sara pilè

Sara Pilè

Sara Pilè was born on the 23rd of June 1991 in Gardone Val Trompia. She has grown up and has been living in Monticelli Brusati, a town of less than 5000 people in the province of Brescia. In July 2016, she was subjected to restrictive precautionary measures justified in light of her strong radicalisation and potential threat to security.

Daughter of a local businessman, at 19, in 2011, she married the 30-year-old Tunisian national Naim Saghari, who subscribes to the Salafi current of Islam. They did so initially according to Islamic customs, in 2015, they also had a civil marriage.
According to the authorities, her conversion to Islam also occurred in 2015 by the will of her husband. After the marriage, it is reported that Sara distanced herself from her family and her local community. She left her job and started wearing the niqab along with gloves. Additionally, she would spend weeks in isolation at home.
Because of economic hardships, the couple started living at Sara’s family’s estate, but in January 2016, Naim was kicked out by his father-in-law as he was “exasperated” by the lifestyle chosen by his daughter. An event that further strained the relationship between Sara and her parents.

Pilè came under scrutiny by Italian authorities following her online activities. Since roughly February 2016, she has, in fact, started sharing on Facebook numerous posts that would directly celebrate activities conducted by DAESH or that were more broadly supportive of terrorist activities and a radical and violent interpretation of Islam.
Among these, a video named “P” contained a nasheed about martyrdom. In another video, a group of young fighters is singing another nasheed about the “divine women of paradise”. Among other posts relating to contemporary, and particularly extreme, Salafi theologists, there were others that were directed at condemning other moderate Muslims, along with those that allied with Western powers to fight IS. All these posts were instrumental in understanding the level of radicalisation of Pilè. The post testifying to her listening to Al-Bayan Radio, along with her profile picture, have confirmed her sympathies specifically for IS.
On the 9th of March, Pilè posted a comment stating, “Paradise, Paradise, Paradise, I swear I cannot wait”, which has been interpreted as a dangerous signal of potential operational danger. Her search for a car was also seen as a possible preparation to depart for Syria. Soon before her restrictions were approved, her husband was expelled from Italy because of security concerns.

An analysis of her laptop revealed the presence of 126 videos related to IS. On her phone, disguised behind a decoy application called “KY-CALC”, were also found 4000 pictures relating to IS, including pictures of fighters, flags, combat, and executions.

According to the Brescia anti-terrorism police chief, Sara’s conversion was due to her psychological status and is to be seen as a form of expression of “emotional distress” and rebellion, first and foremost against her family, and secondly against her community. A feverish search for affection would also explain the totalising relationship she had with her husband.

In 2016, she was sentenced to 3 years of “special surveillance” measures, including a travel ban, a ban on internet browsing, and one on visiting Islamic centres with possible radical influences. Initially, she was also accused of joining a terrorist organisation, but in 2017, she was acquitted of this charge. In 2018, the judge charged with confirming or discontinuing the special measures ruled in their favour, as Sara remained dangerously radicalised.