Islamic cell funding radical imams uncovered in Italy

“God blessed his soul,” Jameleddine B. Brahim Kharroubi said speaking of former Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

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September 8, 2019 14:20
1 minute read.
A member of al-Qaida's Nusra Front sits in a tank decorated with the Nusra flag north of Aleppo

A member of al-Qaida's Nusra Front sits in a tank decorated with the Nusra flag near al-Zahra village, north of Aleppo. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Ten people were arrested in the Italian regions of Piemonte and Abruzzo on charges of terrorism, money laundering and covert financing, Italian daily La Stampa reported on Sunday.

Through tax evasion, Jameleddine B. Brahim Kharroubi, a small business owner of Tunisian origin, accumulated about two million euros to fund radical imams in Italy and abroad.

The report highlighted that Brahim Kharroubi and the uncovered Islamic cell had ties with Al Nusra, the Al Qaeda branch active in Syria.

“God blessed his soul,” Brahim Kharroubi said speaking of former Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in a 2016 conversation tapped by Italian security forces. In other discussions, the man praised Al Nusra and Islamic fighters “ready to martyrdom,” and expressed his support for the 2015 terror attacks in Paris. He also worked to recruit foreign fighters to send to Syria.

According to La Stampa, the 57-year-old had been monitored by several intelligence agencies for his financial ties with radical Islamic organizations for several years. He was included in the Europol database and  Terrorist Finance Tracking Program as a member of a network devoted to transfer covert funds to Morocco since 2005. In 2005, Brahim Kharroubi served as the treasurer of an Islamic association in Turin promoting interfaith dialogue.

Along with Brahim Kharroubi, Italian police forces arrested among others Atem Argoubi, an imam serving in a mosque in the Abruzzo region.
 


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