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Italian women bombers

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Among the 48 people expelled so far to Lombardy for crimes related to radical Islamic terrorism, now it is the turn of Fatma Ashraf Shawky Fahmy (Maria Giulia Sergio). Born on June 3, 1995 in Giza, Egypt, the 22-year-old lived in Torre del Greco and was expelled from Italy by decision of the Ministry of the Interior thanks to investigations by Digos of Milan. Together with her parents and three younger brothers, she had approached extremism and was in contact with an unidentified member of the Isis, named Abdallah Hasanyan Al-Najjar. She asked him to organize a trip to the conflict lands through Turkey. From their talks, however, it is clear that, although she attended the mosque in Jenner Avenue and was therefore rather informed, Fatma did not consider, probably, that the Islamic State was losing ground. So, not being able to "enlist", the girl changed her perspective. «There's something I can do here. I can take action in Milan». And again: «I am ready». Phrases from which it emerges, according to Digos investigators, that the girl was willing to a kamikaze action. Once again, however, on the Telegram channels, the response of the Isis man was negative: «You will only be able to do something when you have our permission».  According to what has been reconstructed by the Milan Court of Assizes, this is a story that begins on January 7, 2015, immediately after the massacre within the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo. The police intercepts two women who have sworn allegiance to the Islamic state. They are Maria Giulia Fatima Sergio and her spiritual guide, Haik Bushra. The first one would be in Syria. The second, after studying in Bologna, would be in Saudi Arabia. It is the latter who tells her: «The killing of unbelieving Westerners is not only legitimate, but a duty». And again: «These people are not innocent because they are part of Western countries that want to hit Muslim countries». Actually, this is a story that began in 2008 in Inzago, a town in Milan. It was in that year that Maria Giulia converted to Islam, changed her name to Fatima Az Zahra and began her personal radicalization. After a few years she is convinced that she must go to Syria to give her contribution, but first she must marry an aspiring mujaheddin. In September 2014, she married the Albanian Aldo Kobuzi. According to what the magistrates have reconstructed, it would be a «combined marriage, born electronically and functional only for departure». And in a couple of weeks they arrive in  Syria.  She teaches and he is trained in Iraq. Fatima tries to convince her family to join her, but their Skype conversations are intercepted and in July 2015 her father, mother and sister are arrested. Fatima asked about them in an interview with Corriere della Sera in which, among other things, she said: «The Islamic State is a perfect State. We are not doing anything here that goes against human rights. Which those who do not follow the law of Allah do». The case ends on 13 June, with the sentence in absentia of the Milan Court of Appeal to 9 years.  Of Maria Giulia remains only her social profile, where stands out her new name and you can not see that the eyes, everything else is covered by the Niqab . In the page there is little written in Italian, the symbols of the holy war are everywhere. On her profile she wished the victory in the name of Allah over the disbelievers and the last post still online is dated November 19, 2013. Then nothing. «Behind the veil there is no terrorist hiding. My daughter Fatima is good, who knows her can confirm it. And she has the strength of someone who fights for a just cause». Assunta Bonfiglio, the 27-year-old's mother, is speaking. «I have not had contact with Fatima for some time and I have no idea where she is, but I know that Allah protects her», says Assunta.  According to the authorities there are a hundred Italian citizens who have left like Fatima to join the Islamic State.  Meriem Rehaily, 22 years old, jihadist from the province of Padua, of Moroccan origin, was sentenced on December 12, 2017 by the Court of Venice to 4 years' imprisonment for enlistment for terrorist purposes and expulsion provided at the end of the sentence for having joined the Islamic State.  On July 14, 2015 Meriem Rehaily disappeared from her home in Arzergrande, in the province of Padua, to reach the airport Guglielmo Marconi in Bologna where she boarded a flight to Istanbul. A few hours before getting on the plane she posts her oath to the Caliph: "God, I promised my pledge of faithfulness and I renew it for the prince of the faithful, my cheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi".  