Brescia woman arrested as IS sympathiser

Believed about to leave for Syria.

Italian DIGOS undercover police units have arrested a 30-year-old Italian woman in the course of an investigation into suspected recruitment of sympathisers to join IS (also known as ISIS or Daesh) as foreign fighters, Brescia police chief Vincenzo Ciarambino announced on 7 June.

Identifying her only by her initials, P.S., Ciarambino said she was “from a good family”, the daughter of a local businessman. She had married a Tunisian in 2010, converted to Islam, and taken to wearing a niqab, or veil which covers the whole body and face except for the eyes.

Her husband had been deported while still awaiting a residence permit, and the woman kept in contact with him on social media. Their exchange of messages in praise of the terrorist organisation and referring to their hope of martyrdom caught the attention of the police and led to the swoop, the official told media.

He added that the compromising material seized during the arrest showed there was “concrete” risk that the couple, who have no children, were about to buy a vehicle and head for Syria to join the self-styled Islamic State fighters there.

Media reports suggest that there are less than 10 women among the one hundred or so foreign fighters born or living in Italy.

This is the second case of this kind in Lombardy in recent weeks, after the arrest of a group of Moroccans and the Italian wife of one of them in May.