This site uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience. Read more.
Italy: Boy, 11, released from IS captivity reunited with family in Rome02:53

Italy: Boy, 11, released from IS captivity reunited with family in Rome

Italy, Rome
November 08, 2019 at 19:27 GMT +00:00 · Published

Eleven-year-old Alvin was reunited with his father and two sisters at Rome Fiumicino airport on Friday after his now-deceased mother took him to Syria to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a foreign fighter five years ago.

"The investigation activity started when the father came to us and let us know that the mother had taken the child away with her and went into a war zone in alliance with the ISIS," said Anti-terrorism Department Commander Marco Rosi, who could not give an exact date of the mother's death.

Rossi stated that Alvin Berisha's name had been changed to Yusuf during his time under IS and his mother was "trying to make him forget his past in Italy and in the western world."

The Italian-born boy of Albanian heritage was taken on Wednesday from al-Hol detention camp in north-eastern Syria, where he was held alone after his mother reportedly died in a bomb attack. Alvin was escorted by the Red Crescent from Qamishli to Damascus and was returned home to father Afrim Berisha, who sparked the international investigation by alerting police.

"Dialogue was guaranteed by the Syrian Red Crescent: thanks to the Syrian Red Crescent, its Kurdish volunteers and its presence it made it possible that everything went fine in the end," explained President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies Francesco Rocca.

Alvin is now walking with a limp after an injury from a bombing while he was travelling with his mother and he has forgotten Italian, speaking only Arabic and some Albanian.

The boy was held in al-Hol detention camp in north-eastern Syria with 70,000 other people and his rescue relied on many parties cooperating as it was difficult to locate him. He lived near the northern Italian city of Lecco with his family.

Italy: Boy, 11, released from IS captivity reunited with family in Rome02:53
No Account? Sign up!
Description

Eleven-year-old Alvin was reunited with his father and two sisters at Rome Fiumicino airport on Friday after his now-deceased mother took him to Syria to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a foreign fighter five years ago.

"The investigation activity started when the father came to us and let us know that the mother had taken the child away with her and went into a war zone in alliance with the ISIS," said Anti-terrorism Department Commander Marco Rosi, who could not give an exact date of the mother's death.

Rossi stated that Alvin Berisha's name had been changed to Yusuf during his time under IS and his mother was "trying to make him forget his past in Italy and in the western world."

The Italian-born boy of Albanian heritage was taken on Wednesday from al-Hol detention camp in north-eastern Syria, where he was held alone after his mother reportedly died in a bomb attack. Alvin was escorted by the Red Crescent from Qamishli to Damascus and was returned home to father Afrim Berisha, who sparked the international investigation by alerting police.

"Dialogue was guaranteed by the Syrian Red Crescent: thanks to the Syrian Red Crescent, its Kurdish volunteers and its presence it made it possible that everything went fine in the end," explained President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies Francesco Rocca.

Alvin is now walking with a limp after an injury from a bombing while he was travelling with his mother and he has forgotten Italian, speaking only Arabic and some Albanian.

The boy was held in al-Hol detention camp in north-eastern Syria with 70,000 other people and his rescue relied on many parties cooperating as it was difficult to locate him. He lived near the northern Italian city of Lecco with his family.

Top downloads in last 24 hours
01:44
Russia: State of emergency declared in Krasnoyarsk region after massive diesel leak
June 02 at 09:29 GMT +00:00
03:16
Iran: Tehran's university students rally in solidarity with George Floyd protests
June 03 at 21:06 GMT +00:00
02:50
USA: Hundreds protest against police brutality at Capitol Hill
June 03 at 18:04 GMT +00:00
02:57
Greece: March for George Floyd turns violent in Athens
June 03 at 23:16 GMT +00:00
04:02
Japan: Sushi delivery service in Nagoya 'buffs up' its service
June 03 at 21:07 GMT +00:00
03:29
Meet Japan's 'mini Messi' who can jump rope and juggle a football blindfolded
June 02 at 15:13 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
03:12
USA: DefSec. Esper opposes Trump's call to deploy troops in George Floyd protests
June 03 at 18:33 GMT +00:00
02:48
Libya: GNA forces regain control of Tripoli International Airport
June 03 at 22:46 GMT +00:00
01:31
USA: Thousands demand justice for George Floyd in NYC
June 03 at 23:47 GMT +00:00
01:58
South Africa: Protesters rally outside parliament in Cape Town for George Floyd
June 03 at 19:27 GMT +00:00
03:07
USA: Minnesota Attorney Gen. confirms all policemen involved in Floyd's death face charges
June 04 at 02:10 GMT +00:00
01:28
USA: Military vehicles on the streets as Floyd protests continue in DC
June 03 at 16:56 GMT +00:00
04:01
Syria: Artist paints George Floyd mural in bombed-out area of Idlib town
June 03 at 13:26 GMT +00:00
02:24
Musicians perform aboard hot air balloon to lift spirits of locked-down Berliners
June 03 at 01:57 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:35
Russia: Putin declares state of emergency over massive diesel leak in Norilsk
June 03 at 15:16 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:22
Russia: EMERCOM sends more troops to Norilsk in diesel spill clean-up
June 04 at 08:05 GMT +00:00
02:47
USA: 60 arrested as 2,000 peaceful protesters defy curfew in NYC
June 04 at 06:23 GMT +00:00
02:29
UK: Londoners protest in Black Lives Matter rally for George Floyd
June 03 at 16:48 GMT +00:00
00:57
UK: Protesters and police clash outside 10 Downing Street at George Floyd demo
June 03 at 21:14 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
02:40
Spain's first white lion born in captivity at Seville zoo
June 03 at 19:14 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:00
USA: Viral video shows George Floyd protester pepper-sprayed by Michigan police
June 04 at 11:17 GMT +00:00
03:57
UK: Police and protesters scuffle as thousands join London anti-racism demos
June 03 at 11:24 GMT +00:00
01:39
USA: Military vehicles on the streets as Floyd protests continue in DC
June 03 at 06:43 GMT +00:00
02:34
USA: Student-led protesters hold 'sit to breathe' rally at Minnesota's capitol
June 03 at 08:38 GMT +00:00
01:32
USA: George Floyd protesters arrested in New York after curfew
June 03 at 06:13 GMT +00:00
02:19
UK: Londoners take a knee in tribute to George Floyd
June 04 at 01:35 GMT +00:00
04:11
USA: Family honours George Floyd in Houston as protesters defy curfews across the US
June 03 at 08:00 GMT +00:00
02:56
USA: 'Trump and his tweets are not going to stop us' – Protests continue in DC despite curfew
June 02 at 09:16 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
00:43
USA: DC man shelters dozens of protesters as police dispersed crowds after curfew
June 03 at 04:24 GMT +00:00
03:01
Peru: Relatives of patients with COVID-19 bring personal oxygen tanks to hospitals due to shortage
June 03 at 12:20 GMT +00:00
View all videos