

Salma Bencharki

Salma Bencharki was born in 1990, she is of Moroccan nationality and resided in Lecco with her husband, Abderrahim Moutaharrik, and their two children.
Her radicalisation process is closely connected to her husband’s ideological path. Abderrahim, who became known as the “Isis boxer”, was a friend of the foreign fighter, Oussama Khachia. Oussama was expelled from Italy in January 2015 and, later, also from the Swiss territory; from where he left to join the Islamic State fighters in August of that same year.
Oussama died on the battlefield in Syria at the end of 2015. His decision to join the cause was a decisive factor in Abderrahim Moutaharrik’s radicalisation process who chose to become an affiliate of the Islamic State. He decided to, in some way, avenge the death of Oussama whom he considered like a brother.
Salma’s husband had a strong ideological influence on her, bringing her closer to the extremist jihadist ideology thanks to websites such as jihadology and isdaraat. They both considered these channels as the only platform where reliable material could be found, without censorship and distortions induced by other media.
During the investigation, Salma emerged as an element who certainly was very active and, in a broader sense, even more ideologically prepared than her friend Wafa Koraichi, with whom she was in constant contact. Between them, as evidence shows from the wiretapping, there was a strong ideological affinity: they exchanged information on where to find primary sources on the Islamic State and shared information about their friend, Alice Brignoli, whom they were following as a role model.
Knowing that his wife was in close contact with Wafa, his mujahid friend Mohamed Koraichi’s sister, Abderrahim pushed her to act as an intermediary between himself and Wafa so that the latter could request the tazkiyah (recommendation from a fully-fledged member) from her brother and thus allow him to reach the desired territories of the caliphate. Abderrahim’s affiliation took place in April 2016, thanks to Salma’s intermediation, who also signed a loan agreement under his name with the Deutsche Bank for the amount of 7,000 euros. This money was to ensure the payment of their debts and of the planned trip to Syria.
Over time, throughout the phone calls and exchanges of messages between the two friends Salma and Wafa, there was a tangible behavioural change. Their exchanges were marked with more prudence in the use of certain words. Following the advice of her husband, Salma tried to use a less conspicuous language by adopting the technique of taqiyah, aimed at concealing her real intentions both from the point of view of communication and from that of physical appearance. However, her attempt to indoctrinate her children was clear. More specifically with the older one, with whom the spouses talked about the jihadist ideology, listened to music and hymns and expressed the desire to see their two sons grow up and live in the caliphate as “good Muslims”.
In conclusion, in February 2017, Salma was sentenced by Milan’s Court of Assizes to 5 years of imprisonment with expulsion from the national territory at the end of the sentence. Her parental authority was also revoked. Subsequently, the Court of Assizes of Appeal reformed the previous sentence by reducing the penalty of imprisonment sentence to 3 years and 4 months, revoking the expulsion, and re-granting parental authority to Salma. This decision was taken as there were no indications of her social dangerousness and due to the negative impact, it could have had on the family unit and especially on her 5 and 7-year-old children. The Supreme Court, in February 2019, confirmed the appeal sentence. However, in the summer of 2019, Salma was caught by the administrative expulsion order for security reasons and, consequently, repatriated to Morocco. Furthermore, before the administrative expulsion decree, the Juvenile Court of Milan decided to revoke her parental authority because, according to the magistrates, Salma had an active role in supporting the radicalisation process of her husband and it would have been personally involved in organizing the journey to the caliphate. Thus, the two young children will continue to live with their grandparents.
Finally, at the same time as Salma’s expulsion, the revocation of Italian citizenship was notified to her husband Moutaharrik at the behest of the Ministry of the Interior. In 2020, Moutaharrik is still in prison serving a six-year prison sentence.