Shortly after, Rehaily arrived in Syria where Daesh, thanks to its computer skills, recruited her as a hacker and also sent her to the border with Turkey to help filter entrances, using her language skills. Meriem Rehaily had shown on several occasions that she had clear ideas and had also published the list of ten objectives to be eliminated, men of law enforcement of which she had entered photos and address of residence. In addition to stating that she was "proud to have joined the Isis", and to have "seen the truth", Rehaily was shooting journalists, accused of having written falsehoods about her.  At the same time, however, elements emerged about the possible repentance of Rehaily: in January 2016 the Carabinieri of the ROS intercepted a phone call made to her father in which the girl claimed to be repentant of the choice made and asked to be taken home. Another contact with the family took place in November 2016 when the girl reiterated her repentance, claiming to be terrified by the war, but can not leave Raqqa; then nothing more.  Judge Roberta Marchiori explained that her willingness to martyrdom is a cause for concern: «The State cannot exclude the hypothesis that the suspect may be available to carry out suicide bombing actions also in Italy and, in particular, in Rome».  «I'm a terrorist for the government, but I didn't do anything in Italy. I was brainwashed from Isis», explains Meriem, «before I lived like a normal teenager who went to school and went out with friends. Then I closed my eyes and found myself in Syria. Abu Dujana al Homsi, a young Syrian who contacted me via Telegram in a secret chat room, attracted me on the internet», says the Paduan jihadist, «he wanted to marry me, but I refused. Then he began to say that I had to leave Italy and reach the Caliphate because Allah wants it». In the historic capital of the Caliphate, Meriem soon realizes that the adventure of black flags is turning into a nightmare. «I have seen the real Isis and it is not the Islamic State that I believed», explains the jihadist now, «the horror of the bombings terrified me. When I opened my eyes it was too late».  In Raqqa she marries a Palestinian and has two children. Meriem had been in touch with her parents, who are trying to get her back home. Her mother Khadija is always in her thoughts: «I would like to ask her to forgive me, but it's too late to apologize because I've already done what I shouldn't have done».  Repentant and aware of having made the wrong choice, Meriem would like to return to Italy.  «Daesh loves killing people, it loves blood, they kill people for no reason» says Sonia Khediri. She is 21 years old. She was born and raised in One di Fonte (Treviso), and fled home at 18, in August 2014, more out of love than to embrace Islamic fundamentalism. Or so it seems to be hearing her now, when every dream of a better and different life seems to have vanished.  She met a preacher during a trip to Tunisia, let herself be persuaded to join the Caliphate and after months of contacts on the Internet fled to Syria to marry him, discovering on her arrival that he had been killed. In his place, according to what emerged, she was forced to marry Abu Hamza, about twenty years older than her, Tunisian emir and number two of Daesh, from whom she had two daughters. The Public Prosecutor's Office of Venice, calling her a foreign fighter and considering her dangerous, asked for her arrest on two different occasions. And on two occasions the GIP denied the custody order. It's hard to say whether or not the 21-year-old has embraced Daesh's fundamentalist theses, but in the interview with Tg1 she clearly says that she tried to return to Italy, but failed to do so. Sonia Khediri reached the Islamic state when she was only 18 years old. Now she's a prisoner in a Kurdish refugee camp in northern Syria, and she confesses: «I want to go back to Italy, but I'm afraid of going to prison and not seeing my children anymore. I loved Daesh thinking I was making the right choice, but instead I lost my life. I was convinced to join the Islamic State because in the videos circulating in Raqqa the women were going out with the niqab. I wanted to live like them».  In a guarded area in the Heyn Issa camp, north-east of Syria, a thousand women and their children who have joined the caliphate are in custody.  Women. Maybe not real «evil geniuses» but still charismatic females, «soldiers» ideal to be recruited by the Caliphate, decided as they are to move in the Islamic lands, against everything and everyone, breaking religious and traditional ties. 
di Noemi Genova